Kango, an app-based service that lets its users schedule rides for kids from preschool to high school, is a hot commodity among parents and drivers alike. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kango allows busy families to ensure their kids get where they need to go, whether that be the soccer practice after school, or just a ride to school every Monday.
An alluring feature of Kango is how personal it is; they connect the user to the right driver, and the user can then directly call or message them. Kango also offers babysitting services in addition to giving kids a ride, and also allows you to connect and chat with nearby parents, free of cost.
All Kango drivers are pre-screened and have passed through a rigorous selection process, which includes in-person interviews, background checks, fingerprinting, and more. Another prerequisite is that they must have had experience caring for kids, which ensures that they know how to handle everything from a tantrum to a stomachache.
Below are a few Kango drivers on their reasons for joining the service, what a typical day looks like for them, and how Kango helps busy parents. They also share their advice on how to handle that precarious work-life balance.
Name: Chanell T.
Where You Live: Oakland, CA
How Many Kids: 2 Children (16yr old daughter & 3 1/2yr old son)
Why Did You Join Kango: I joined Kango because I wanted to earn income and set my own schedule while being a full-time mom at the same time! I loved the fact that Kango allowed me to bring my younger child everywhere I went without any worries during my rides. Meeting new children and their families is always an absolute pleasure.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like For You: My typical day is always comfortable, easy going, and smooth. I choose my rides per night, per week, or even accept last minute emergencies. A "no pressure lifestyle business" is what is needed in my life, and I get it with Kango!
How Does Kango Help You/Women: As a mother, Kango has given me the opportunity to earn money while being a mom at the same time. So for many of us women we appreciate feeling appreciated and Kango's understanding of us on a personal level.
What is Your Work/Life Balance Philosophy: I believe in Work, Love, and Play. Live life to the fullest with responsibilities of course. As being a mother...Responsibility is first on our list from when we wake up in the mornings, until the evenings of slumber.
Name: Andrea M.
Where You Live: Noe Valley in San Francisco, CA
How Many Kids: None currently ;)
Why Did You Join Kango: Kango operates with strong philosophies/ethics around the principles of customer care. I respect their mission. And they fill a critical need for parents and kids alike.
What Does a Typical Day Look Like For You: There are no typical days with kids! That said, all of my riders are polite, engaging, and have become important pieces of my world in many ways. Conversations ensue during the rides that are sure to pave the way to someday saving the world!
How Does Kango Help You/Women: It is a unique opportunity to help support busy lifestyles. In my case, I am working diligently to launch a not for profit organization and I'm also a holistic healthcare provider when time permits. Kango is a perfect way to enable me to continue pursuing my dreams, while helping to subsidize my finances.
What is Your Work/Life Balance Philosophy: Ultimately, do what moves you in life. How you apply that to your work is up to you, but it starts there. If you honor this one simple sentiment, work/life balance will find its way.
Name: Maria C.
How many kids: I have two girls; the oldest is 24 and the other is 18.
Why did you join Kango: I joined Kango because my older daughter started college and I wanted to help her.
Why does a typical day look like for you? As a full time working mom from 6:30am to 7:30pm, my typical day is super busy. I do get tired, but I feel very satisfied helping to get kids safely to their destinations. As a woman, I never thought I could do this, but as a mother, I understand what it takes for another mother to trust their children to me.
I have always been in love with all things art- I was obsessed with drawing and painting before I was even walking. In high school, I started a career selling art through various gallery art shows and on Etsy. I then went on to study fine arts at the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in painting, but took classes in ceramics, printmaking, cinema and architecture to get a really well-rounded education on all sorts of art.
During my senior year of college, my career path went through a huge transition; I started my own temporary tattoo brand, INKED by Dani, which is a brand of temporary tattoos based on my hand-drawn fine art designs.
The idea for the brand came one night after a themed party at college. My friends, knowing how much I loved drawing, asked me to cover them in hand-drawn doodles using eyeliner. The feedback from that night was overwhelming, everyone my friends saw that night was obsessed with the designs. In that moment, a lightbulb went off in my head... I could do some completely unique here and create chic temporary tattoos with an art-driven aesthetic, unlike anything else on the market. Other temporary tattoo brands were targeted to kids or lacked a sleek and millennial-driven look. It was a perfect pivot; I could utilize my fine arts training and tattoos as a new art medium to create a completely innovative brand.
Using the money I made from selling my artwork throughout high school and college, I funded the launch of INKED by Dani. I had always loved the look of dainty tattoos, but knew I could never commit to the real thing, and I knew my parents would kill me if I got a tattoo (I also knew that so many girls must have that same conflict). Starting INKED by Dani was a no-brainer.
I started off with a collection of about only 10 designs and sold them at sorority houses around USC. Our unique concept for on-trend and fashion-forward tattoos was spreading through word of mouth, and we quickly started growing an Instagram following. I was hustling all day from my room, cold calling retailers, sending blind samples and tons of emails, and trying to open up as many opportunities as I could.
Now, we're sold at over 10,000 retail locations (retailers include Target, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Hot Topic), and we've transformed temporary tattoos into a whole new form of wearable art.
My 4 best tips for starting your own business are:
- Just go with your gut! You'll never know what works until you try it. Go day by day and do everything in your power to work toward your goals. Be bold, but be sure to be thoughtful in your actions.
- Research your competitors and other successful brands in your category to determine how you can make your product stand out. Figure out where there is a need or hole in the market that your new offering or approach can fill.
- Don't spread yourself too thin. Delegate where possible, and stay focused each day on doing the best and most you can. Don't get too caught up in your end goal or the big picture to a point where it overwhelms or freezes you. You're already making a bold move to start something new, so try to prioritize what's important! I started off in the beginning hand packing every single tattoo pack that we sold and shipped. If I wanted to scale to align with the level of demand we were receiving, I needed to make the pivot to mass produce and relinquish the control of doing every step myself. I am a total perfectionist, so that was definitely hard! From that point on, overseeing production has been a huge part of my daily schedule, but by doing so I've been able to free up more time to focus on design, merchandising, and sales, allowing me to really focus on growing the business.
- Prioritize great product packaging and branding. It's so important to invest time in customer experience- how customers view and interact with your product. The packaging is just as important as the actual product inside! When we were starting off, we had high demand, and I definitely jumped the gun a bit on packaging so we could deliver product to the retailers when they wanted it. Since then, we've completely revamped the packaging into something upscale and unique that reflects what the brand is all about. Our product packaging is always called out as being one of our retailers' and customers' favorite part of our product!