It's been a hot minute (or 5) since we last featured an inspiring mom boss and I am THRILLED to say that we have a pretty amazing one joining us today! Not only is this aunt smart and hard working, she is extremely creative, as her business gives a popular tradition a unique twist.
Mamas (and Papas), meet Tiffany Reimer:
Tiffany, I am so excited to chat with you today! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work background?
I worked at a large bank for 5 years out of high school and although it paid well, sitting at a desk Mon-Fri 9-5 was killing me. When I was 23, I responded to an add in the newspaper looking for a flight attendant and the rest is history. I just celebrated my 20 year anniversary as a flight attendant this month. I married a pilot (so cliché) and we have been traveling the world together since 2003. We honeymooned in South Africa and met a couple from Sweden at our b&b who were also on their honeymoon. We have kept in touch and visited each other’s homes a handful of times in the last 11 years. We even spent last Christmas and New Years Skiing in Sweden with our friends.
Why is travel so important to you and your husband, and what doors has it opened for you both personally and in terms of business?
People like to ask us where our favorite place is to travel. Every place is special for its own reasons; just some places are just more challenging than others. Our most recent trip was to Israel and Jordan. Floating in the Dead Sea was incredible and walking into the West Bank to see Bethlehem was a definite highlight. We love Germany at Christmas time and Cambodia for its unspoiled culture. Sydney Australia is a wonderful city to explore and a great place to catch a free opera in the park. We were invited to a wedding in Punjab India and our hosts made us feel like family. We find that people in other countries are hard workers trying to provide for and love their families just as we are here at home. Most people want to “do good”. Often during our travels we will pack an extra suitcase full of saved hotel soaps and shampoos and kids clothes and small toys or medical supplies. I will research an orphanage in whatever country we are traveling to and will deliver the suitcase to them. The kids welcome us and often sing us songs or give us a tour. We always feel like we get more than we give.
What exactly is Passport 4 Change and how did you come up with the idea for it?
Passport 4 Change is a fun and educational tooth fairy kit that takes your child’s imagination on an adventure around the world. The kit includes 20 real foreign coins, a colorful laminated world map, an optional personalized tooth fairy pillow and a passport book where your child stores their coins. Once your child has collected all their coins, they can remove the coin pages and insert their passport to begin their own adventures.
I took my 5 year old niece to the airport for a show and tell day. We were sitting in the flight deck when I asked her where she would go if she could go anywhere in the world. She said, “Target!” Im an effort to make her world bigger, I created an educational tooth fairy kit with 20 different foreign currencies to which I attached a note from the tooth fairy about her visit to each country. I created a colorful world map, and a personalized tooth fairy pillow. I gave the kit to my sister and my niece called me a few weeks later and excitedly said, “Aunt Tiffany, the tooth fairy was just in England having tea with the Queen and she left me British Pounds!” My niece is learning about geography, math, foreign currency, time-zones and is now interested in different cultures and traditions.
If you don't mind sharing, just how does one open up a business like Passport 4 Change? Can you walk us through how you turned your idea into a unique business?
In a world where walls are going up, I think it is so important to share our differences learn from one another. My favorite quote is, “It’s difficult not to like someone once you know their story.” These real foreign coins brought by the tooth fairy are a piece of magic from another world that stimulates the imagination and sparks curiosity. After seeing the effect it had on my niece, I knew that I needed to start a business selling these kits to other families.
Please walk us through a day in your shoes as an entrepreneur.
Remember I said that I don’t do well with sitting at a desk so this is a perfect business for me. I get to travel and collect my coins. I have a lot of down time at airports and hotels where I sit with my computer and work on the technical things. Luckily, once I had the kits set up, it’s pretty easy to ship out when orders come in from my website.
How do you go about marketing your business and what tips can you give others?
Marketing has been a challenge because this idea is a new concept so people aren’t searching for me yet. I depend on word of mouth and a little social media, which I really need to hire someone to manage. I have realized recently that I just can’t do everything. Well, I can, just not all at once. ; ) My social medial when through an identity crisis. Do my followers want to follow me and my travels/adventures or do I need to only post about the business? My tip is to outsource when necessary. Know when to ask for help.
Finally, what is the best thing to have happened to you because of Passport 4 Change?
So many great things have happened because of Passport 4 Change! I’ve met some incredible people along my journey! I’ve gotten pushed waaaay out of my comfort zone and grown as a result. I’ve learned so much and had so many doors open because I was out in the world being curious. I plan to donate a portion of my sales to study abroad programs to encourage young people to travel and be exposed to a different culture. One day I plan to start my own non-profit that offers scholarships. But, the BEST is when I get a message from a parent about how much their child is loving the adventure and how much they are learning about our world. One parent told me that during the Olympics, her daughter said that she wanted to watch China and Italy because that’s where the tooth fairy had been. Or, "Thank you for the brilliant idea and twist on the Tooth-fairy. Not only is it educational, it's fun. My son is excited to mark the map with his foreign money!" Or, "My daughter felt so special that the Tooth Fairy came all the way from England to give her a coin!” Or, “My daughter says kids at her school are getting money from the tooth fairy but I like mine better because my tooth fairy travels.” These are the things that keep me pushing forward.
Is anyone else itching for their 4-year-old's teeth to begin falling out so they can order a Passport 4 Change?! To order your own -- or to learn more about the company -- please visit the Passport 4 Change website, Facebook, and Instagram.