Mother’s Day has a bit of a nostalgia that arrives with it. Many of us are brought back to times when our moms made our lives better. Whether it was picking us up when we fell, packing us snacks for an adventure outside, or teaching us the hard lessons that we needed to learn in life, mothers have a lasting impact on who we become. To celebrate these heroines, we’re taking a closer look at three moms (Shiva, Bernette, and Carla) who took on the risk of entrepreneurship in order to make the lives of their kids better.
Shiva Kashalkar, Founder and CEO of Green Piñata Toys, was a mom on a mission. Her young daughter Aanika was a child who, like most others, loved playing with new toys. But once the wrapping was torn open and the toy inside delightfully enjoyed for a handful of days, Aanika would grow tired of it and look for something new to revel in. After this cycle of abandonment continued time and time again, Shiva realized she had a big problem on her hands.
And BIG is no overstatement. The toy industry is massive. In fact, it hit $27 billion in sales in 2017 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Plastic toys, which can be an obvious fit for kiddos with their vibrant colors and inexpensive price tags, actually make up 90% of the market. But what happens when those plastics hit their quick expiration date in terms of childhood boredom? They end up in a landfill. So while the toy market is mountainous, it turns out that the trash piles it creates are too.
Enter Green Piñata Toys.
Shiva launched the company in April 2015 as a response to her difficulty in finding eco-friendly, educational toys that her daughter Aanika wouldn’t grow bored of. Between their limited space to store toys and the environmental impact they had, buying them didn’t make much sense. What if she could simply rent them and, when her daughter was done, could return them for another child to enjoy? After much research, Shiva realized that the ‘Netflix’ for toys didn’t exist. Armed with determination, grit, and an entrepreneurial spirit, this founder was going to change the industry as we knew it.
And change it she did. At Green Piñata, Shiva and the team have built a scalable operation that delivers the highest quality toys to customers across the U.S. every month. They bring together predictive analytics and age-specific toy curriculum to help provide valuable insights, freedom of choice, and educated guidance on age-appropriate toys to encourage optimal learning. And, once the sparkle of the newly opened toy has faded, simply send it back and wait for the new one to be delivered. You might even get a brand new smile from your child, which is one great gift to be given, especially on mother’s day.
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