Meet Virginie Charles-Dear, Founder and CEO at Children’s Craft Kit Company: toucanBox

toucanBox is an established crafting and creative thinking brand in the parenting and children’s sector, delivering hand’s on crafts to children through the letterbox, and championing the need to introduce science, tech, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) to children from the ages of 3+. Crafts include costume making, cookery, puppetry, flower pressing and a whole variety of other amazing activities. There are over 200 themes to choose from and they cover off all interests from Space to Adventure, Under the Sea to Artistry and Costumes…something for every little one to enjoy!

Each box aids the development of fine motor skills, creative thinking and independence. The instructions are child-friendly so children can follow each step independently. toucanBox’s are designed by teachers and tested by kids to provide hands-on learning, but most importantly, they are fun!
ToucanBox Company Profile, Revenue, Number of Employees - Owler

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The idea for toucanBox came whilst I was on maternity leave with my second child. I was looking for a way to solve my own problem: how to keep children occupied and engaged in educational hands-on activities, away from screens! I believe that children learn best by doing and experimenting and yet I couldn’t find anything on the market that was both fun and educational for children, and hassle-free for busy parents, just like myself.

I partnered with a Montessori school teacher to create toucanBox. Our vision is to empower children through play. As much as we want children to have fun, to be carefree and happy, we also want them to develop into curious and critical thinking people, to open their minds to new ideas, and have outlets with which to express themselves. toucanBox is built to be such an outlet, with every project designed to support a philosophy of empowerment, both intellectual and emotional, for children and parents.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

During the first months of the pandemic last year, we saw demand for our products soar and our customer base doubling in the space of 4 weeks. This represented a huge challenge operationally, both in terms of supply chain and logistics, but we managed to overcome these by leveraging our own technology and the strong relationships we had built with our suppliers, so that all our customers, new and old, received their box on time. Using technology is at the core of what we do, and the technology we have built in-house allows us to link every part of the company and have a sleek supply chain and operations processes, this, in turn, allows us to provide a personalised experience to our customers, at scale. Despite a pandemic.

In April, toucanBox won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade, recognising the company’s growth internationally.

What can we hope to see from toucanBox in the future?

The arts and crafts sector is a £2Bn opportunity and our ambition is to continue to grow to take a piece of that market. Over the past 5 years we have quadrupled the size of our business and have grown through a mix of new customer acquisition and retention of existing customers. We have continued to invest in our product to make sure our customers find value in our service and remain loyal to our brand

Our ambition is to grow our revenues to £70 million by 2030. To achieve our targets, we are planning to continue our international expansion both in Europe and North America. We are also looking to expand our product range to reach children outside of our current target group, adding a toddler range as well as a new product range for children aged 8+. Finally, beside our craft kits, we will soon add new product lines including baking kits, books and science kits.