Tell us who you are and what you do.
I’m Kina McAllister, the founder and CEO of StemBox. I believe girls will save the world. To that end, StemBox sends girls authentic labware, sophisticated science, and fun science accessories to empower them to pursue STEM in a monthly subscription box.
What are some must-haves that you carry in your bag?
Since I’m rarely not working, you’ll find the essentials in my bag: my phone, a backup Mophie battery, my favorite G2 0.5mm pen, and my bullet journal. But since I think self-care is a huge part of being an entrepreneur, I pack my MAC lipstick in Retro, stick blush, hair accessories for touch ups on the go, Sephora charcoal oil blotting wipes, facial tissues for alleriges, Cottonelle wipes, and Excedrin since I’m prone to headaches. And obviously I can’t forget my wallet! I thought Lucky Brand had stopped making the kind of wallets I liked, but I was lucky to find this one online.
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
The proudest moment of my career happens every month when we package hundreds of science experiments for kids and ship them out the door. I always think it will start to feel normal, but every time I can come up with a new kit that can inspire girls and we get it out the door, I feel immensely proud of the work.
Do you have a favorite outfit or accessory that you wear when you want to feel confident or successful?
Yes! I love wearing my MAC Retro lipstick when I’m pitching or speaking at an event. It reminds me that being “girly” and a scientist are not mutually exclusive and drives home my point when people hear my message.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Make lots of mistakes and try new things! I majored in General Science with a focus in Biology and Chemistry which gave me some flexibility in my class selection, but for some reason I never ever thought about taking a business class. It would have been great to see what I would have learned. I guess I’m learning through trial and error now which isn’t bad either.
What’s one of your favorite techniques for getting things done?
To-do lists. I have a weekly to-do list I update on OneNote to get my tasks done on a weekly basis. I love Trello to get a hold on long term projects. For my daily perspective, I rely on my bullet journal to keep me up to date. I’m definitely a planner and organizer, so these are my top 3 methods.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Surround yourself with like-minded people and stay organized. I find that I thrive when I surround myself with other successful female business owners. They all have such unique stories and challenges. Celebrating their success makes me so happy and re-energizes me when I’m feeling down. As for staying organized, I can’t emphasize how important it is when you’re running a business. If you don’t know how to do it, take a class or ask someone to teach you their methods. It is key to making sure deadlines are met and keeping your company running smoothly.