Meet a Houston Mom | Meet Sandy Polu of Plum Spark
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I’m a native Houstonion, but I moved away after high school. I returned 5 years ago to raise a family and be near my parents.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Son, 4 years old
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I’ve gone scuba diving all over the world and even did some night diving in Thailand. That was freaky but also incredible!
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
When it’s not roasting outside, we like to take walks in Brazos Bend State Park, the Arboretum and Centennial Gardens. The pizza at Cane Rosso is our favorite and the closest we’ve come to Italian pizza outside of Italy. And on weekends, we love to explore different coffee shops around town. My son has a real sweet tooth, so he’s always game for eating some pastries on our coffee shop field trips.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world?
Plum Spark is a science-based subscription box for kids ages 4-9 years. I started it as a fun, interesting way to learn with my son. He’s super curious and always wants to know how things work. So I began creating activities to explore different topics he was interested in—chocolate, rockets, planes, mummies and more!
After developing several of these kits for my son, I decided to launch Plum Spark as a business. (My son loves prunes aka dried plums, hence the name!) Each themed Plum Spark box contains a mix of experiments, crafts and projects designed to delight and inspire kids. It’s very much out-of-the-box creative learning and not the kinds of things you’d find in schools. Because the activities are engaging, kids don’t even realize they’re learning so much! And with a guide and materials included, kids and parents have everything they need to have a great time learning together.
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Houston moms and their kids have been very helpful in testing each activity in each box and giving me feedback. They’ve invited me into their homes, and it’s been fun to get to know them and their kids.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
Regular exercise and good sleep. Then I can handle whatever the day throws at me. And definitely a good support network of family or friends who can watch your kid when you have an evening meeting or need to get something urgent done. Time management is also key. Whenever I have little chunks of time, whether it’s 5 minutes or 15 minutes, I make the most of it. If I’m waiting at the grocery store checkout, I use that time to engage with other moms on Instagram, think about the next blog post or about how to optimize the Plum Spark website. My brain is constantly going, so in the evening, I have to be very deliberate about winding it down. Sometimes that’s easier said than done!
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Raising kids is harder than anything you could have imagined. Get ready for the ride! And stockpile red wine—you’ll need lots of that too:)
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Learning to take 5 minute showers and to do my makeup in 4 minutes flat (that’s if I even bother to do makeup).