The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Rachael Classi is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Rachael Classi and I am the Founder and CEO of Tiny Earth Toys. I founded Tiny Earth Toys in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. I had recently stepped away from my role as VP of Strategy & Marketing at Teamworks in Durham, NC to care for my two daughters who no longer had care during the outbreak. While spending additional time observing our own family's patterns of consumption, I had an aha moment. We are teaching our children at a very young age how to be consumers through their toys. I founded Tiny Earth with the mission to build a society of environmental stewards starting with our youngest learners which is accomplished through a subscription toy kit that is returned and reused.
What did it take / how did you get started?
I started by first seeking to understand if other parents were feeling the pain of clutter, confusion about what toys were educational and how to systematically ensure their toys did not end up in landfills. Through primary research I found that families with children under 4 are most concerned with ensuring toys are educational, are sustainable and have low-environmental impact and reduce household clutter. I started with a concept and a waitlist form on a website that I built and in less than a week had over a hundred families on the waitlist. It was such validation that families are ready to make purchasing changes to impact the environment and model their environmental values. We recently launched our first kit, The Cascade Kit, that is enjoyed for 4 months before being exchanged for the next age-based educational kit and I am happy to say we only have 3 left!
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
The future feels so exciting and bright for Tiny Earth Toys. We are launching a variety of age-based kits in Q1 of 2021 to meet the demand of our waitlist. We are focused on working with education and sustainability experts to curate the types of wooden toys that will be included and looking at ways to innovate our shipping practices to reduce our footprint.
What drives / motivates you?
I am so motivated by my two daughters and husband. I want my girls to inherit a world that is healthy and vibrant for their children and beyond. The belief that Tiny Earth Toys can teach principles of low-consumption, reuse and sharing drives me to scale our business and disrupt the plastic toy industry.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Start small. I started Tiny Earth Toys with a website, waitlist and a belief that how we purchase, play with and pass on toys could change the world. That first waitlist proved early demand which helped me make my next step; launching our first kit. In addition, take some time to consider the impact you want your business to make and regularly remind yourself of your values.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
The hardest part of the hustle has been juggling partial childcare with my daughters, managing inventory out of my home and not getting too far ahead of myself!
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
I love all of Clayton Christenson's work but am a huge fan of his book, How Will You Measure Your Life? Better than any business book or podcast, this book spoke to my desire to live my values through my work and think about what I hope to accomplish holistically as a human. It serves as a guide to how I want to live my life as a mother, wife, entrepreneur and friend.
Side or full-time hustle?
List the founders
Rachael Classi CEO & Founder
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
3 part-time advisors
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
Just launched 2 months ago and at just under 1k MRR
Preparing to scale to 5k MRR in the next quarter
Any call to action?