Ask Chieh Huang to describe his story in five words, and he comes up with “social change through toilet paper.” Boxed, his first venture into retail, brings the best of the warehouse club—the supersizes and savings—without the hassles of a shopping trip or cost of membership. Chieh certainly knows the perils and potential of club shopping, making weekly trips with his parents as a child. A move to the city meant he no longer had that luxury. And when his first child was born, he no longer had the time. Like any great entrepreneur, he realized his challenges were likely not only his own. Chieh co-founded Boxed with a team of three others, and in the first 90 days of the company’s launch, the growth was shocking; Boxed was fulfilling orders nationwide across the 48 contiguous states, in both urban and non-urban environments. Growing up, Chieh saw his immigrant parents struggle with low-paying jobs, and is now out to create a different experience for his employees. Among the benefits for his warehouse workers are paid college tuition for their children and reimbursement for their weddings. The company’s key to success is in the people, he believes. “We are all from different walks of life, but we have a lot of fun while working hard.” Despite having built a company that has raised over $150 million in funding, Chieh continues to be willing to learn, and says that “not a day goes by” that he doesn’t ask for advice from someone in his network. And it seems to be paying off—one variety pack of cereal at a time.
A note about coronavirus (COVID-19)
We know the COVID-19 situation is evolving quickly. We’re as concerned as you are about keeping our staff and our community safe, and we’re tracking the situation closely with the guidance of public health experts. All RISE Up materials continue to be available online so you can use the RISE Up program remotely with your students. View our RISE Up Online Delivery – FAQs here and access NRF’s COVID-19 resources here.