Our mission at Paige & Paxton

Rachel & Kelley: To change the trajectory of an entire generation by making STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) easy to teach and easy to learn at the beginning of a child’s educational experience.

What inspired us to start our business…

 Rachel: The concept of Paige & Paxton came from Kelley’s childhood and my desire as a mother to ensure that Kelley and her sister, Jessica, had every advantage possible. My mother’s intuition told me that the way to accomplish this goal was to make sure that my girls were proficient and passionate when it came to math and science. I searched for resources, but at the time, they were, well, boring. So, I started using two puzzle piece characters that I created for a business venture to make math and science more interesting through storytelling. Fast forward 20 years and Kelley convinced me to bring back the puzzle piece characters to engage a whole new generation in STEM, just like I did for her and her sister.

 Kelley: Leaders in education were arriving at the same conclusion: if the United States is to maintain its competitiveness in the 21st-century global economy, then we must start our students in STEM early—even before kindergarten. I was going through some boxes in the basement when I discovered the two puzzle piece characters from my childhood. In 2012, my mother and I worked together to refresh the characters and concepts and build out the curriculum and content. My mom never imagined that her desire to do what was best for us would evolve into content and curriculum that is changing the face of elementary STEM education in terms of how we teach STEM and what we believe our youngest children are capable of.

Our best advice for working with family…

Rachel: When working with family, it’s critical that you create a meritocracy and that skill sets and experience of individual family members align with tasks and areas of responsibility. Once those roles are defined, defer to each other’s expertise and experience. This is particularly important for older/senior family members to adhere to when working with younger family members.

Kelley: And as with any kind of relationship, it is essential to be aligned in terms of the mission, vision, and goals of the organization, and that you are both willing to do what it takes to get there.

Why we need to attract more women in STEM fields…

Rachel: It’s not just about diversity for diversity’s sake. Our very standard of living rests on the shoulder of ensuring that we attract more girls into STEM. STEM is and will continue to be the major source of new industries and companies in the world that will create wealth and well-paying jobs. As women will represent more than half of our modern workforce, the only way for us to be competitive in the global economy is to increase the number of women with STEM skills and STEM degrees.

The importance of storytelling for our brand…

Kelley: At Paige & Paxton, it all started with a story. Storytelling was the medium that my mom leveraged to make science and math real and relevant to my sister and I. It is still the hallmark of our methodology. Paige & Paxton content, curricula, and events are all based on the characters and storylines from the Paige & Paxton book series. Storytelling is a powerful way to introduce STEM concepts and careers through a childhood lens while cultivating early STEM interest and awareness that will follow them throughout their educational career.

How have you encouraged each other to embrace ambition?

Kelley: I am following my mother’s example. My mother has been a role model for me throughout my life, and even more so now that we’ve been on this entrepreneurial journey together. The ambition that I possess and continue to embrace is because my mom has led the way for me. Her perseverance and will to win continue to inspire me and keep me focused through the ups and downs of our business. She has such a wealth of knowledge and business savvy and it has been such an honor and a privilege to have her as my co-founder and confidant.

The ambition that I possess and continue to embrace is because my mom has led the way for me.

Rachel: Kelley brings the energy and tenacity that are the life force behind Paige & Paxton. As a mother, Kelley’s entrepreneurial acumen and spirit are a source of inspiration and of pride. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how very fortunate we are to be on this professional journey together that has already made a difference in the lives of our youngest students while strengthening and complementing that special bond between mothers and daughters.