BL_Blog_Headerphoto_barbaraHow did Barbara start her small business? How did help along the way? Barbara Lee, owner of Crayon Rocks, a soy wax crayon manufacturer shares her story.

Tell us about your business. How did you start? 

I started my business in my garage in La Crescenta, CA. Only two years ago, we moved to rural Kentucky without a glitch in our program! My business was an idea that had been on my mind for some time. I had students who wouldn’t color with crayons, would fist grip markers, and couldn’t write because their finger muscles were just too weak to correctly hold a pencil. I “found” a rock and noticed that the only way they could pick it up was with a tripod grip! Exactly the grip I needed them to strengthen. If I could make crayons, they could color AND improve their handwriting at the same time. I did lots of research, made up molds, mixed up wax formulas and made my first prototype crayons.

What small business challenges did you face?

Once I shared these little gems with kids and parents, I had lots of orders. We threw together a website and suddenly I needed to ship crayons across the country and soon after that across the globe. I had a lot of help from the SBA (Small Business Administration), friends and other small businesses that were helpful with their advice. That is how I discovered They held my hand as I tried to figure out how to print postage on a Elton Zebra 4 x 6 printer and then explained how to handle international shipping.


How did you find out about 

I had used the US Postal Services website but it was cumbersome and slow for the number of packages I was beginning to ship. I looked for other solutions and found on the internet. The people were friendly, the software simple to use, the cost very affordable for a small business.

What did use prior to using online postage? What made you choose 

In the very beginning, I took packages to the Post Office and stood in line. That didn’t work for long. Then I tried using the Postal Services website. That also didn’t last too long either. I chose because of its ease of use. It was smooth and effortless. And if I had a problem, they were only a short phone call away.

Did you have any challenges with, when you first started to use the software? 

With software, (and hardware) there are ALWAYS challenges but I got help, sometimes the technical support person would be on the phone patiently (very patiently) for a hour. But with help comes learning. I got past the initial install and use of printer issues and stopped having to call. Probably most people won’t even experience this but some of us have two left feet when it comes to computer programs.

What types of packages do you mail out with BL_Blog_Logo

Crayon Rocks ships almost all of its single retail orders using First Class and Priority Mail. We ship ALL our international orders (unless its a pallet going ocean freight) by USPS Large Flat Rate.

Besides printing postage, are there other features that have helped your business? 

I order labels and USPS free shipping supplies through That’s a huge help.

What features of do you use the most and how have these helped streamline your shipping process? 

We use the basic shipping program the most. Our new website site however, will have the program fully integrated so that there is no retyping of address into fields. Even now, some of our orders ship directly out of our QuickBooks Accounting program which is integrated with Being able to put the actual shipping cost and the tracking number right on the invoice is a huge help to customers. They LIKE knowing (and I LIKE having them know) that they got charged what I got charged for shipping and no more!

What’s next for Crayon Rocks? 

We hope to add some more coloring tools like rubber plates, additional crayon colors and coloring books that are specially designed to bring out the storytelling/creative imagination of children, to our merchandise.

To learn more about Crayon Rocks, visit the website at



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