Hannah Serimian - Women of Influence
Innovative. Passionate. Driven.
Meet the #BoxyBoss! Hannah Serimian is the original Boxy Girl® and founder of the Boxy™ brand, which launched in 2015. When Serimian couldn’t find well-made, attractive makeup and jewelry organizers for herself and her daughters, she set out to create one that would marry quality and aesthetics into a highly functional product. At the foundation of the brand is the stackable, acrylic box organizer, which she and her father, Dan Chapman, envisioned and invented together. Its interlocking design is a “revolutionary way to stack a Box(y)!” Yet the Original 4-stack Boxy Girl® was only the beginning of a lifestyle brand that now includes the #BoxyBlog, Boxy Creative™, Boxy Kids™, Boxy Girl Radio™, and Boxy Beauty™ most notably.
Entrepreneurship is in Serimian’s blood. Her grandparents, Thomas and Avalynn Chapman, owned the Mar-Lynns Antiques store in Fresno, and her parents owned the Mar-Lynns Furniture and Furniture Republic stores throughout California. Growing up with working parents, she and her sisters were exposed to every aspect of the business. “Being an entrepreneur and innovator is part of the fabric of my identity. My family has modeled leadership, creativity, and grit! I am now able to apply these skills that I’ve learned into all aspects of the Boxy™ brand.”
Serimian’s third generation background coupled with her education was an excellent platform for her career as the #BoxyBoss, who majored in communications at Fresno State and has a background in marketing and sales. Thus, when she discovered her passion for creating products primarily for women, she had the foresight to start acquiring her intellectual property (website domains, social media handles, trademarks, design patents, copyrights, etcetera) right away, in 2010.
The birth of a lifestyle brand was the result. “I’m constantly thinking about solutions that can improve my daily routines and have many ideas about products that will compliment the consumers’ lifestyle.” The Boxy™ brand has grown to include a variety of products aimed at catering to those consumers. “Whether it’s amazing skincare for women, organization solutions for the home, or children’s accessories and apparel, at Boxy Girl® and the Boxy Girl® brands we are driven to create thoughtfully curated and innovative products for consumers.”
Studies are increasingly evidencing that female entrepreneurs are starting businesses at a rapidly increasing rate. What sets them apart from their male counterparts is their personal motivation for starting a business. “Women are driven by ideas that are important to them. I am one of these women, navigating the vast complexities that come from transitioning roles as a domestic CEO, aka housewife (by the way, I strongly dislike that term), to a Boxy™ CEO.”
Serimian nurtures her business with the same devotion she shows her children, Emily, 22, William, 13, and Chloe, 11. “Being a mother certainly instructs how I live my life, both personally and professionally,” and her children’s futures are a big part of that. “Where I’m at in my life right now and the experiences that I’ve had as a female founder has really informed my questioning about the social narratives that women and men are told from childhood into adulthood.” As a working mother, she values the opportunity to right those injustices. “We give young girls dolls and tell them to care for the doll, and we also inundate them with images and messaging about how they should look. In contrast, we give boys toys that encourage creativity, innovation, and messages about achievement and success. And so, I feel a tremendous responsibility to challenge these old, outdated narratives, and to model for my own children … ways that will instruct their path in life, not only as it relates to business, but, more importantly, as it relates to their character.”
The personal and professional balancing act is very real for working parents. “Being a mother and feeling the constant pull between career and family is so hard. Feelings of guilt and disappointment are excruciating at times.” But Serimian also believes, “When we ask women how they balance work and family, it is a question that serves to undermine women today … It implies that women are expected to not only succeed in their careers, but to also be the primary ‘domestic executive.’ When in truth, our husbands and partners benefit by equally sharing in the care of their families.”
Family experience is something Serimian strives to cultivate, as she truly relies on the love of her family—she and her husband, Marlon, have been married for 15 years. “I would like to travel more and explore our beautiful world with my husband and children.” Surrounding herself with the mystery and beauty of nature is a source of renewal for her.
Amid the chaos of everyday life, it’s important to take time for oneself—enter the Boxy Girl™ X Julia Cantu Skincare line, which launched this past November and speaks to Serimian’s love of skincare and makeup. What’s one of her favorite ways to unwind? “Taking a hot bath with our Boxy Girl Beauty™, AWAKE™ Boxy™ Bath Soak!” Not to mention sleep, yoga, and “my AH-mazing and totally life changing Boxy Girl Beauty™ skincare line!”
“Women today face many challenges in business. As the owner of Boxy Girl® and the related Boxy™ brands, I have gone from being a small startup and have grown to a position in which my company is ready to scale to the next level. Now that I am entering into this new phase of my career with Boxy™, it truly has been shocking [and] surprising … in a disappointing way how most large corporations, that create products for women, are male dominated.” In an effort to raise awareness and increase discussion about the subjects that Serimian feels passionately about, the Boxy Radio™ podcast series was launched on iTunes. “I get the chance to have intimate, honest and sometimes-tough conversations about what it means to be a woman, a mom, a business owner and how we define ourselves in our lives. I have found that in discussions with women … we are all in some way wrestling with our roles.”
Rather than focusing on one title or role, the sum of many creates what Serimian calls “a profoundly beautiful life,” for which she is deeply grateful. “I think as a mother, I’m expected to say that being a mother is my greatest accomplishment, but this would serve to understate the complex and profound experiences we each have in our lives that unite us … Boxy Girl® was not about power, personal gain, or notoriety, it was a deep personal calling. Boxy Girl® is my passion and the pathway to connect to something greater than myself.”