CLEVELAND — A single mother from Euclid is making it big with a toy that she created for her daughter. Creator Kayla Lupean was honored with the title of "Best Preschool Toy of 2022" on NBC’s TODAY Show for her invention, Play Maysie.
Lupean says her daughter Elsie is the inspiration behind the product. The idea was created two years ago on Christmas night. Lupean said a lightbulb went off in her head after watching her daughter play with her new dollhouse.
The pieces of the portable dollhouse attach with magnets and everything can be moved with the child.
“I had about $25,000 in my savings account that really was a safety net for me and my daughter. I decided to take the risk and start our production samples and start our Kickstarter campaign,” said Lupean.
Play Maysie came to life quickly after launching on the crowdfunding platform. A leap of faith in the middle of a global pandemic, but Lupean started selling online and the dollhouses went fast.
“I’ve done this all with my child by my side while managing everything you have to manage as a single mom, to create a product that resonates with so many people, to be recognized by parents.com as one of the best toys in 2022 is amazing," she added.
And Lupean also gives back. Elsie was adopted at birth, and through her own journey to motherhood, Lupean learned more about children and families involved in the foster care system. Now, a portion of all proceeds supports donations of cases to youth entering foster care
“As a mom, I know how important play is and also just the feeling of ownership, having something that’s yours. One of the things I love about the product is that it’s all in one and it’s really the perfect toy to enter into their first placement and can take it through multiple placements… to kind of process what happening in their life through play,” said Lupean. “I’m a single adoptive mom and I never would have planned that, and the way life happened has taken me to places where I never could have taken myself.”
Watch the video interview at: https://www.wkyc.com/video/life/holidays/play-maysie-portable-doll-house-made-in-cleveland-named-best-christmas-gift-for-pre-schoolers/95-5cac3d4c-3c93-4493-b455-3c2a4a2c52bb