Getting to know… Vanouhi Nazarian of Kindershare

Kindershare connects owners and renters of children’s equipment. Make money from unused kids equipment and help other families, or rent items you need for a short term from a local family. Register by 30 June and you could win a FlyTot!
www.kindershare.com
Tell us about yourself
I’m a born and bred Sydney girl. I grew up on the Northern Beaches, spent some time in the East, and have been living in Rozelle for the past 8 years. My husband and I have 2 young girls and really consider ourselves lucky that we can raise them in the Inner West. Our background is Armenian and we try to speak it at home where possible.
I trained as a Chartered Accountant and spent many years working in corporate restructuring. In more recent years I’ve used those skills to help not for profit organisations create value that isn’t only measured in dollars. I’m also currently studying a Masters in Not for Profit Management at UTS.
In my spare time (ha!) I enjoy photography and planning holidays with the family; it’s a luxury we had pre-kids that we have tried to keep up as much as possible.
Tell us about Kindershare
Kindershare is brand new – we launched 4 weeks ago! Kindershare makes it easy for families to rent their unused children’s equipment to other local families. Equipment owners can earn extra money and renters have a low cost way of using high-end children’s products.
Kindershare allows owners to earn money on these unused items, while providing renters with a low-cost way of accessing high-end children’s products. Items like Yoyo Prams, travel cots, pram bags, CARES harnesses, FlyTots, and bassinets.
How many times have you thought about buying items you‘ll only need for a short period of time? A FlyTot or pram bag might only be used for 2-4 weeks a year. Kindershare allows you to rent it out, make some money from it and help out other families at the same time.
An average Australian family spends $50,000 on children’s furniture and equipment from when they are born, to when they turn 18 – by using Kindershare we can help families cut down on costs, without compromising on quality.
I keep getting asked if the items are clean and safe. Most of the people listing items are parents themselves, so understand what other parents are looking for when hiring goods. Before listing, we require the items meet Australian safety standards and to be less than 7 years old.
Building up trust is also essential. We use one of the leading payment gateway providers to process our transactions. We also have reviews, so you can see what other people thought of the items they rented, and whether the renter took care of the items rented through Kindershare. We hold also public liability insurance that covers all rental items and offer 75% replacement value in case of loss or damage to the items.
How did the concept come about?
We love travel and always said we were going to keep travelling after kids. If it hadn’t been for my sister living in Italy, it might have been another one of those “before we were parents” moments. We headed off with a 5 month old and half the house, and also spent quite a bit of cash on a compact pram. We also hired quite a lot of stuff both when we travelled and also hired capsules when we had newborns – but it was all quite costly! There had to be a better way.
A short while later, I needed to develop a business idea for a uni assignment, and looking at our tiny house filling with stuff, hearing about the sharing economy and looking back at our experiences… Kindershare was born.
It has taken a lot of hard work to get our business to the launch stage and we are now looking to build scale. We are looking at hearing people’s feedback and getting as many listing as possible each week.
How does Kindershare work?
If you have unused items at home:

  1. Go to kindershare.com
  2. Sign up for free
  3. List your items
  4. Set a price and bond
  5. Share your listing

You can choose to earn some extra cash by offering delivery. If you need the items yourself, you can set certain dates as unavailable. On the date of delivery, meet the renter, hand over the item and show them how it works. We’ll transfer the money, less a small fee, directly into your account!
If you need items for a short term: All you need to do is go to www.kindershare.com and type what you’re looking for in the search terms – you can search by area – either close to where you live, or if you are travelling domestically, close to your destination. Set your dates and send in a request – the owner will check your dates and confirm they are happy to rent to you. On pickup day, meet the owner and provide them with the security code and you’re on your way. We take care of all the payments for you, avoiding the need to go to the ATM to get cash.
Tell us more about the sharing economy
5 years ago, people thought it strange to sleep in someone else’s bed, yet last year over 35 million people did it on AirBnB. The sharing economy helps people make money from things they have lying around the house idle and also helps people save money. More than just AirBnB and Uber, there are some excellent local companies that help you find local pet sitters, car rentals, cheap parking spots or even power tools from a nearby tradie.
What are the benefits of renting vs. buying items?
Many! Anyone living in the Inner West knows that our houses are small, with limited storage space. If you’re looking for a minimalist lifestyle, and wanting to live more sustainably, then renting is a great option for you.
For example, by renting a travel cot, you don’t have to worry about finding a spare shelf somewhere to store it in between trips. And best of all, you don’t have to worry about trying to sell it later on. You can also try before you buy – we all know prams cost up to $2,000 and pushing it around a store for 10 mins isn’t really enough to tell if it will suit your car or your lifestyle. By renting it, you can test drive to make sure it meets your needs.
There are a lot of items that aren’t used when you are in between kids, or are being held to pass down to a family member. As an owner, instead of just storing items, you can be earning money from them instead. And best of all, you are helping to reduce waste and help local families!
What are the expected cost savings on an item?
For example, a brand new Yoyo can cost around $700, but you can rent one from a local family at around $30 – $40 per week through Kindershare. On the flip side, if you weren’t sure you could justify $700 for a second pram, you can now make some of that money back by renting it out to other families after your trip.
Lots of people lend items to friends, and end up with cheap bottles of wine they are never going to drink as thank you gifts. By using Kindershare you can avoid those awkward conversations and get money to spend on things you actually want instead! You can also avoid hand me downs that aren’t the brand or style you want for great Instagram pics by hiring good quality items for a fraction of the price of ownership.
Is this just in NSW or are you going Australia wide?
Even though we’ve only been going a few weeks, we already have listings from Kingsford to Karratha. We are aiming to be across all towns and cities around Australia, and eventually grow internationally, so that you can book a family holiday, hire a travel pram from a family in Balmain, then pick up a cot once you arrive in LA.
What advice do you have for other mums looking at start a business?
The most important is to find something you care about. I travel a lot and making travel easier is a big motivation for me. It gives me a lot of energy to put into the business.
Lean startup thinking is important for everyone, not just tech companies. Ensure you understand what your customer’s pains are early on before you over commit financially and find out that people aren’t willing to pay for what you are offering. I was lucky I could work through these as part of a uni assignment, but there are plenty of resources to help people just starting out.
My final advice – always learn – about your customers, about your products, about marketing. If you aren’t learning you are standing still, or worse, going backwards.
What is the best thing about having your own business?
Owning my own business has helped me apply the skills I’ve gained working in and on companies, for my own benefit. I also really enjoy challenging myself and always learning; having my own business gives me a channel to focus my energy.
The best thing about Kindershare is being able to share my knowledge and experience around travelling with kids; knowing that I’ll be helping make it easier for families to travel with kids, and therefore helping kids explore more of the world.
What is your preferred charitable thing to do?
Give away my time by helping smaller NGOs to succeed. I offer them my business acumen and commercial skills, or a fresh way of thinking about problems they may have.
Favourite spots in Sydney’s Inner West?
Any park with a café nearby! For great meals, our family loves Mantecato in Rozelle for the good food, good wine list, lovely staff and atmosphere. They’re really great at letting us have a quality meal with kids at a reasonable hour.
 
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