Cheryl Yates has worn many hats over the last 2 decades including multinational HR Director. She then side-stepped once she became pregnant with her first baby; to Marketing Director for Next Media group. Managing the BBC titles throughout Australasia and helping to launch Mania Magazine, she worked alongside brands like Cadburys. She spent a large part of her time securing marketing in the magazines and more specifically, gifts for the front cover. This gave her the idea of one day producing a Gift Company for children, “The frustrating thing was that through all the market research that was compiled, the kids preferred the gift on the front to most of the material inside the magazine”.
Marketing Managers from Hasbro, to confectionary labels like Cadburys, cottoned on to the new wave of marketing and were doing infomercials for kids, “one campaign was Willy Wonker’s tricks. Each month, a magician would dress as Wonker and be photographed doing tricks to promote their confectionary. I had to be his assistant a couple of times. It was so embarrassing but the kids loved it and sales rocketed”.
Truth is, it is the gifts and toys the children want. Making an affordable gift box with a motivation or reward chart became her dream. The chart rewards their efforts at school, behaviour at home, clubs or chores. She used to buy magazines for her own children as a treat or reward, only to see the paper discarded for the toy on the cover. She found the same principal with a children’s meal too.
She explained, “Children are expensive but I reduced the amount of ‘wants’ by having ‘Friday Awards’, whereby the children had to tell me one thing they felt proud of that week. Praise then flowed and a treat of some sort would follow. This practice instigated the idea of not just a giftbox company, but a subscription box. If they subscribe to good behaviour, the reward chart gets notified. When the chart is completed (meeting their targets) they get rewarded with a treat from the box or the whole box if they completed their goals.
“I enjoyed working with children so much; what made them tick, how to motivate and develop them as individuals, I became a teacher.” Dedication indeed.
Alongside being a Mum and a teacher, Ms Yates began working on her ideas and found like-minded people to do the same. Eventually Baebox was born. Baebox meaning ‘Before ANYTHING Else box’ has a double meaning: firstly, ‘before anything else’ do your homework/chore/practise but more importantly, knowing the receiver comes ‘before anyone else’ in the true meaning of BAE – makes the boxed gifts special.
It started with Baebox but then branched out to 4 varieties in total, each month themed with ideas that children are familiar with. The principle remains the same for each. Children are our future … wish we could box them up with cotton wool but for now, a little joy along the way will help them.