Entrepreneur Alison Shores and her two co-founders inspire young girls “to be and do anything” through a monthly subscription box

Alison Shores, operations ace and inspiration curator
Alison Shores, operations ace and inspiration curator

With Rosie the Riveter as their icon, “girl power!” is the inspiration for Michigan native, Alison Shores, and her two co-founders, Megan Goodman and Kristen Snyder.

The idea began in 2015 when Goodman’s three-year-old daughter asked her to play the role of prince and save her. Goodman assured her daughter she had a big brain and could save herself.

Girls Can! mascot, Rosie
Girls Can! mascot, Rosie

Shores found similar gender stereotypes at a day camp she worked for. When she asked the girls what professions they wanted to pursue, nearly all of them said something with hair and make-up.

“There’s nothing wrong with doing hair and make-up,” explained Shores, “but I want girls to realize they can do something outside of that.”

Goodman and Shores, along with Goodman’s sister, Kristen Snyder, put their “big brains” together and created Girls Can! Crate, a monthly subscription box that features one amazing woman every month, ranging from Marie Van Brittan Brown, the inventor of the home security system, to Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. 

Snyder is the writer, Goodman creates the graphics, and Shores works behind-the-scenes doing long-term planning and finances. “I like to call myself the Spontaneous-Motivator-Firefighter! Whatever needs to get done, I do.”

What’s inside a subscription crate

Each box comes with a 28-page story and activity book featuring an important woman from history, 2-3 hands-on science and art activities, and a collectible button (to attach to the tote that comes with the first order).

A mini-mailer is available for busier families, and they recently launched a digital subscription that has proven popular with homeschoolers and club leaders.

The monthly subscription box remains the most popular option. They have created 38 original boxes and continue to create more. Shores’ favorite is the Marie Curie box because it can be turned into an x-ray machine. 

“We work really hard to make sure it’s a diverse experience for everybody. We want every little girl to open up a box and see someone who looks like them, thinks like them or feels like them.” 

Coming back to Michigan 

Even though the company is based in Tucson, Arizona, Shores’ roots are in Sault St. Marie. After growing up in the UP and attending college in Holland, she moved to Arizona with her husband and began raising a family. 

In 2018, her husband was offered a job at the University of Michigan. The family moved to Ann Arbor. This gave Shores the opportunity to spend more time with her sick mother before she passed away this past November.

Empowering everyone

As their business grows, so do their dreams. They envision a box for older kids that focuses on social justice for all. They also dream of running a mentor program for women who need help acquiring basic job skills and a safe environment to live.

When asked what advice she would give to budding entrepreneurs, Shores said, “Don’t think too much about it. Get the basics down, submit your paperwork, and then hit the ground running. We started the company with pennies, and here we are today. Anybody can do that. You just gotta believe in yourself.”

Visit girlscancrate.com for more information.

Why Alison Loves Ann Arbor

What do you love most about Ann Arbor?
It’s beautiful in the summer, the people here are awesome thinkers, and there’s a real sense of community.  

Favorite event
Summer Festival 

Favorite place
County Farm Park for their community gardens

Favorite activities
Attending U of M sporting events, ice skating at Yost, swimming at Buhr Park

Daughters’ favorite place
2/42 play area

Bucket list
See a show at the Michigan and State theaters