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Mother Essentials: Sandra Lin, Founder of Kiwi Co

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Sandra Lin knows a thing or two about great inventions. As founder and CEO of Kiwi Co, Sandra and her team have created hundreds of opportunities for kids (and adults) to tap into the power of play and create amazing things. Since starting the company in her garage 10 years ago, the brand has launched eight different crate categories (for babies through teens) and has shipped more than 25 million boxes proving the materials and inspiration for hands-on fun and learning. Luckily, as mom to Anya, 14, Pete, 12, and Hugo, 4—she has three readily available Chief Product Testers right at home! Below, the busy mother and business owner fills us in on the 15 Mother Essentials that are currently getting her through her days.

Hip Pack. “This pack is perfect for quick errands in town or for bigger adventures away from home. The patterns are so fresh and fun.” Sunset Fields Convertible Sling Bag / Hip Pack, $39, Kaleido Concepts.

Maya Brenner Initial Necklace. “I’d been searching for an initial necklace when my sister gifted me this one, which I love and wear everyday.” 14K Gold 3-Letter Necklace, $360, Maya Brenner.

Farmgirl Flowers. “After receiving flowers from Farmgirl Flowers, they have become my go-to for fresh blooms for others.” Bouquets, $42 and up, Farmgirl Flowers.

Exploding Kittens. “The illustrations and text that accompany this game are extremely entertaining and fun. The game itself is that perfect combination of strategy and luck.” Exploding Kittens Card Game, $18.49, Amazon.

The Perfect Pen. “I insist on a very fine point pen. I first tried this pen during a visit to Japan. Even though I’ve tried a slew of others, this remains my favorite.” Uni-Ball Signo UM-151 Gel Pen, $16.50 (for 10-Pack), Amazon.

Always Pan. “Cleaning up after cooking isn’t my favorite activity, but the Always Pan makes it so much easier. Plus, the pan is multi-dimensional in its use.” Always Pan, $145, Our Place.

Boba Guys. “We’ve tried to make boba from scratch. Suffice it to say, we feel lucky to have much more convenient and yummy options nearby. Boba Guys is a favorite, and we love that they even have make-it-at-home kits.” Boba Kit, $50-$100, Boba Guys.

Shearling Birkenstocks. “I was a bit skeptical that these would keep my feet warm as much as they do.” Birkenstock Arizona Shearling, $150, Zappos.

Yeti Tumbler. “Yeti has some amazing technology that magically keeps drinks hot or cold. I fill my tumbler with hot tea in the morning, and then it accompanies me throughout the day. I’ve also found that these tumblers make great gifts.” Yeti 20 oz. Tumbler, $30, Williams Sonoma

Pop-Up Soccer Goals. “All of my kids play soccer. (I attempt to join in occasionally.) These pop-up goals make it easy to pull together a pick-up game anywhere, anytime.” The Original Pop-Up Goal, $69.95 (for 2-Pack), PUGG.

L’Occitane Hand Cream. “I’ve used this hand cream for years. I feel like my hands wouldn’t survive dry, cold months without it.” L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, $29, Ulta.

Marble Run + Art Easel. “My preschooler is a big fan of this easel. Drawing and painting on one side with the chalkboard / white board, and engineering with a customizable marble run on the other.” Marble Run + Art Easel, $119.95, Kiwi Co.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer. “We bought this stand mixer as we began cooking and baking more with the pandemic. I cannot imagine being without it now.” Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $399.99, KitchenAid.

Adidas Superstars. “On the weekends, you can spot me at my kids’ soccer games in these. Comfy, cute, and practical. They keep my feet dry during those morning games with dewy grass.” Adidas Superstar Sneaker, $79, Zappos.

Digital Notepad. “This board has come in handy for quick games-on-the-go for my tween and teen, handwriting practice for my preschooler, and grocery shopping lists for me.” Blackboard Writing Tablet, $39.99, Boogie Board

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with photographed & director Natasha Lee, best-selling author Joanna Ho, Brave + Kind Bookshop owner Bunnie Hilliard, TV personality Leslie Antonoff, author Rio Cortez, Kido Chicago owner Keewa Nurullah, small-space mama Laura Fenton, Curasalve founder Kelley Williams, Trade Street Jam Co. founder Ashley Rouse, Weelicious and One Potato founder Catherine McCord, interior designer Susan Work, author Tiffany Dufu, Les Gamins founder Veronique Nguyen, Lonny editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, designers Anna WallackCynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana HaimOlympian Alysia Montano, cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, wellness influencerJoanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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