As we celebrate our centennial, we want to showcase the customers who have helped support us throughout the years with a Customer of the Month showcase, a series dedicated to recognizing Paper Mart customers and their stories.
Today we’re sharing the story of Rosa Alva, the founder and creator of Box of Sensory Toys, a curated subscription box that offers a selection of toys for young minds. Learn more about it here!
A Little Bit About Box of Sensory Toys
Your business is so important to developmental health. Sensory toys like the ones that you source and put together are great to help focus the energy and provide an outlet for young minds. Could you give us a quick rundown of your story, the story behind Box of Sensory Toys, and what inspired you to start?
My small business is a children’s subscription box for kids of ALL abilities called Box of Sensory Toys. My toy boxes and fidget packs are curated for children with Autism, ADHD, sensory and other needs, but almost half of my young clients do not have special needs. They just love our toys!
The toys and tools in my subscription boxes are educational, skill-building, therapeutic and fun, so they are beneficial for all children and teens. Our sensory toys help to stimulate children’s (or even adult’s) prefrontal cortex in the brain. This controls and plays a critical role in problem solving, emotional regulation, language development, motor skill-building and more.
To dive a bit more into my background, I have a BFA in Fashion Design from Otis College of Art and Design. From the mid 1990’s – 2000’s, I was the head designer for various design manufacturing companies, which I loved, but I always felt a calling to working with children. After receiving my Master’s degree in Education, I was a teacher and tutor. I focused on working with at-risk kids, Title 1 or financially disadvantaged students and even teen boys who had all been to jail. I felt that I could help the most there, and I learned as much from those kids and families as they learned from me. The last couple of years, I also worked as a special needs therapist and social skills facilitator working with the parents. However, the pandemic occurred in 2020 closing all pediatric clinics and schools. It was during this time that I realized the great need for a children’s sensory toy subscription box.
All of my past experience working with children and their parents has given me insight that I have used to create my children’s subscription toy company, and my work as a designer helped me understand how to organize myself and juggle a million things. at once. I had worked in a very demanding and fast paced line of work, and it’s quite similar in some ways, although in a smaller scale.
I think that’s amazing! What are a couple of your favorite creations?
BST: Thank you for the kind words!
My favorite creations seem to shift due to the incredible new themes and toys each month. I create themes many months ahead and try to create an overall whimsical experience for the children and their families. My current favorite creations are:
- The VIP Kid’s Toy Box is my BEST seller, and it truly is my favorite box. It has had consistent 5 star reviews. This toy box truly creates a magical experience for my young clients. I create my themes many months ahead of time and piece together a story making sure that the toy items offer various play and learning, as well as sensory stimulating options for my clients. Even the colorful crinkle paper is chosen to offer my young clients the most fun sensory experience, and I wrap it all up with an inspirational quote, and my gorgeous colorful boxes and colorful poly mailers from you guessed it, Papermart. 🙂
- The “Fidget Fun Pack” is my latest creation for kids, teens, and adults on a budget. The Fidget Fun Pack is a monthly mystery subscription of the latest popular fidget toys. I choose items that anyone and everyone of various ages can use, like a keychain bubble pop toy or a hand fidget that fits in a purse or pocket. These fidgets can be used by kids or teens as passengers in a car, in between classes or even for use during class or lectures (as long as it’s permitted) to relieve anxiety or provide sensory relief.
- The “Donate a Box” option is specifically for Kids in Foster Homes. Anyone can purchase and have their box delivered to my company’s partner company, Foster Source. They then distribute to the foster homes in need. I’m also working on a new option in which a person can nominate and donate boxes directly to a family/child in need. In this situation, the toy boxes will be shipped directly to the child’s home from our “Donate a Box” section.
This “Donate a Box” option is a no-brainer for me, as I was raised by parents who are humanitarians. For 35 years, my parents have been quite active in helping to better the medical condition of countless people in our birth country of Peru with their fundraising and active participation in medical missions. For many years, my father was President and my mother was Executive Chair of an organization called PAMS SoCal. I have helped quite a bit behind the scenes, as I truly believe in the cause.
Sensory Toys + Paper Mart
Alright let’s jump into your relationship with us! How did you hear about Paper Mart, how long have you been with us, and what keeps you coming back?
BST: I belong to a Facebook group of subscription business owners and heard wonderful things about Paper Mart from fellow small business owners. I have used Paper Mart’s colorful mailer boxes, shredded crinkle paper, and poly mailers since my business started in November 2020. I am so inspired by the vibrant beautiful colors!
I’m so glad you love them! Our color selection for shipping and packaging is unparalleled. Our team works very hard to source a wide variety of shades and colors so every need is taken care of!
BST: I love everything about Paper Mart. I fell in love with the colorful mailer boxes and colorful shredded crinkle paper from the first moment that I saw them. The vibrant colors convey the joy and whimsy that I want to share with all the children who will be opening my toy boxes.
The parents and children to whom I sell my toys adore the colorful Paper Mart mailer boxes, colorful crinkle paper and poly mailers.
What’s interesting is that I normally dress in black or neutral tones, but I am so inspired by the bright colors of my toys and Paper Mart boxes and packaging. I absolutely adore them. The bright colors make me feel so happy! It has even made me want to venture into more colorful clothing to match a bit more. Now, that’s inspiration!
Shop Rosa’s Favorites
Paper Mart Supports Your Creativity
From your first gift basket to your millionth subscription box shipment, we’ve got you covered. We want you to know that we’ll be here to help you and your business goals with quality packaging supplies and professional packaging advice. Whether it’s through colorful void fill to help keep your precious items safe, or an ultra-protective shipping box. We’ve got you covered.
These images are courtesy of Box of Sensory Toys. To keep up with Rosa’s story, check out the official Box of Sensory Toys social media (Instagram, Facebook) and website!
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I wish there was a set up like this in 2005 so I would have had this for my autistic son. He’s a 18 now and doing great though. Love the idea you have for this!!!
Hi Deidre! We love it too and we’re so happy to be able to support wonderful businesses like Box of Sensory Toys. Thanks for your kind words. We’ll pass them along to Rosa!
Thank you so much for the kind words, Deidre! I appreciate it very much. 🙂
Currently, I also curate custom boxes for adults, and I also have one for teens/tweens, as well as a School Sensory Box. My company is always evolving with my customer’s requests, so if you’re ever interested, feel free to write to me at Rosa@boxofsensory.com.
It’s wonderful to hear that your son is doing great, and I wish you the very best!