Donna Brin is a mother of two boys under the age of six years old. Raising these energetic, imaginative, and fast learning kids inspired her to create a line of toys that encouraged them to get active and stretch their imagination. This is how Pueri Elemental was born.
Along with her business partner, Nick Borosh, she is building a new kind of toy company: One that is personalized, creativity inducing, and ethically manufactured. Not only are the products environmentally friendly, but they are also 100% American made.
In fact, all current products are developed, manufactured, and distributed right from Florence, South Carolina!
Donna moved from New York City to Little River, South Carolina just a few years ago, and quickly got involved in the Grand Strand’s technology and startup scene. She soon realized all that South Carolina had to offer for manufacturing and entrepreneurial support.
To describe her first product, Donna explains that,
“Play is a necessary part of being human -- play in life, play in love, play in work -- play, at any age, opens the mind and inspires creativity. At Pueri Elemental, we started out making kids designer bop bags with recycled-fabric covers. We named it Eco-Bonk.”
Eco-Bonk comes in ten different characters and, because of Pueri Elemental’s local commitment to South Carolina, even comes as a USC Gamecock. Donna continued to explain the evolution of the Eco-Bonk to a new product.
“We found a way to customize the cover of the Eco-Bonk with any photo or image. We call it Bonk Yourself. With Bonk Yourself, in less than 5 minutes, you can turn your favorite photo or image into a one-of-a-kind bop bag for your next celebration. Personalized play, in a new way, with a unique gift they’ll always remember is from you.”
Bonk Yourself has interestingly ventured into all sorts of niche markets. From 40th birthday gag gifts, to bad breakups, sport rivalries, and the presidential election. People everywhere are finding their own reason to have a durable custom bop bag in their home.
Getting back to the original inspiration for Pueri Elemental, Donna is currently creating a cutting edge smart toy that combines active play with digital learning specifically designed for ages 6 to 36 months old. It will have all kinds of unique learning elements, while still remaining eco-friendly with natural rubber material.
This toy has already been pre-ordered by Kohls, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, Walmart, and Bed Bath and Beyond.
Interested in hearing more stories from people like Donna Brin? The GS Tech Council is hosting another Pitch Night in Market Common Theater! Come to hear local entrepreneurs pitch their products and ideas to a live audience. This event is packed out every time, so register early!
Original article in VIP Magazine.