Girlboss: Rose Espiritu
Favorite pair of jeans: Levi’s. “They fit me so well; I’m wearing Levi’s right now.”
Favorite lippie: M.A.C. Lipstick in ‘Ruby Woo’
Advice: “Let ideas sit with you. You need to have the right business model and the passion. Do as much research as you can. Nothing is easy. You have to make sure you’re ready for the commitment. You really do have to love what you’re doing, because if not, you’re going to quit.”
She saw a need, and she fulfilled it. Rose Espiritu is the founder of Culture Chest, a monthly subscription service that provides carefully curated diverse books for children, ages 4-9. Driven by her passion for diversity, the 25 year-old entrepreneur is breaking down barriers in the subscription service space.
Espiritu was inspired to create Culture Chest about two years ago while she was filming a documentary about parenting children of a different race. Many of the parents she encountered found the lack of cultural resources for kids to be a particular challenge.
Espiritu, who is Nigerian and Filipino, loves sharing stories about culture. She cites American Girl as another source of inspiration. “I love seeing the excitement around American Girl. I like the fact that the stories are teaching history and cultural pride,” she says. Espiritu did not have access to such books growing up in the Philippines. There was a shortage of stories with characters that looked like her. She explains,
What I’m doing is giving the next generation the resources I did not have.
Culture Chest aims to cultivate parent-child relationships through learning. “A big part of our market is the parents. I want them to learn too,” says Espiritu.
The collection of books is sourced from independent authors and small publishing companies, a process that Espiritu performs herself. In addition to consulting children’s book reviews and testimonials, she searches for books written by diverse, emerging authors who have truly personal connections to their works. Culture Chest provides a platform for new authors to reach a larger audience. She says,
I want to support small businesses and people of color.
“I want to customize the service as our audience base grows,” says Espiritu, who strives to stay abreast of market wants and needs. Eventually, she plans to include children’s books for a larger age range and expand the service to include toys.