1- Hello Donald, can you please tell us a bit about you?
By trade I am an engineer with about 10 years of experience in the industry. That certainly doesn’t define me. I am a man of many passions: Family, Faith, Food, Sports, Travel. Why limit yourself?
2- What are your focus areas and why?
Sustainability- In a time where people are becoming more and more socially conscious, how we manage the toy life cycle seems to
continue to follow the status quo. The US alone accounts for 40% of global toy waste, while at the same time we have 14 million children living in poverty who can only hope for a toy.
Accessibility- we live in a time where people, although separated by great distances, can come together online and create a community. Many people don’t live close to their own families or other families with younger children. In an increasingly digital age, many services like donations still have to be physically dropped off.
Convenience- Features like donation pickup and instant shipping labels, printable from any home PC, minimize the effort required to participate. Everyone loves an easy button, but really…we’re all busy!
3- How do you describe “The Village Toy Share” in few words?
We like to think of ourselves as a one stop shop offering eco friendly, socially conscience, and cost saving solutions for older toys.
We provide an online platform enabling caregivers to join a toy sharing network with options to trade, borrow, lend out, and donate toys.
4- Where do you think your work is making an impact?
Challenging caregivers to not only rethink, but to break the current toy management cycle of: 1) Buy a toy 2) Child plays with it for a few weeks 3) They get bored 4) Toy is placed in toy closet and eventually discarded.
The Village Toy Share has been designed to be able to offer a socially conscience alternative at any point of a toys life. At about $400 per child spent, per year for toys, I think it’s safe to say families might also appreciate saving money!
5- How did you build up an entrepreneurial spirit, do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
I wish I could say I am a born entrepreneur, but that is far from the truth. Fatherhood in particular birthed this vision.
A great thing about humans is we have the ability to change and grow. As an engineer, I am more a born problem solver. I’ve had the opportunity to work for both small companies and Fortune 500 corps. Those experiences have helped me see business from a wide range of perspectives. And the internet is also a great guide.
6- Tell us about your style?
I like to think I’m laid back, but a brain scan would probably state otherwise! I am always thinking about how to grow and be better. I feel you have to be resourceful to give yourself the best chance to succeed, whether self-learning or leaning on others(which I have absolutely no problem doing).
7- Do you think your mindset has anything to do with success?
Absolutely! One of my favorite quotes is: “if you’re not growing, you’re dying”. It’s honestly a continuous process, one milestone to the next. There’s always room for growth. One thing all great achievers seem to share is the fact that they never rest on their accomplishments. I hear rest is important….I’m still a work in progress.
8- If you could turn the time, what would you love to do in regards to change The Village Toy Share?
I would say building a team from very early on in the process. Acceleration happens when people of different talents collaborate. But as they say, better late than never.
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
Life in general. We only get to do this once. But the opportunity to nurture something that can have a positive impact on the next generation? Yeah, that’s pretty exciting!
10- The last word or final thoughts?
Of course, I’d love for everyone to visit our site, thevillagetoy.com, and become a part of the sharing community. More importantly though, go after your dream. If you don’t succeed, get up and try again. Failure is quite literally the greatest teacher.