BOSS BABE ALLIE
Posted on 15 January 2017
Hi girl bosses! My name is Allison Klein and I am thrilled to be a part of Hallow + Plank’s (my favorite!!!) Boss Babe series!
I am the founder of Rose & Rex, a online toy boutique and play resource that promotes the importance of imaginary, open-ended play in early childhood development. We specialize in carefully crafted, teacher-curated and refreshingly stylish toys!
The idea for Rose & Rex emerged while I was teaching in a private school in NYC and attending graduate school where I studied play based learning in early childhood. Play is the single most important tool young children have to develop their social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills. Yet, playtime is being cut from schools in an alarming way. Rose & Rex is my way of starting a larger conversation about our culture’s approach to learning. Many people simply don’t know why play is so important for young children and that’s why we’re here. I am driven to do this every day knowing that I’m creating a company that’s challenging the assumption that learning is achieved by completing worksheets at a desk.
Going from teaching to starting a company was a learning experience for me. I had so many ideas for the company and it was important that I constantly reminded myself to focus on executing one at a time. In addition, as a start up in the toy space it can be hard to compete next to large, traditional toy brands. That said, turning to social media and less traditional means of advertising gave us the opportunity to think outside the box, get creative and make real connections with people.
Growing a new business can make you feel like you can’t take time off, but I do strive for balance. It doesn’t matter how I recharge—a walk through Central Park, pilates (in my Hallow + Plank leggings), reality tv with a glass of champagne—just that I commit to some break each day. Whether I’m exploring a new restaurant with my husband or spending time with my niece and nephew, my family helps me relax and keeps me inspired.
I have learned so many things during this journey. One of the best pieces of advice I can give (that I am still majorly working on myself) is to not be so hard on yourself when you are trying something new. Mistakes are inevitable and it can be really hard not to dwell on them. That said, the only way to grow is to try new things, take risks and enjoy the process.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of the Rose & Rex journey has been meeting so many inspiring women who lift each other up. There are many ups and downs when starting a new business and having friends, family and a new community offer support has meant everything!
Learn more about her amazing imaginative toy boutique at Rose and Rex
You can follow our play journey on IG and FB: