Little Passports Has Big Adventures in Store at Target!
To celebrate our partnership with Target, we sat down with our CEO and Co-founder, Amy Norman, whose love of far-flung places and diverse cultures inspired the founding of Little Passports and its mission to ignite children’s curiosity about the world. Here’s what Amy shared about the company’s evolution, and how being a mom has shaped it.
You co-founded Little Passports 12 years ago. What are the milestones that stand out for you?
Launching in Target is a major milestone for our brand and something we’re very excited about. And shipping our 10 millionth box was also huge for us. To know that we’ve delivered 10 million moments that broadened a child’s world is tremendously rewarding for our team.
As you think about the Little Passports brand, can you talk about what this partnership with Target means to you and to the business?
Partnering with Target will help us meet our customers’ needs in a whole new way. For the first time, customers who know and love us will be able to walk into their local store and purchase a last-minute activity, book, or birthday gift. And Target is the perfect place for new customers to discover the amazing experiences Little Passports has to offer. We’re all about combining fun and learning, and the Target shopping experience is a fun one!
How would you describe the Little Passports brand?
We started Little Passports with the mission to inspire kids to learn about the world around them. Over time, I’ve realized that it’s more about the world we share. Developing an open mind and an active imagination is so important for kids. Whether we’re talking about geography and culture, or physical or natural science, we invite kids to explore and seek to understand what’s around them.
How many countries have you lived in? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve lived in two: the US and England. I moved every three years as a child and joked that I grew up on a 747 somewhere over the mid-Atlantic. I’ve traveled to many more countries over the years, and I bring all those experiences back to my work at Little Passports. Japan and Italy are two of my favorite destinations—so much so that I got married in Italy.
What are some of the ways that kids can develop global awareness?
Nothing beats taking trips to other countries, but there are many ways to develop global awareness even if you can’t travel. I believe in meeting children where their excitement is sparked. Exposing a child to books, foods, traditions, art, and sports from other cultures is key. And from my own experiences as a mom, I’ve seen that hands-on activities are a surefire way to get children excited about learning.
How has being a mom influenced you and your role as Co-founder and CEO?
I’ve built a company that has always interested my children and that they have always been excited to support. Even when they were younger, they knew their mom was creating products that made learning fun and that we’re all about travel and culture, which is so much a part of our family’s life.
Because I was a single mom with small children when I co-founded Little Passports, what was important to me as we built the company was work-life integration rather than work-life balance. That’s why our culture is built on trust and the belief that if you hire the right people, they will get their jobs done on schedules that work for them. We work from home two days a week and, to attract parents to our team, we offer truly flexible hours vs insisting on 9-5 face time.
What about Little Passports are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of how we’ve delivered on our mission of inspiring children to learn about the world we share. But more than pride, I feel an overwhelming sense of joy when we receive fan letters from kids and see posts from families who enjoy our products and the way they open their children’s minds. Knowing that we’re making a positive difference in children’s lives is a great reason to come to work every day. I’m also deeply proud of our family-friendly company culture and how we try to make it a bit easier to have a fulfilling career and juggle the demands of life outside work. We want the members of our team to be able to take care of children, aging parents, pets—or whoever else or whatever else matters to them.
Describe your aspirations for the brand and for yourself over the next five years.
We hope to have many more ways for children to experience our global adventures and characters, be it through books, digital learning games, or new subscription lines and activity kits. I also expect we’ll be widely available in Target and other leading retailers five years from now, giving us more opportunities to meet our customers’ needs. And now that we’ve delivered more than 10 million packages to children, I think reaching 100 million packages five years from now is a great goal to have!