Mom to Mom-Angela co-creator of Kidzxplor
Background of Kidzxplor
Angela Sandler is the Co-Founder/CEO of Kidzxplor– a revolutionary app and web-based membership that connects families with local activity & experience partners. Kidzxplor strives to help kids find their passion by making parents lives a bit easier. Kidzxplor is a subscription-based B2B and B2C partnership that works in tandem with local business owners to manage their activity open inventory and redistribute it via Kidzxplor where consumers can attend a variety of activities, all on one platform. Kidzxplor takes the stress out of the search and discovery of activities- often a daunting task for parents. By utilizing technology, Kidzxplor is a one-stop-shop for all activities kid. Parents can purchase Passes through Kidzxplor on a monthly basis or via a la carte packages. There is never any commitment and flexibility is key.
Angela is a business manager with over 19 years of proven results in brand management, new product development, strategic planning, marketing, and sales. An intuitive marketer with a keen sense of timing to identify and capture emerging market opportunities. Angela started her career at May Department Stores and has worked for a variety of companies launching new brands, and developing existing brands such as Victorinox Swiss Army, Timberland, Carhartt, Jonathan Adler and BMW. Angela was recognized as one of 200 female founder startups selected by Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS, to participate in the 2017 Project Entrepreneur intensive.
Angela was born and raised in St. Louis and attended the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). She is married to her husband, Andy, and lives in Creve Coeur with her daughter Joie, and a son, Grant. In her free time, Angela enjoys spending time with family and friends, running and doing yoga, and traveling wherever and whenever she can.
Kidzxplor currently operates in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas.
Angela’s goals for Kidzxplor in the balance of 2018 is to continue to grow the events side of the business, network with more businesses, and continue to connect parents to opportunities in their community.
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mrssandler & http://www.twitter.com/kidzxplor
Why/ When was the Kidzxplor app created? The Kkidzxplor concept was created in September of 2015 on Miami Beach. Attending a mutual friends 40th birthday celebration, after a walk on the beach complaining about how much we were spending on kids activities and the commitment involved- we felt there had to be a better way. We were all ClassPass users and felt that the same concept could easily be adapted to kids activities and that the concept made even more sense since kids are finicky and often must try many things before they find their passion. After the trip- we started the process of developing the technology and then launched to the public in August of 2016.
What is your favorite thing about being a woman-owned business? The comradery. I love working with different women business owners as we all really support each other. We all face struggles in life that men don’t experience- the balancing of both the business, our families & children, running a household, and also trying to keep ourselves happy and healthy. There is a lot of struggles in finding a balance or happy medium and women understand this. We all can commiserate and help each other find solutions and support together.
How has your business evolved? Our business has evolved very much from the beginning. From the start, we have always been passionate about offering families experiences- and those experiences have now grown to include events, birthday parties, and finding unique experiences you cannot find anywhere else- much more than just taking an art or music class. Initially, we were 100% focused on the child, and now we are moving towards being more focused on the whole family- mom, dad, and kids. We also, in the beginning, were very focused on the consumer, but as we have developed- we find that the businesses are also a big part of the equation. ALL businesses are looking to bring families in their doors – we have found that these businesses include retail, restaurants, services, etc.- much more than just the original kid’s activity providers we started with.
What’s the biggest challenge about creating an app? The biggest challenge with building an app being a startup is budget. App’s and tech can be very expensive and as you grow as a company- there are always additional improvements and updates you would like to make to improve the experience, which can be very costly.
What are your favorite mom apps? I love Apps! I use so many to help! My favorites include Blinklist, kidzxplor (of course!), Mind/Body, Apple Music, Venmo, Open Table, Postmates, Shine, and The Skimm. I don’t know if those are all Mom-App’s- but they sure help me manage my life!
You recently hosted an amazing Mod Mamas event. How did you get the idea? Moms today are so busy and rarely have a day to themselves to help nourish their mind, body, and spirit. Mod Mama’s was created as a one-stop-shop for busy Mama’s to help them experience community, education on key topics for Mama’s, fitness, food, and friends all in one place. It really was developed out of what we personally felt that we would like and enjoy and how we felt we could bring the best information these Mamas in small bites.
What do you want people to know about Kidzxplor? Great question!!! I think there is still a lot of confusion about kidzxplor and what it offered and how it works. I think the main thing is that its such an incredible savings over retail! You can pick and choose, on your schedule, what works for you and your child. You can purchase credits that allow you to drop-in to whichever activities you want – there is no commitment, no membership, and it’s completely flexible to your needs.
How do you balance work and family? I am not sure there is ever a balance- it’s more of an ebb and flow. Some weeks are busier with families, some weeks are work heavier, some weeks you can breathe. I do a lot of outsourcing to help. I want to be having fun and enjoying my children when I am around them- so I try to offload the things I don’t like doing so that when they are home- I can be with them. I hire someone to do our families laundry so that is taken care of, I order all my groceries online, I use a lot of app’s to have streamline processes, and I use my calendar to schedule everything to make sure that everything has it’s place- particularly exercise so it doesn’t get lost.
What are qualities you try and role model for your kids? Kindness 100%. There is never a reason not to be kind. Thinking positive and looking for the good in most things. I also really try to make my kids self-reliant. I don’t do a lot of things for them that they can do themselves and I tend to let them manage their time and their actions- I don’t fight their battles and I look forward to opportunities for them to make mistakes (in reason) so that they can learn from them.
What would you tell your younger self? It’s all going to be OK.
Who inspires you? I am really inspired by my business coach Erin Joy- and also female entrepreneurs that are making their dreams happen.
The advice you’d give to other working moms? Take a deep breath- and outsource, outsource, outsource.
What is your guilty pleasure? Hmmmm… probably alcohol. Truth.
What do you put in your coffee? Hazelnut creamer from Trader Joes at home, half and half at coffee shops
Favorite workout? Shred415 – hands down.
What is one thing you cannot go to bed without doing? Checking Instagram
Best place in the world you have been? There’s too many to mention! Hong Kong, St. Lucia, Bangkok, Venice, Barcelona.
Your bucket list is The Maldives, Phuket, Galapagos’, Canary Islands
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