Learning through play

Nhadia Gustavo, a qualified early childhood motor development specialist (kinderkineticist), has a great passion for children and early childhood development.

15 October 2021 | Society

Mariselle Stofberg

StimuBox is an online store that produces and sells personalised sensory boxes. These boxes contain fun and simple, age-appropriate activities that help with the holistic development of children.

All the items fit into a reasonably sized box making it easy to use, store and mobile for travelling. The main focus of the box is to ensure that each child reaches their appropriate milestones during the early childhood development (ECD) period.

The company is headed by Nhadia Gustavo, a qualified early childhood motor development specialist (kinderkineticist), who has a great passion for working with children and seeing them develop holistically.

Gustavo believes that the earlier someone discovers their potential, the longer they can live in it and make a positive contribution to society.

“I started StimuBox with the dream of not having any developmental delays hinder a child from reaching their full potential. StimuBox was officially registered as a company in March 2021 and we recently received a funding opportunity through the Sanlam Bridge programme that will help us get ready to launch in the coming weeks,” she says.

For Gustavo, it all started with a baby shower she attended a year ago. “In the months prior, I started thinking about what I wanted to get for my friend. Although there was a gift registry, I wanted to get her something different. So, using my experience as a practicing kinderkineticist, I did some research and came across this concept of a sensory box. I instantly knew that I had to make one for my friend because it would have so many benefits for her baby and it would educate her and her husband on the importance of stimulation during this critical period in their baby’s life.”

A few of the attendees motivated her to turn this into a business as they believed that it would help so many more parents and their children.

Stimulation through play

“Our dream is to empower every child through stimulating play. However, we know that at this point in our business, not every child has access to our product. With this in mind, we have committed ourselves to donating sensory boxes to new mothers in underprivileged. We want to spread the message that ECD is not a luxury, but a necessity. So as StimuBox starts growing and generating more revenue, we are committed to increasing the number of donations,” Gustavo adds.

Gustavo plans to expand their range of products to reach a larger market. Currently they are based online, which makes them accessible to the rest of the country.

“We operate from Windhoek, so a courier can be arranged for the delivery of our products. Right now, all our resources are going into launching our business, creating a profitable product and building a trusted brand. As soon as we have a solid foundation, then we can look into expanding our national footprint,” she adds.

StimuBox is all about being passionate, simple, generous and trustworthy.

“The greatest challenge faced so far was presenting the idea of StimuBox in a way that would make it attractive to potential investors. A lot of hard work went into this process, but it was all worth it in the end as we are one of the recipients of the 2021 Sanlam Bridge Programme and we were selected into the third Cohort of the Future Females Business School. These are both opportunities that will contribute to the success and future growth of the business,” Gustavo adds.

Gustavo encourages the youth to focus on what they are passionate about; what excites them and their natural talents.

“Build a business founded on your passion, seek wise and trusted mentorship, and be a humble, life-long learner. We do not navigate this world in isolation; we need each other not only to live successfully but to thrive.”

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