My Kids Love To Play So Much, I Started A Toy Company by Kelly O’Donnell

By Kelly O'Donnell | Power Of Play

Dec 05

Every toy invention starts with a spark, that instant of insight that reveals the potential in a new approach to play.

A long weekend with extended family, including six girls ages 5-10, was mine.
My daughters and their young girl cousins spent the better part of that weekend on their nails: trying out stickers, polish, and wraps. Having burned through a few very expensive kids nail wrap sheets, I wondered “Could I approach this fun, engaging way the girls are playing together in a new way?”


After considering how girls this age like to play (socially) and their natural tendencies toward collecting and trading, my daughters and I invented Tiki Cards, nail sticker trading cards for girls ages 6-12. The nail stickers were designed to be similar to the ones the girls has loved using that weekend, with holidays, animals, and sports themes, but in a format that was less expensive, easier to use, and could double as a social activity when they traded the cards the nail stickers come on.

My girls, now 8 and 10, have been the perfect co-founders for the business. They are both my best customers and most honest critics, and have learned alongside me about profit versus revenue, finding the right channels for marketing and distribution, and how to improve manufacturing each time to get the best product. Not only did we invent a new toy, we “invented” a new way to spend time together, too, and that might be the most lucrative result of all.

Kelly O’Donnell, of Plymouth, is CEO and founder of Tiki Cards, nail sticker trading cards for girls. The product can be found in specialty toy stores across the country (including Toyology!).

About the Author

Tiki Cards™ founder Kelly O’Donnell was always a “nail girl”: glossy reds in high school, subtle French manicures (and acrylics–oh, the acrylics!) in college. Then she was blessed to become a Mom to two little “nail girls” and found they and their friends showed an interest in nail art that strayed pretty far from the classic colors…in fact, for them, the crazier the nail color and art, the better! In November 2014, Kelly had an inspired thought that led to a business idea: girls today love to collect and trade cards, and they love funky, unique manicures. Could we put the two together? Through some trial and error (and about a year of tinkering), Tiki Cards™ was born!