Airbnb hosted small businesses from around LA at our American Express Shop Small Market on November 19. We are proud to spotlight some of the merchants who were there. Check out Airbnb Open Spotlight.
Few businesses originate from as passionate and genuine beginnings as Yoobi, an LA-based school supplies and kids’ stationery marketplace. “Growing up in Sydney, I always looked forward to back-to-school shopping with my family,” says founder Ido Leffler. “But years later, when I went shopping with my kids, it was a vastly different experience.”
Ido notes a “lack of creativity” in the school supplies marketplace, and felt there was room for a shakeup. “I started Yoobi to do just that,” he says.
And that he did.
“Our goal is to get parents, students and teachers excited about what they see in the school supplies aisle.”
Yoobi — from their kooky toucan mascot to their broad range of school gear — is a pastel-blasted kaleidoscope of color. From folders, backpacks, pencils, staplers and all in between, Yoobi offers everything a student would ever need, and with style and character.
“Our goal is to get people excited about what they see in the school supplies aisle again – parents, students, and teachers alike,” says Leffler.
The supplier also differentiates itself in one very special way. “Yoobi operates on a ‘one for you, one for me’ business model; for every item purchased, we donate an item to a classroom in need right here in the U.S. through our partnership with the Kids in Need Foundation,” says Ido. “We’re committed to our hometown and have big plans to continue giving to schools all across L.A.”
Much like the passion and authenticity of Ido’s vision for Yoobi, the company’s social consciousness comes from the heart, and is only ramping up.
“There is nothing like seeing firsthand how happy students are when they open boxes full of our supplies.”
“In August, we hosted a donation event where we ‘Solved the Problem’ of school supplies throughout the entire Inglewood Unified School District — ensuring that every K-5 student in schools where over 70% of students are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program have the tools they need to succeed,” says Ido. “We also have worked with UNA-USA on donations to resettled refugees here in LA.”
“We hope to make connections to the people around us.”
The company is very proud to be a part of The Airbnb Open Shop Small Market, curated by American Express. “Like Airbnb’s guests, we hope to make connections to the people around us and companies with a similar mission,” exclaims Ido. “So we see the Shop Small Market as an opportunity not just to showcase our amazing products, but to discover other potential partners that we could work with on an ongoing basis.”
Yoobi is laser-focused on its vision, and is looking forward to a bright future.
“There is nothing like seeing firsthand how happy students are when they open boxes full of our supplies, or how relieved teachers are to know they won’t have to spend out of pocket to make up for budget shortfalls,” says Leffler.
“It reminds me why I started this company in the first place.”