Barumba Play ™ is a local toy company created by former tax accountant Sara Feldstein who left the boardroom for the playroom during the pandemic. We spoke with her to find out more about them.
What is your business called and what does it do?Barumba Play. We create imaginative toys designed with kids and parents in mind. Our first product is an 11-piece play couch made right here in Ontario. It is washable, waterproof, modular foam blocks. The pieces can be used as a couch or turned into forts, tunnels, houses, and anything you can imagine!
What made you want to do this work?
When the first lockdown happened in March 2020, I was a Partner working as a CPA at my family’s accounting firm. Attempting to do tax season, take my firm remote and watch two young children at home led me to experience burnout and depression. Sewing fabric toys and exploring my creativity became my path back to health.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
When I needed to do client meetings during lockdown, the toys in our home were not keeping my kids engaged for very long. So it seemed like there was a need for more open-ended imaginative toys that could be cleaned, didn’t make noise, wouldn’t break and could be played with by one child or several.
We want to create toys that allow every play experience to be different so that each play session feels new and fun even though the toy is the same.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Mostly moms with younger children, but also generous grandmothers, aunts and friends.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
At the moment we are direct-to-consumer so we only sell via our website. For future products that will be smaller, we will likely explore retail opportunities.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
While we are based in Toronto, we don’t really want you showing up at our warehouse finding us elbow-deep in boxes. So you can find us on our website.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Why do I need a play couch? We played with the couch cushions when I was a kid!
Play couches are a unique new toy category that provides so much function to the entire family. One child uses it to practice gross motor skills because our cushion sizes are designed for little ones to be able to manipulate themselves. A newly potty-trained sibling uses it as a coach because the parents know that the covers are washable and there is waterproof liner underneath to protect the foam (unlike the family sofa). A single sheet fits on top to make an impromptu sleepover bed. During long winter months, kids have an indoor activity that keeps them active, creative and off the screens. As they grow older they still play it regularly, but play differently. There are so many toys that keep kids’ attention for a short time- a month later the toy is collecting dust in a toy chest. A play couch is the rare exception that gets used all the time by the whole family! Even the adults have fun- we never outgrow building forts!
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
At Barumba Play, play is literally work. I have to make new content all the time and so I seriously get to play with foam and it counts as work. We also LOVE when customers send us photos of their creations and know we are playing a part in building happy memories that will last a lifetime.
The worst part… there isn’t a worst part. I am truly having fun wearing all the hats and learning so much about e-commerce and the toy industry.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
This would have been easier to answer if I was still an accountant! Why can’t toys from paper move? Because they’re stationary!
What are your social media channels?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another business that you love?
Our friends at August Kinn are a local kids and baby store located on the Danforth that curate a beautiful selection of quality items for babies, toddlers and moms.