Mindful Kits looks to partner with schools, teachers
SPRUCE PINE – Katherine McCormick took a chance to do something she loves for a living and she isn’t looking back.
McCormick lives in Mitchell County and owns Mindful Kits, which is at 462 Oak Ave. in the same building as Allgood Emporium.
The company specializes in the creation of complete, functional and tested lab kits for different curricula. The business also carries other educational materials and supplies.
McCormick moved from Florida to North Carolina in 2007. She spent seven years in Banner Elk before opening her business in downtown Spruce Pine in 2014. She took over the education and lab kit side of a local business called Lighthouse Educational Products, which specializes in rocks, minerals and natural crafts. The company also created lab kits and sold educational supplies.
The owner of Lighthouse met McCormick and gave her some educational supplies to help her nine children, all of which are homeschooled.
“I was going through the warehouse and picking up all kinds of stuff,” McCormick said. “I was gathering stuff and I asked the owner why she was donating it. She said she was donating because she was phasing out that part of her business. They wanted to focus on rocks and minerals.”
McCormick was impressed when she found a chemistry lab kit in the Lighthouse warehouse. Her son needed the kit for his homeschool science curriculum, she said. She took the kit home and was inspired to begin making similar products as a business.
McCormick said most of her business is done online and many of her clients are homeschool teachers.
“I don’t really hold in-store hours,” she said. “I build kits in the store and when I’m in there, people are welcome to shop. I haven’t really mastered how to be there all day, homeschool my children and fulfill online orders.”
McCormick said she can always fulfill custom orders and can come in outside of her normal hours by appointment.
Mindful Kits specializes in science and math kits but also has ample stock of office and school supplies.
McCormick said becoming a supply partner for area teachers and schools is one of her goals.
“I probably carry about 90 percent of what the teachers want when they make their back-to-school supply lists,” McCormick said. “I’ve thought about asking teachers if they want me to put together a teacher-approved supply kit.”
McCormick said her job allows her to do something about which she is passionate.
“I’m a lifelong homeschooler,” she said. “I’m familiar with the curricula and I have access to the materials. It’s kind of who I am.”
McCormick added she loves living and working in Spruce Pine, even though she was reluctant to leave Florida. She said another one of her goals is to get more involved with Spruce Pine Main Street and become more invested in the community.
“I came in kicking and screaming but I love it,” McCormick said. “What I love is I can walk to just about everything. It’s so accessible. I wouldn’t go back now. I love being where I am because there’s such a sense of community.”