QUEENS — Founder: Marina Mirchevskaya
Founded in: April 2020
Based in: Forest Hills, Queens
Link to website: https://creativelybox.com
Paint. Laugh. Sip. Repeat.
That’s what one small business owner from Queens wants you to do the next time you’re feeling stuck.
Marina Mirchevskaya launched Creatively in April 2020, just weeks after the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the east coast and put the tri-state area on pause.
“It was really scary. I kept thinking ‘Should I do this? Should I wait until COVID is over?’ But, I realized that I had the opportunity to give people hope and positivity during this crazy time,” Mirchevskaya said. “And I just really wanted to help my community.”
Creatively, a self-described ‘paint party in a box,’ was born out of the pandemic to bring people together through creativity. Every month, subscribers receive paint supplies and a carefully curated painting with step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the work from the comfort of your home. The session is meant for anyone ready to try their hand at a paint brush in a judgment-free space.
At the end of March, Mirchevskaya had hosted her first virtual paint party.
“I had this lightbulb moment. I wanted to make this experience really accessible for people, and to make it really easy without having to leave your home,” she said. “I wanted to create an event for people to connect with one another and destress.”
Two weeks later, she officially launched her first kit. Now, after only five months, she’s sold more than 400 boxes to those wanting to try their hand at a virtual paint session.
Launching during the height of COVID-19 came with its own set of challenges. Mirchevskaya said that she faced manufacturing delays, alongside shipping and fulfillment bottlenecks. Instead of waiting for overseas suppliers, she decided to source goods locally, in turn supporting neighborhood art suppliers.
As a first-time business owner, Mirchevskaya said the process has been anything but easy.
“I was learning as I went along. It wasn’t perfect, but I wanted to get it out as soon as possible,” she said. “All of my weekends, all of my nights, were spent building this company from scratch.”
Now, she’s teaching people to enjoy the journey, not just the destination, and using painting as a symbol of serenity in a strange and uncertain time.
What’s next for Creatively? If Mirchevskaya has her way, she hopes to branch out into corporate workplaces, schools, summer camp, and to continue virtual paint sessions for its newfound social media followers.
Creatively has a monthly subscription box available for people really looking to find their inner artist, with prices starting at $34.50.
And today, Mirchevskaya leaves this message of hope for those looking for a little bit of creativity at a time when it’s scarce:
“Be fearless. Let go. Don’t worry about the final product. Focus on being present. Don’t overanalyze it, just have fun. You don’t need to create a masterpiece; just enjoy the process.”