Chattanooga mom's art business booms during pandemic

What started as a hobby for one Chattanooga mom, turned into a new career. At Kids Art Box founder Melanie Phillips’ warehouse, work doesn’t stop, though boxes are already stacked floor to ceiling.

“We are probably going to outgrow it within the next month or two,” Phillips said.

Each box is filled with something for kids to create. Just last year, Phillips was a stay-at-home mom, posting pictures of art projects she crafted for her kids on Instagram. Her page got so popular she launched Kids Art Box.

“I kind of thought that it was going to be something to do, maybe kind of a hobby, and I thought we were going to have maybe 200 subscribers and it could be something I could do from home,” she said.

Then Phillips started painting a new picture. In early 2020, Kids Art Box hadn’t sold anything. Now, they’re 20,000 boxes in, a case of supply meeting demand during the pandemic.

“Virtual learning, you can’t have art,” Phillips said. “So there was a mix of kids are home and kids can do art and need activities.”

Each box comes with a hands on project and a connected lesson, though Phillips hopes her customers learn something about family too.

“It feels really good to be able to share with other parents. You have the art side of it, but you also have the connection and it’s really fun to know that other families are creating together,” she said.

Art already made Phillips’ life brighter, but as Kids Art Box keeps growing, it’s the art of business she’s busy perfecting.

Prices range from $35 for a single box to $360 for a year’s subscription.