Young kids using One Fun Company soap
Grant Recipient

February 22, 2022

January 2022 Amber Grant Awarded to One Fun

One Fun Company, Inc

Woman Entrepreneur:
Alli DiVincenzo

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We’re excited to announce the $10,000 January Amber Grant recipient. Congratulations to Alli DiVincenzo, founder of One Fun Company, Inc.

She is the January qualifier for the 2022 year-end Amber Grant ($25,000).

Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Marcia Layton Turner sat down with Alli for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.

Video Transcript


WomensNet:
Hi, everyone. Welcome to a chat with this month’s Amber Grant winner. Today, we’re speaking with Alli DiVincenzo, who’s the CEO of One Fun, and she is the Amber Grant winner for January, 2022. I’m Marcia Layton Turner, and I’m an Advisory Board member at WomensNet, which gives the Amber Grants.

So Alli, thanks for joining us today. Really appreciate it.

Alli: Thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here.

WomensNet: Awesome. Well, let’s start with a basic question and have you tell everyone about One Fun.

Alli: So again, I’m Alli DiVincenzo. I am the co-founder and CEO of One Fun Company. When my son was around three and four years old, I really had a challenge, every single day, to get him to wash his hands. He simply found it boring, tedious. It was that moment of the day when you you’re having so much fun and then you have to stop what you’re doing and wash your hands.

And at the time, I’m a designer and I was working on another product for kids… and I had an ‘aha’ moment. I know I can’t change my kid. So why don’t we change the format of soap? So, several years later, I teamed up with two amazing Harvard, MIT scientists. And I pitched them the idea. They loved it. They had young kids at home too. And so together for several years, just after hours and in our kitchens, we iterated on a formula for popping hand soap. And here I present to you today, the first patent-pending popping hand soap called Splatz. It’s an all natural, biodegradable, earth friendly format for hand soap. And, not sure if you can see it here, but it’s just the right dosage of soap and you can play with it. Then when you’re ready, you can either splat it with two hands or just burst it with your fingers. And the kids love it, and they find it so much fun to use to wash their hands.

WomensNet: Tell us a little bit about how you’ve been selling the product.

Alli: So we had a shelf stable prototype in January of 2020, right before the pandemic. And hand washing became one of three necessary protocols to keeping everyone safe and healthy. So it was really interesting and very good timing on our part. We went to beta test with about a hundred families, and while people weren’t really answering their doors, we dropped off samples and we heard from families and kids that they used up the samples within a day. They wanted more and they loved it. And we knew we had something special.

So we filed a provisional patent and we went to work. We set up our own lab. We knew we wanted to manufacture in-house because the formula was so specific. We spent all summer of 2020 setting up our lab and then November 21st, 2020, we launched our website and went to market. So last year was our first year selling, and we are selling on our website. We’re on Amazon; we’re in about a hundred specialty stores. We’re on Etsy and uncommongoods.com.

WomensNet: So how did you hear about the Amber Grant and what made you decide to apply?

Alli: So I have a very good friend. Her name is Jessica Cohen; I’ve known her for over a decade now. And she’s just one of those friends that whenever you’re having the day where you just need some ideas, I would call Jessica and one day she suggested the Amber Grant. And so I looked you up and it looked fabulous. I applied and here I am today. So word of mouth.

WomensNet: So now that you’ve won $10,000, tell us about your plans.

Alli: So we recently expanded our lab space. We moved from Massachusetts to south Norwalk, Connecticut. So we are going to use the funding towards buying a better, bigger machine, which will allow us to go from 450 units a day to almost 1,300 units a day, which will lower our labor costs too. This will lower our cost of good sold and allow us to sell the product to more people because it’s more affordable. We will also use the money towards R and D. We are currently developing a new product. It’s actually going to be announced to the public soon, but I will give you a sneak peek that we are going to be launching bubble bath and body wash.

So R&D towards that and hiring more people — getting the lab ready to fulfill orders for this year, this exciting year to come.

WomensNet: What’s your timetable for the bubble bath and body wash?

Alli: So we’re thinking it’s gonna be a two in one, so it’ll be one product that can be used for both. And our goal is Easter…which thankfully falls in April of this year.

WomensNet: Besides rolling that out, looking three to five years out —where do you see the business?

Alli: Our patent, which we filed in May of 2020, has now been converted to a non-provisional patent. Which really protects this format of personal care products, over many product lines. So, from hand soap to body wash, bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash — really the sky’s the limit on what we can do with it. But we’ve surveyed our customers and they’ve told us what they want to see next. We’ll probably move from the sink to the bath, to probably back to the sink, maybe with some oral hygiene care products. And really our goal is to help parents; make their lives easier by creating products that kids find really fun to use. And it’s not a struggle to get them to wash up at the end of a busy day.

WomensNet: Very exciting — congratulations on all your success so far. So, do you have any advice for other women entrepreneurs? Anything you learned along the way that might help them?

Alli: I’m so glad you asked me this because I have used the advice of so many people along the way. So first and foremost, ask for advice. That’s my advice — listen to as many podcasts as you can, from How I Built This to Stairway to CEO, which is a great podcast. Also Second Life, which interviews women entrepreneurs that maybe started their career one way and then took a turn and then shows where they’ve ended up. So podcasts are always great.

And also, I think my number one advice is if you have an idea… start small. Don’t be afraid to share your idea and get feedback. You ask friends, ask strangers on the street. I think it’s really important, getting that initial feedback to see if it’s a viable product, if people are interested in it. Because you might be interested in it, but it might not be interesting to more than, let’s say, a hundred people. And so it has to be a viable business to scale it and take it to the next step.

WomensNet: Wonderful. Alli, thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your very busy day to tell your story to the WomensNet community.

Alli: Absolutely. Again, I’m so honored with this grant money. We are gonna put it to work immediately and I’m just really grateful to be part of this community as well. So please, anyone welcome to reach out to me. My email address is alli@onefun.com and I’m happy to provide feedback to other women entrepreneurs.

WomensNet:
Thank you. That’s a generous offer — and congratulations on being this month’s Amber Grant winner.

Alli: Thank you.

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