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June 30, 2022

Care packages cheap, easy via new campus business

By ALEXANDRA BALLATO | February 14, 2013

Blue Jay Boxes, a new student-run business that has been selling chocolates in the Breezeway, has arrived on Homewood Campus just in time for Valentine’s Day. The company was started through Hopkins Student Enterprises (HSE), and specializes in care packages and cake deliveries, under the slogan “Making Homewood Feel Like Home.”

Freshmen Manwei Chan and Savannah Karmen-Tuohy met during their Pre-Orientation kayaking trip in the fall and came up with their business plan soon after. They approached HSE to secure an investment and received counsel through the process.

“HSE has been really helpful guiding us through the beginning stages of starting a small business,” Chan wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

“We’ve worked closely with financial and marketing advisors Ian Han, Chris Alvarez and Eva Gurfein, who have really helped us iron out the little details in starting up and creating a brand,” Karmen-Tuohy wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

According to the co-founders, their idea arose when they arrived on campus and quickly felt that absent at Hopkins was a convenient way for family members to send their favorite items to their children’s mailbox for holidays, exams or just for fun.

“My brother goes to boarding school, and we would always try to send him care packages around exams or other holidays,” Karmen-Tuohy wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “We wanted to bring this idea to Hopkins, in that parents, missing their kids, could send them a care package without all the hassle. They would just have to go online, pick out the specific items they know their child likes, and we’d do all the handiwork, delivering the customized gift box to their door.”

“All of the other competing care package companies are far more expensive and only offer a select range of pre-packaged  boxes. Our goal was to create affordable packages that could easily be customized, so it feels like Mom and Dad really did send it from home,” Karmen-Tuohy wrote.

Blue Jay Boxes sold Valentine’s Day-themed packages throughout the week, allowing students to send teddy bears, candy, and various items directly to the dorm rooms of their loved ones. The business plan is to expand in the near future, and offer both pre-set boxes, as well as ones that can be customized on their website, which they plan to launch by the end of the week.

“The website does target parents sending to students, but we also hope to find a market in student-to-student box sending,” Chan wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “We do also offer cake delivery, for birthdays or special occasions, which will hopefully be taken advantage of by students.”

Karmen-Tuohy and Chan plan to stock a wide variety of items to be made available on the website, such as pretzels, hot cocoa and an extensive assortment of candies.

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