What It's About
A flight attendant uses her day job to take the Tooth Fairy international!
Words of Wisdom
Tiffany recommends that other first-time side hustlers be as active as possible in local meet-ups and networking events. These have helped her both in brainstorming product enhancements and in getting the word out with limited marketing.
Passport4Change’s products are currently only sold online; they won’t work in the ultra-competitive retail space just yet, as she’d need a much larger budget to occupy the shelf space and marketing required to garner enough attention to make it worthwhile.
While the specific concept of a fairy is recent, cultures around the world have been commemorating lost baby teeth for hundreds of years.
In the 13th century, Islamic scholar Ibn Abi el-Hadid referenced the Middle Eastern tradition of throwing a baby tooth into the sky (or "to the sun") and praying for a better tooth to replace it.
Notes from Chris
Tiffany Reimer is a globetrotting flight attendant, with a side hustle featuring a character well known to many of us: the Tooth Fairy. Except hers is likely a much more well-traveled version than the one you and I grew up with. Tiffany explains that the inspiration for her side hustle, Passport4Change, arose when she asked her niece a simple question. “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” –and the then five-year-old enthusiastically responded, “Target!” (Yep, she was referring to the big-box department store.) This wasn’t just a red flag; it was a sign that there are likely a lot of other kids out there whose worlds could be bigger, and who could benefit from learning a thing or two about other cultures. So she decided to create a product that parents and kids both love: the concept of a passport-bearing Tooth Fairy who leaves coins from all over the world. Kids get a map that they use to check off countries where their Tooth Fairy has traveled and a passport for their special coins. Every time Tiffany travels to a new country—and she’s so far logged an impressive catalog of 50 of them—she goes out of her way to collect more coins. She’s not alone in her quest, though: Tiffany’s husband, a pilot, is her biggest supporter, and a more than willing travel partner. It’s been an adventure for them both that has involved a lot of fascinating research along the way. Tiffany says that Passport4Change is delivering more than cash; each coin sparks kids’ interest in different parts of the world, potentially opening a dialogue about different cultures, time zones, languages, superstitions, inventions, indigenous animals, and traditions. Or, you know, what the best airline lounge is! For Passport4Change, Tiffany sourced product names from her day job in the airline industry. Currently, the best-selling kit is The First Class Kit. It comes with a random assortment of 20 coins that typically include currencies from countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Tiffany has also had a few parents request coins from countries that are special to them, like where they honeymooned, or where their relatives or ancestors came from. In 2016, the U.S. national average that the Tooth Fairy left kids was $4.66. (Too bad adults don’t have baby teeth, am I right?) At Passport4Change, Tiffany sells individual coins for $4.95 each in addition to the expanded kits. Naturally, the coins do not cost nearly that much to acquire, in fact, they cost very little. With a solid margin, this already sounds like a lucrative venture, but Tiffany’s startup costs to produce the maps, passports, and a website were $5,000. Still, she’s been able to grow the business primarily through word-of-mouth and is now bringing in $2,500 in monthly profit. It’s pocket change that creates real change in the hearts and minds of families. Tiffany understands this intimately; before becoming a flight attendant, she was working a 9-to-5 job at a bank. After leaving, she hasn’t looked back, and her world has definitely expanded. When Tiffany looks at the map she and her husband have at home that has pins for every country they’ve visited, she’s excited to fill in the spaces. And she’s betting that because of Passport4Change, there will be a new generation excited to do the same.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Passport4Change: Take your child's imagination on an adventure around our world. Learn more about what Tiffany is doing over on her website!
- University Lecturer Earns $2,000/Month Writing Children’s Books: An American teaching in Taiwan tells tales of foreign lands, packaging them in a series of books for children back home
- Immigrant Couple Translates Heritage Into Children’s Flash Cards: Two immigrants from Laos meet the needs of an underserved community in a $50,000 per year hustle
- Mental Health Counselor Creates Coping Skills for Kids: A Licensed Mental Health Counselor brings in an additional $1,100/month creating digital products to help kids deal with stress, anxiety, and anger in healthy and productive ways
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