Most Playful

Surprise Ride


Donna and Rosy Khalife play with toys for a living. It's important work for their social venture startup, Surprise Ride, which delivers boxes full of fun, learning and a bit of whimsy to children on a monthly basis. The toys, games and activities contained in each box center around a theme – say, Vincent Van Gogh or how birds fly – and provide an opportunity for quality time between parent and child or independent exploration for the little one. “We always look for open ended play in every box,” says Donna. The idea is rooted in their childhood, when the sisters’ dad, a full-time artist and stay at home parent, would encourage them to find creative ways to entertain themselves. “We sort of grew up with a craft store in the basement,” Donna recalls. “We took it for granted – I thought everyone had that," adds Rosy. The subscription service, which is designed with gift-giving in mind, launched in December of last year, and the young entrepreneurs emerged from Betaspring’s startup accelerator program in May. Now, they’re looking to secure funding to scale up. The boom in tech-oriented subscription services, from Netflix for movies to Birchbox for beauty products to Manpacks (another Betaspring alum) for socks and underwear, seems promising for Surprise Ride. In the meantime, they’ll be in their little toy-laden office space, rigorously testing products to make sure they meet Surprise Ride’s exacting standards of fun and wonder. “We’re a for-profit but we have a social mission,” notes Donna. “We want to make an impact on kids and families.” 

surprise ride, most playful, donna khalife, rosy khalife, children, toys, fun, learning, superlatives 2013, providence monthly


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