Editor’s Note: Matthew Chicoine interviewed Elissa Tiprigan, founder of Catholic Family Crate via phone call on September 4th, 2023. Some of the questions have been rearranged and edited to provide the best reader experience without losing any integrity of the answers given.
Describe your faith journey:
I’m a cradle Catholic and attended Catholic schools through middle school. We went to youth groups and went to a few Steubenville conferences. My husband and I got married and moved to Denver. We were awakened to the richness of the Catholic Church through the witness of large Catholic families. In my adult life, I learned more about our faith. It’s not just a Sunday experience but it’s a joyful and beautiful and a rich history.
When was Catholic Family Crate created?
We started it in 2018.
What led up to the creation of Catholic Family Crate?
My oldest was two at the time and I was learning more about the liturgical feasts (I knew about Advent and Lent). I felt overwhelmed with wanting to share all these rich Catholic traditions. My sister experienced a Catholic community in Steubenville and I was talking with her on the phone about how to learn about the faith. I started to research saint feast days. My sister suggested a monthly Catholic subscription box. For about a year or two I was hoping someone else would develop a company to create a subscription box for Catholics.
Enter in Catholic Family Crate. I formulated a team: my parish priest Fr. Luis Granados, DCJM- our theologian, a few writer friends, and a couple friends who were Catholic Montessori teachers.
Eventually we hired our own artist to help us create more of our own content. At the end of every box we provided a survey. The most popular items our customers selected were the items we created.
I was on a date with my husband at Barnes & Noble and remember telling him how we couldn’t find high quality Catholic products that were affordable. I wanted my kids to have good quality Catholic resources.
After the fourth box, it became apparent we needed to switch to include all our own products.
In 2019 we adjusted our mission statement: to provide high quality and affordable Catholic resources.
Do you have a specialized illustrator for your products?
Yes, since 2019 we hired an illustrator, new writer, and a new theologian.
I didn’t have a desire to be a business owner when I began this journey. It started as a need to fill for my family. I said “yes” to the little “yeses” God sent my way.
How did find your illustator?
We found her through Instagram. We also have had various graphic designers helped with colors and backgrounds when it comes to mass production.
What’s your favorite product you have created for Catholic Family Crate?
Our Pray by Sticker Book. It’s 10 different Catholic images. You match up the stickers with the numbers on the page. At the end you have a beautiful Catholic mosaic. It is an opportunity to keep your child busy with screen-free activity.
I’ve played with your Catholic Playing Cards and enjoyed the artwork and the saints you picked. Describe the symbolism and intention beyond the cards.
We planned to have the Jesus as the King, Mary as the Queen, Joseph as the Jack, and the Holy Spirit as the Ace. We did plan to have a diversity of older and modern saints along with having an equal number of male and female saints.
I could see doing other card themes such as boy and girl saint decks or a Marian deck.
What other products do you have in the works?
A Bingo deck for Catholic-themed party, an oversized activity sheet for the Doctors of the Church, and A Card Ring-Doctors of the Church Edition.
Why should you be Catholic?
Because of the Eucharist.
Elissa Tiprigan is the founder of Catholic Family Crate. Catholic Family Crate makes Catholic educational resources, games, art, stickers, subscription boxes, and more to make growing in the Catholic faith easy and fun. They are on a mission to revolutionize Catholic resources and make them affordable, accessible, high-quality, and engaging. In her mind, she’s an accidental entrepreneur, but she’s grateful for God’s wild plan for her life. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and four children.