As soon as our son, River, turned five, he started begging us to buy him all kinds of cool stuff like RC cars. We love to give him presents on special occasions, but we also wanted to teach him that things cost money and that if he wanted more, he needed to earn and save money to buy them. River is quite the little entrepreneur, so it wasn’t long before he did extra jobs to earn cash.
One autumn afternoon in 2020, after getting paid to rake pine needles, he had saved up about thirty bucks and was eager to spend it on a new RC car. But which one? Where? At a toy store? No way – COVID-19 lockdowns were in full swing. How about online? Too many choices and constant supervision was required.
Even if we did buy him a new RC car, whether online or in a store, we would be the ones paying for it, even though it was his money. Shouldn’t he be able to spend his own money directly? So, Mari had the thought that wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a store where River could go and buy anything he wanted, as long as it was something we were okay with him buying? No unexpected surprises, no unsafe stuff. If he had the money, he could buy anything independently without his parents getting in the way. Basically, his own personal store.
We figured there had to be something like that out there, right? In this hyper-personalized digital age, there has to be a way to create a curated personal store for River where he could see how much money he had in his virtual wallet and then spend it at will on anything we had already pre-approved. But there wasn’t, so we created Ketshop.