Kiwi Crate’s Sandra Oh Lin

on Starting a Small Business

Kiwi Crate offers a subscription service that creates and delivers hands-on activities for kids. Every month, kids receive a curated crate filled with materials for art projects, science experiments, or imaginative play activities, with monthly themes like colors, space, and gardening.”

Sandra Oh Lin’s Tips:

Work on something you’re passionate about. It’s a lot of work to launch a start-up and build a business. It all becomes worth it when you have passion to address a particular need or solve a specific problem.

Be customer-focused. Many projects we thought might work well were scrapped or improved drastically thanks to feedback from our littlest customers as well as our grownup ones. Our customers are also our biggest marketers and proponents. With social media—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs—amplifying their messages, we’re grateful that the testimony of our customers helps fuel our growth.

Create an incredible and passionate team who are committed to the product. As part of our extended team and design process, we’ve added creative parents who dream up the projects, valued experts who review them, and a community of kid testers who keep us on our toes and ensure the projects are fun and engaging.

I wish I had known…

When we were starting out, I was introduced to a lot of people. Admittedly, I was a little afraid that some of these meetings would be a distraction, given all that we had to do to build the business. As it turned out, we made some of our most important connections through these “blind dates.” We got connected to a fantastic product design team and one of our major investors. I would encourage new entrepreneurs keep an open mind and do those meetings because you never know where they can lead!