1. How and when did you become an entrepreneur?
I started my first business at age 9 when I discovered Print Shop on our Apple IIC desktop computer. I stared a magazine called Treasure, it was full of article, games and puzzles targeted to my age demographic at the time. I sold subscriptions in my neighborhood.
At age 11 I started another company called OxySocks. My friends and I decorated socks and sweatshirts with puffy paint and sold them on the weekends at our own version of a Pop-Up Shop.
In my adult life I sold my first business called RememberNYC, a historical walking guidebook, to the Meatpacking District Improvement Association. I’ve been operating Alli Q Design, a graphic design company for over ten years and launched FlairFriends, a smart collectible toy for kids that comes to life in a learning game.
Most recently I wrote a parody called Rosélicious about a group of girlfriends who drink a little too much rosé over the summer and turn the color of Whispering Angel. I am an inventor at heart and always have a few irons in the fire but truly my number one focus right now is FlairGameWorld.
2. You manage so many different businesses, how do you allocate your time between them?
Alli Q Design LLC has recently employed two designers to handle the amount of steady work coming in, so that relieves me from the daily administrative tasks of running a Graphic Design studio. The company can run itself with minimal management.
FlairFriends has so many facets from technology development, to manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing. Recently two women approached me looking to help in any way, so the three of us sit together a few times a week and divide and conquer the tasks at hand. It’s fun to collaborate and brainstorm our ways through a myriad of start-up challenges.
3. What is the most fun part of FlairFriends?
FlairFriends simply make me (and most people they encounter) happy! FlairFriends are adorable collectibles that come to life in an awesome learning game. They all have voices and animations, little bios and riddles. They truly bring joy to everyone I have worked with on this project. It has been a long learning road with this particular start-up but the fact that they are so cute and fun keeps me going!
4. What do you love the most about it?
I love that a tactile collectible toy can actually do something more than just “sit” on a shelf or attached to a backpack. I love that the FlairFriends connect kids to a learning world AND to one another when they share. My platform is something new to the toy world and I am thrilled to bring it to life in 2019.
5. Are you currently fundraising?
Yes! We are raising a $50K bridge round now to get us through the next 6 months, followed by a $300K round to expand the platform and grow.
6. What’s next for Alli and for your businesses? Will you be launching a new company soon?
FlairFriends come first! My book Rosélicious will be on the shelves by Mother’s Day 2019 and if you really want to dive in deeper I am happy to share my next consumer product – Soapubbles and Lollipop Water.