How Happy Box, customized care package company, jumped to No. 53 on Inc. 5000

Redmond, Rutgers Part-Time MBA grad, finally put her ideas — and lessons learned — into practice

Hannah Redmond, a graduate of the Rutgers Part-Time MBA Program, (right) co-founded Happy Box with her sister Ariel Redmond. What can the Rutgers Part-Time MBA help you to achieve? Application deadline is Dec. 15 to begin classes in Spring, 2023.

When she was a graduate student at Rutgers Business School a decade ago, Hannah Redmond placed third in the annual business plan competition.

Her pitch was for Taskmapper, an app that would lay out the most efficient route for running errands, along with the hours the stores were open.

It was a great learning experience. She learned how to create a business plan — and present it.

Soon after, she learned a bigger business lesson. The entrepreneur who hesitates …

Google, she said, didn’t have these features at the time, but soon started developing a similar technology, prompting Redmond to ditch the idea.

“I’m never going to compete with Google,” she said then. “I’m smart enough to know that.”

Years later, she was smart enough to take advantage of that lesson learned.

In 2015, she and her sister, Ariel Redmond, started a customized care package company, Happy Box, based on an idea that they had been discussing for years.

Part of the impetus was Ariel Redmond saying she was sick of seeing her sister’s ideas brought to life by other people.

Together, the sisters co-founded Happy Box, an online platform where users can create customized care packages.

It has quickly become a huge success.

Happy Box recently was ranked No. 53 on Inc.’s 2022 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., citing a three-year growth rate of more than 6,000%.


The idea for Happy Box started when Redmond was an undergrad at the University of Maryland.

She wanted to send a care package to Ariel, who had been dumped. To make it fun, she wanted to include unusual items, such as a voodoo doll of the ex.

Rutgers Part-Time MBA

To learn more about the Rutgers Part-Time MBA program, click here. Registration for classes that begin in Spring 2023 ends Dec. 15. An online information session will be held at noon Dec. 7.

Redmond discovered there was no way to customize a care package online.

She went to seven stores to buy what she wanted, and then headed to the post office, a place she hadn’t visited in five years.

“A horrible experience,” Redmond said. “I thought it was crazy that you can literally customize the details of a car online, and you can’t build and send a custom care package.”

Redmond and her sister talked about the idea of customized care packages over the years. Then, in 2015, Redmond was working in marketing strategy at an ad agency when she and her sister decided to launch the concept.

The sisters started with Etsy to test the idea 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-19 pandemic.

The sisters were packing boxes until 3 a.m. with their husbands until finally quitting their jobs in fall 2020 to work on Happy Box full time.


Hannah Redmond, now 36, said she has been dreaming up ideas ever since she was a child — and that she always knew she would be an entrepreneur.

While working full time in marketing, Redmond decided to get an MBA to equip herself with a broad knowledge of accounting, finance and supply chain — things she would need to understand as a business owner.

Redmond, who completed the Rutgers Part-Time MBA program in 2012 with a concentration in marketing, said she credits the lesson learned there for much of the company’s success.

“I use the program all the time,” she said. “I refer to it, and the classes and moments in classes and quotes professors said. It happened again and again.”

While at Rutgers, Redmond worked closely with D.T. Ogilvie, a professor of business strategy and urban entrepreneurship. The two have stayed in touch, with Ogilvie helping Redmond when she was trying to source supplies from China.

Ogilvie, now a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, said she remembers Redmond well.

“Hannah was a great student, bright, inquisitive, hardworking and disciplined. She was eager to learn and had great questions,” she said. “She really engaged the material, and it was clear that she was dedicated to becoming a knowledgeable entrepreneur. Although she was an idea person, she realized that just having an idea was not enough, that success required hard work.”

And that you need to jump on your own idea before someone else does.