Dana Sterling, age thirty one, is the founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company marketed towards girls. GoldieBlox toys aren’t the everyday dress-up doll toys, though, they’re construction toys geared towards introducing young girls to the world of engineering. Each toy comes with a picture book that tells a story about “Goldie,” and how she builds something, such as a carnival game or parade float, to solve a problem. Dana’s goal is to show girls that they are capable of building and creating to help people and find solutions to problems.
Dana and her company are inspiring because even though she was told by other toy companies that her products wouldn’t sell and that girls don’t buy construction toys, she pressed on, eventually raising $285,000 on Kickstarter. She saw that there was an absence of toys in the market that would teach young girls about engineering and problem-solving and filled that gap. Dana’s company illustrates what it means to innovate, as she found a solution that was attractive to girls, the coloring and the story about Goldie, that also taught made them more aware of engineering at a younger age.
Dana is driven by her mission to inspire girls to become engineers, but that doesn’t hold her back from growing her business. GoldieBlox received feedback that boys love the toys, too, so the company will be releasing three new products in the fall that will be in gender neutral colors and include male characters in the books. She is not so focused on her mission that she is afraid to pivot her idea to incorporate a wider market of consumers.
Even before GoldieBlox came into existence, Dana used her entrepreneurial drive to raise $30,000 for economic and educational development in rural India, where she had gone on a mission trip. Dana earned a degree in engineering at Stanford, but ended up as an entrepreneur in the realm of girls toys.