Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Salva Andreu, CEO of Andreu Toys, located in Sant Miquel de Balenyà, Barcelona, Spain.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We run a small family business, involved in educational toys since 1973. The pedagogical materials made of wood that we are developing today are committed to inclusive education with the clear intention of promoting the diversity. They encourage the fun in playing, the entertainment, and the learning for children who do have or do not have some functional diversity.
Our educational toys are manufactured with eco-sustainable and high-quality raw materials. Our products are currently in more than 40 countries but not in Canada and USA yet (I´m winking ;). Our final consumers are mainly the children, but I must say that some of the new items are suitable for the elderly people too, so we like to say that our toys and games are for all humans from 0 to 99 years old and up! Our products go through school wholesalers, independent brick-and-mortar retail shops, or specialized online sites and direct to the “little” final consumers.
Tell us about yourself
When I was young, I didn't have many options to decide what to do with my life when my father told me to work in the family business (because at that time, I was definitely not a good student). So at the age of 15, I got involved in our family business.
In the following years, I combined my daily work with some specialized studies, such as logistics, sales, commercial management, etc. Years passed, and school and Christmas campaign too… and again and again…, so it was like always repeating the same for me. At that time, I was thinking about leaving the company and starting over in another job, which probably should give me daily motivation to continue.
But that didn't happen because suddenly, one day, I began to draw in a notebook some pedagogical materials that, if possible, were different from those existing in the market at that time. I began to imagine how I would like those toys to be, without losing the essence of manufacturing them with natural raw materials, such as wood. But those elements should also provide an extra educational benefit for all those children or people with some functional diversity. At the same time, they should be "inclusive." They should be developed for all children to play and learn together, regardless of their condition. If some of them can also be used by the elderly, then much better! And that's how we started promoting the new inclusive educational materials, just three years ago!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Probably my biggest accomplishment is creating products for people´s benefit, for entertainment while they are learning.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Too many things to do and just a little free time to spend with our loved ones.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Work hard but enjoy.
- Make your dreams come true, and believe in your potential.
- If you fall or make mistakes, get up again and keep fighting!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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