Our next interview in the Make Your Life Simpler blog series is with Nigel Phan from Whirli, the UK's ever-changing toy box.
"Ever buy a toy, only for it to go unloved too quickly?
You're not alone, when we surveyed 2000 parents, they said one in four toys ever purchased were unloved within just a week!"
Whirli is making parenting easier, more affordable and greener.
1. Nigel, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Singapore and moved to the UK over a decade ago for higher education.
While at my corporate job, my friends who are all becoming first-time parents moaned at how much they were spending and how cluttered their homes had become. This gave me an idea for a new service model to make parenting easier, more affordable, and greener.
In 2018, I quit my job to try out life as an entrepreneur and to pursue this idea - Whirli!
2. What’s your favourite toys hack?
We have so many!
Kids simply love novelty, and parents can extend the amount of playtime each toy gets by rotating them (hide some away, then bring them out again later).
Oh and if the play space is getting too messy and gunky, non-electronic plastic toys can easily be cleaned and sterilised in a dishwasher to give you peace of mind and save you time.
3. How does Whirli make people’s lives easier?
Whirli is removing the guessing game and frustrations when it comes to toys.
Ever buy a toy, only for it to go unloved too quickly? You're not alone, when we surveyed 2000 parents, they said one in four toys ever purchased were unloved within just a week!
Sign up to a Whirli plan instead, choose what toys you'd like from our catalogue of over 1,000 latest must-haves.
Whenever a toy gets unloved, simply put it back into the box and pop it into the post (we provide everything you need) and then swap for something else.
4. What 3 people | movements | organisations inspire you?
I have to give a shout-out to The Kids Network, a small charity that I volunteer at as the Chair of Trustees. They provide weekly 1-1 mentoring sessions for young children who are going through a difficult time. It's amazing to see first-hand the impact they've had on these children's lives, and really inspired me to think about the impact a small group of passionate individuals can make.
Bill Gates is a person I look up to tremendously, not only for what he's managed to create commercially with Microsoft but more importantly what he has subsequently achieved through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Unsurprisingly, I am a big supporter of green movements around the globe - whether it be on reducing single-use plastics, reducing meat consumption, or any other specific initiative.
5. What are you working on at the moment?
We're constantly striving to improve Whirli.
I've just come back from toy trade fairs and we're looking to add make many, many, more toy brands and types of toys available through our service.
We're also working on making it even more convenient to use Whirli, and a couple of new features we are keeping up our sleeve (watch this space!).
6. Nigel, what’s something about you that Google doesn’t know?
The doctors thought I'd be born a girl, and my parents were going to name me Kimberly. She's my favourite Power Ranger. There's two things Google knows now!
7. What message would you put on a billboard?
Hey Everyone! Just wanted to wish you all a wonderful day :)
8. Where can we connect with you?