Valeria first met founders Filippo and Matteo in 2013, when they borrowed her children for Cubetto’s first Kickstarter video. It wasn’t long before she was invited on board as the fourth (her daughter Olivia still considers herself the third) member of the Primo Toys team!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Rome, and have lived in Switzerland, the US, Somalia and Germany, before moving to Hackney where I live with my partner and our two young children. As I have lived in many places, I have had many lives and careers, from a student in Steiner school, to the Ecole D’Humanite, and then universities in the US, Britain, Germany and Italy. Professionally, I have worked in film, technology, and now education with Primo Toys.
2. Why did you join Primo Toys?
Before Primo Toys, I had been considering doing something different, and as a new parent, education was on my mind.
I first met Filippo and Matteo when they borrowed my children for the first Cubetto Kickstarter video. I knew immediately that Primo Toys was something I could get very excited about. I liked how passionate and driven both Filippo and Matteo were, and fell in love with the product straight away. Most of all, I appreciated Cubetto’s beautiful design, and its screenless, tangible approach to learning about technology.
Coming from a Steiner background, where screens and computers are perceived as counterproductive to early years child development, it is refreshing to work with a company that bridges the gap between introducing children to technology, and ensuring they are not robbed of tangible and social experiences.
3. What is your role in the team?
We are a very small team, so we all tend to do a lot of things. As COO, I spend most of my time managing the finances; preparing numbers for our investors; managing the CRM, sales and relationships with educators and institutions; shipping orders; and paying bills. Basically, I am keeping this machine well-oiled and moving forward.
I enjoy working with a company that constantly keeps me on my toes, where all my life experiences – working, parenting, and scholastic – have to come into play. I also enjoy stretching myself and finding that there is indeed something new to learn and share every day.
4. Where do you come from professionally?
I spent 10 years working for a number of movie studios, including Miramax, Warner Bros and Disney, in roles ranging from Marketing and PR to production and distribution. After receiving my MBA at CASS, I ventured into the world of tech startups with Pikslme, which I built and sold along with my partner. Once I became a mother of two, however, I wanted to move over to something dear to my heart: education.
5. What are your hopes for Primo Toys?
The goal is to ensure Primo Toys succeeds and grows, and to enrich children’s playtime, learning, and self-confidence in more schools and homes around the world.
At Primo we are working very hard to ensure that the experience of our products is long-lasting. To do this, we are always creating additional resources parents and educators can use to encourage children to explore and expand their understanding of the toy itself, and find out what they can create as little technologists.
I am already thrilled by what we’ve accomplished and the potential of Primo Toys to make a material and positive impact on the lives of children and educators around the globe.