Virginie is mum to two inquisitive pre-schoolers, Hannah (5) and Constance (2). Hannah’s favourite game is to pretend she’s a robot; Constance’s passion in life is to experiment with gravity. With two girls, there’s no end of giggles in the house.
Virginie started her career in investment banking, where she gained a deep understanding of spreadsheets and how to work effectively with a minimum amount of sleep. She then joined the Corporate Development team at Yahoo! and worked on various projects ranging from acquisitions to strategic partnerships across Europe. Most recently, she was head of marketing at Keynoir, a luxury daily deal site. Virginie loves making things and decided to launch toucanBox to share her love of creating activities that spark kids imagination.
Sara has been working in education for as long as she can remember. When her mother started a Montessori school more than 25 years ago, Sara spent many summers and afternoons after school helping out in the classrooms. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and is a certified Early Childhood Montessori Educator. Sara spent over a decade as a lead teacher in a variety of Montessori programs. For several years, Sara served as the Director of the Reston Montessori School--a Montessori school of over 250 students in Northern Virginia. For the last seven years Sara has also been a faculty member at the Institute of Advanced Montessori Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland where she taught cultural studies and helped to inspire others to pursue a career in education. Since the beginning of 2012, Sara has been enjoying living in London with her husband.
Designing curriculum and educating children are Sara’s passions. She is excited to be able to help parents and children learn and have fun with the toucanBox projects every month!
Federica is from Reggio Emilia, a small town in northern Italy known for its innovative, early-stage teaching methods. The goal of Reggio's philosophy is to cultivate within children a lifelong passion for learning and exploration. The ethos has certainly rubbed-off on Federica whose natural curiosity led her to embark on an international corporate career in both Europe and Asia, where she established the Chinese operations for a leading multi-national company.
Education has always been the fulcrum to Federica’s ambitions and she has obtained both a BA and MSc from Bocconi University in Milan and a MBA from IMD, Switzerland. It was at IMD that Federica met her husband and upon graduation, the two moved to London. Federica joined toucanBox with the aim of getting her hands dirty (literally); she manages the daily operations, overseeing the full supply chain and buying process. To her great enjoyment, Federica has also rediscovered her creative side testing all the innovative toucanBox crafts: ‘the messier the better!’. “...a hundred worlds to discover, a hundred worlds to invent, a hundred worlds to dream…” said Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio-Emilia method. Federica strongly believes that toucanBox helps children do exactly that.
Steve is Dad to Elisabeth (2) and has another little girl on the way. Elisabeth’s favourite things are running, jumping and PlayDoh. She also keeps Daddy in check and tells him when he has been naughty. Soon to be outnumbered by girls Steve is currently hatching plans for a “ManCave” at the bottom of the Garden.
Steve began his career as a “Web Designer” in the late nineties when all you needed was a text editor and an FTP client. Over the years he expanded his knowledge and skills to become an accomplished developer and all round web nerd. In 2004 he and a couple of like minded types formed Beef, a Creative Digital Agency based in Bristol. Steve headed up the development team building web apps that fulfilled the diverse needs of Beef’s client base.
Steve now leads the development team at toucanBox and lives to make the toucanBox online experience as enjoyable as the boxes themselves.