Queensland mum’s clever lunch box idea gains 35k in funding
GOLD Coast mum Kirby Barr is on a journey to create the perfect lunch box.
She recently launched the first product from Boxi Australia - a 1.37-litre lunch box with a dividable food tray, leak-proof lid and an internal ice brick that fits in the bottom to keep food cool and fresh.
Ms Barr struck success after first conceiving of the idea Two-and-a-half years ago.
She raised $35,000 this year from a crowd-funding campaign to cater for the manufacturing of 500 of her lunch boxes, which she expects to be ready to ship by January.
"The lunch box came about because my eldest son has food allergies," she said.
"I had to take food everywhere we went. I was losing lids to the little containers I brought with me. I found a cool bento-style lunch box but I could not keep it cold and it was not big enough for a whole day's worth of food."
Ms Barr decided to approach Designworks - the firm responsible for the Queen's Baton for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games - with her idea.
"I wanted a designer that had a good reputation. The Queen's Baton set that in stone."
Ms Barr said she recently took delivery of the final prototype after a lengthy tooling phase.
She approached friends and family for advice and feedback on the lunch box as well as using the product herself.
"Because I was using it, I knew what I did and did not need. It had to be practical and functional."
She said the success of the crowd-funding campaign had validated her idea.
"We started this crowd-funding campaign as a way to help contribute to the initial capital investment, but to see just how many people have pre-ordered our lunch box really confirms the need for this product," Ms Barr said.
"Customers have been getting in contact with us to say 'I need this lunch box' and 'I can't wait to get mine', it's been really great to hear so many people say they're as excited as we are."
Ms Barr said some orders have come from as far afield as Singapore, the US, UK and Canada.
"There's a lot to do now in terms of tooling, sampling, quality assurance and manufacturing, but we're confident we'll deliver on time," she said.
In the future she wants to add to the Boxi Australia range with products that complement the lunch box.