Founder, Outside the Box Creations

 

When asked what his daughter was “taking up in college,” Beth Herrild’s father would reply:

“Space, mostly.”

Of course, Herrild’s father wasn’t the first parent to voice concern over a child’s choice to declare fine art as an intended undergraduate degree. But Herrild believes if her parents were still alive today, they’d be proud of the success she’s achieved on her life’s path.

A Newcastle resident and hobby artist, Herrild was shocked and saddened to learn about the absence of art in her children’s classrooms as they were growing up over the last two decades. Like most public schools in recent years, Herrild’s Issaquah School District had gouged the art budget, opting instead for a parent-led art docent program.

The conundrum with these docent programs is that teachers rarely can add art lessons to their already-busy schedules. When there are opportunities, they may not always align with docent availability, according to Herrild.

“That’s when I noticed that the funding situation wasn’t getting any better and, in fact, it is probably getting worse,” she said. “Even in some of the affluent schools around the country where they have paid elementary art teachers, the parents love the pretty little products, so the teachers don’t even let the kids be creative and put the emphasis on the process, but rather, they put the emphasis on the end products.”

In part to combat this quandary, Herrild quit her job at a local nonprofit in 2016 and started Outside the Box Creations, a subscription box that delivers an art lesson complete with high-grade supplies to subscribers’ doors each month.

“I had purchased a Birchbox for my daughter as a birthday gift, and Blue Apron was advertising all over the place. I just thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s it; I have to do this,’” Herrild said.

Each box can be designed for two or four people, which Herrild hopes encourages families to complete a box together while unplugging from their devices and exploring creativity.

Though the youngest of her three children is set to graduate high school at the end of this school year, Herrild still is deeply involved with the district’s docent program, training new generations of parents who will, in turn, hopefully teach a new generation of children.

Turn the page to see what this artful entrepreneur does on a typical day.

 

Beth Herrild

7:30 A.M.

Our youngest child, Zoe, is a high school senior. I still make her breakfast and lunch every day, and see her off to school before I start my work day.

 

7:50 A.M.

I’ve been taking my cars to Newport Hills Chevron for regular oil changes for 29 years. I enjoy using this as an excuse to go for a long walk with my dogs. On this morning, I’m picking up my car.

 

9:30 A.M.

As we gain more popularity, we’ve been getting more and more press. One of our customers and her daughter were kind enough to allow us to shoot some photos of them using the box.

 

11:30 A.M.

Back home for lunch after the photo shoot. Not a lot of “outside the box” thinking going on around here for lunch, I’m afraid.

 

Beth Herrild

Noon

Mail pick-up days are becoming regular occurrences. Sometimes we ship out an armful of boxes, sometimes more — our neighborhood mail carrier is always accommodating.

 

12:30 P.M.

It’s time for my monthly art docent lesson at Echo Glen Children’s Center, a juvenile detention facility. Now that I’ve changed careers, I have a lot more time for volunteerism.

 

2 P.M.

I use a distributor for all the craft supplies in my subscription boxes. However, sometimes I unexpectedly run out of one item or another. I had to run to Michael’s for extra items.

 

5 P.M.

I use a distributor for all the craft supplies in my subscription boxes. However, sometimes I unexpectedly run out of one item or another. I had to run to Michael’s for extra items.

 

6:45 P.M.

My office mates, Isabelle (left) and Penny (right), periodically remind me to take a break to play or cuddle — looks like their lives are so exhausting.

 

7 P.M.

I meet videographer Angie from LifeCapsule at a local coffee shop to review some customer testimonial videos she did for us.

 

7:30 P.M.

Our youngest child, Zoe, is a high school senior. I still make her breakfast and lunch every day, and see her off to school before I start my work day.

 

9 P.M.

Our youngest child, Zoe, is a high school senior. I still make her breakfast and lunch every day, and see her off to school before I start my work day.

 

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