Rutgers MBA alumna realizes dream of being an entrepreneur as venture takes off

Redmond, 36, is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Happy Box, an online platform where users can create customized care packages.

Dreaming of dreams since childhood, Redmond always knew he would be an entrepreneur. While working full-time in marketing, Redmond decided to pursue an MBA to equip himself with a broad knowledge of accounting, finance, supply chain—things he needed to understand as a business owner.

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While a student Rutgers, Redmond placed third in the annual business plan competition. His pitch was for Taskmapper, an app that would create the most efficient routes to run errands, including store hours. Google did not have these features at the time, but soon began developing a similar technology, prompting Redmond to scrap the idea. “I’m never going to compete with Google,” he said. “I’m smart enough to know that.”

The competition gave Redmond experience writing a business plan, with guidance from professors. But it also taught him an important lesson: If you don’t do it first, someone else will develop your idea. “I’ve put out different business ideas, and I’ll see them happen,” he said.

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The idea for Happy Box started when Redmond was an undergrad University of Maryland. She wanted to send a care package to her sister Ariel, who had been dumped, but wanted to make it fun by including unusual items, such as the ex’s voodoo doll. Redmond discovered that there was no way to customize a care package online. He went to seven stores to buy what he wanted and then to the post office, a place he hadn’t been to in five years. “A horrible experience,” Redmond said. “I thought it was crazy that you could literally customize the details of a car online and you couldn’t create and send a custom care package.”

Redmond and her sister have talked about the idea of ​​customized care packages for years. Then, in 2015, Redmond was working in marketing strategy at an advertising agency when he and his sister decided to launch the concept. was part of the inspiration Ariel RedmondNow 34, says she was sick of seeing her sister’s ideas come to life without her by other people.

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The sisters started with Etsy to test the concept while working full time. In 2017 they launched their own website and in 2018 the venture became profitable. In 2020, sales skyrocketed as e-commerce exploded during the Covid pandemic. Sister was packing boxes 3 am with their husbands until they quit their jobs in the fall of 2020 to work full time at Happy Box.

Happy Box Inc. for 2022 due to rapid expansion Listed at number 53 on the 5000 Fast-Growing Private Companies list, Inc. Noted three-year revenue growth of over 6,000%.

While at Rutgers, Redmond worked closely with dt ogilvie, a professor of business strategy and urban entrepreneurship. The two stayed in touch, with Ogilvy helping Redmond when he was trying to get supplies from him China.

“Hannah was a great student, bright, inquisitive, hardworking and disciplined. She was eager to learn and had lots of questions,” said Ogilvy, now a professor. Rochester Institute of Technology. “He really engaged the material, and it was clear that he was dedicated to being a knowledgeable entrepreneur. Although he was an ideas man, he understood that just having an idea was not enough, that success required hard work.”

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Redmond’s goal is to expand Happy Box by focusing more on corporate gifting. She also wants to increase profitability – baked into the women-owned company’s business model is a commitment to give a portion of every sale to charity.

Over the summer, Redmond came full circle, working with current students through Rutgers Business School’s MBA Team Consulting Project.

“Our Rutgers team of consulting students knew our business inside and out. They came up with four strategic recommendations, ultimately, and we implemented them,” Redmond said. “We were blown away. They were very smart and this dedicated team of very smart professional people working in the business … was very helpful.”

SOURCE Rutgers Business School-Newark and Explore Management Brunswick

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