Fun and Function

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Aviva Weiss, Founder and CEO of Fun and Function launched the business to its “next level” in 2014. Fun and Function provides versions of occupational therapy toys and learning aids for special needs kids. The company’s products − which “help kids of all abilities learn through play” − have been adopted by parents, therapists, teachers, and schools nationwide. Fun and Function products and programs have enabled many students to learn to regulate themselves and have academic success.

Aviva founded the business in 2005, wrote her first business plan with the Wharton Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and established Fun and Function in the industry and in the region. The business has been recognized several times as one of the fastest growing in the region by the Philadelphia 100 and by the Inc. 5,000. But in 2013, she and her team realized that to be able to help the thousands more kids as she envisioned, she would have to grow the business substantially. That would require a capital infusion and a renewing of her business model.

She worked with the Wharton SBDC to analyze her current business model, identify its strengths, and model a plan for reducing costs and successfully growing. She also engaged an experienced sales consultant to help redefine products, positioning, and sales approaches.

“During the last year, we have come a long way on a lot of fronts,” Weiss explained. Some of the accomplishments include:

  • Sales grew over forty percent from 2014 to $3.7 million in 2014. Costs and inventory are down, profits up, and cash flow management is secure.
  • On Wharton SBDC’s advice, Aviva hired a sales consultant to help systematize the sales processes and address new markets. They developed new products that serve schools and teachers with higher typical sales per transaction. This expanded their customer base from traditional parents and individual occupational therapists to schools. 
  • Profits and cash flow were then able to support new investments.
  • The business is moving from a business model that depends on independent contractors working remotely to establishing a headquarters office on the Main Line with four new full-time employees.  

Aviva remains committed to her vision of helping kids and to solving each business problem as it arises.  She is also enjoying mentoring other entrepreneurs.