Meet a MetroKids Mom
Aviva Weiss, occupation therapist
Six children, ages 11 & under.
Merion Station, PA
Founder, Fun and Function LLC
What is Fun and Function?
We design products for kids with special needs: toys, clothing, equipment. The purpose is to help children develop and participate in daily life, and it needs to be appealing, kid-friendly and affordable. In working with kids with special needs, I saw a lack of those products available. Many are very medical-looking. When one of my kids needed therapy, it made it obvious that there had to be a better option.
How do you develop products?
I work with a physical therapist. We receive a ton of feedback from our customers: “I like it, but it would be great if…” When there’s enough requests that are specific, we absolutely make that change. We’re also active on Facebook. We ask questions, receive feedback, and it helps us design products.
How involved are your kids in the business?
They help test out the toys. They’re particularly helpful with telling me, “Mom, not cool. No one would wear that.” They actually used to be on the website photos with products, but as they got older and less compliant, we decided to use professional models. They’ve gotten a little insulted. We have to brush up on their professionalism!
Do local kids test products?
Family friends, local kids, therapists, customers. We’re always seeking feedback to make a product even better.
What are your favorite products?
We have games that help kids express emotions and feelings: Guess How I Feel? and Social (e) Motion. It’s important for kids to develop emotional intelligence and recognize the way they feel and express empathy. These games really hone in on those skills and make it fun and kid-friendly. We also have a weighted compression vest that sells out very quickly. I designed it based on a need I had for my child. I needed a tight vest, and also needed weight, and thought, “Why can’t we combine the two?” So we did!
Any fun upcoming products?
A new Putty Elements line, including Discovery Putty. An example is Animal Rescue, where kids have to dig through the putty and rescue animals, and they can explore different resistances.
Where do you see the company in 10 years?
I envision it growing significantly, but with the same premise, or heart. It’s here to help other people. It’s not just a business. It’s something I deeply enjoy and find a lot of meaning in. Our motto is, “We don’t want you to buy everything we sell.” We really want kids to get help.
Owning a business and raising six kids is...
Being very aware that I am imperfect. If I have 50 things in front of me that I should be doing, I’m going to pick 20, do them well and figure out something for the rest. What’s most important is spending time with the kids and giving them your full attention.
What do you like most about living in Merion Station?
It’s beautiful. Tranquil. We came from New York City. My husband and I joke that we just drove until we could find parking.
Favorite family activities:
We love Merion Park and Longwood Gardens. Biking, walking around the neighborhood. We like nature!
Any summer vacation plans?
Camping — one big tent!
Tactic for getting all six kids in the car:
Bribery always works, but I don’t like to do that. When we’re going somewhere, they get excited. It’s going back home that’s always the problem!
Favorite “you” time activity?
I like to go for a walk by myself. or drink coffee in a quiet, kid-free zone.