Welcome to Movers & Shakers; a series where we look deep into PNW life for people who are making moves, doing big things, and who are just - in general - being rad. Seattle is full of multi-talented and multi-faceted people, many at the intersection of technology and the arts. How do they find the time? What's their secret? Well, friends, we're here to find out. Meet Movers & Shakers; aka Seattle Refined attempting to capture the not-so-secret lives of impressive locals. Have a recommendation for us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID forced us to stay home - and for some of us that meant extra time with family and kids to (endlessly) entertain.
Speaking from personal experience as a mom of a five-year-old, you can only play so many rounds of Go Fish, Operation and Twister. Thankfully, Bellevue-based SimplyFun stepped up to meet the needs of families like mine looking for ways to connect and cut back on-screen time during the pandemic...because if we can all agree on one thing, it's that 2020 was the year of screen time.
The team at SimplyFun pride themselves in being playtime experts, all stemming from CEO Patty Pearcy. Pearcy says bringing families together in a meaningful way is more important than ever.
“You can only look at a screen for so long” she said. “Our games go beyond the traditional, and really allow families to talk, share ideas and look at one another to truly establish connections - something we all need right now.”
Consider SimplyFun the go-to destination for educational board games that go beyond the traditional and provide fun for the entire family. Pearcy’s role started out as temporary favor to a friend.
“I joined six months after the company was born,” she said. “At first I didn’t see myself staying on, and I actually turned down what I thought was my dream job in finance with lots of travel, to stay with the SimplyFun team.”
But it turns out being the CEO of SimplyFun is the real dream job.
“This job has helped me get closer to the things that matter the most in my life," said Pearcy. "Recognizing that I’m making a difference in someone else’s life [...] is the best thing someone can do. This is how I want to spend my time.”
And with the highest earnings to date in February 2021 - it's safe to say this is how a lot of people want to spend their time. And for good reason, according to Pearcy there’s a variety of games to meet the needs of ALL kids.
“It’s been our mission to help children at every skill level develop their unique gifts using the power of play," she said. "Our games are fun to play, and supplement structured learning with life and educational skill development.”
The website is easy to navigate with categories to meet the needs of parents and families with kids with special needs, autism and more. You can shop by skill level or subject, like math, STEM, social sciences, life and thinking skills as well as reading and language arts.
When you speak with Pearcy, she radiates joy and makes a point to lift up her colleagues.
"The successes of SimplyFun is absolutely a team effort, which makes it even more rewarding."
She said that right now the top-selling game is one called Kilter.
"Dads love this game, it has a bit of a construction feel and can get really competitive," said Pearcy. "It's a game that you can play with the entire family and have fun and kids can learn about physics."
Pearcy discovered her love for games at young age.
“I was an only child and often played Solitaire by myself or I’d play Monoploy with my dad,” she said. “But there was this family down the street that had a closet full of board games, literally from the floor to the ceiling, and I’d beg to play them all.”
Pearcy fondly remembers playing board games with her aunts as a child saying, “those were the most special evenings I recall the most.”
"2020 was an impactful year for SimplyFun" says Pearcy. It's pushing her to dig deeper as a CEO, saying that moving forward, inclusivity is a major priority for the company. "We are a good company, but we could be great, bringing more inclusivity into the games is a step towards being GREAT."
Check out all the games online. Another perk is that customers can order new game pieces instead of having to invest in an entire new set, because we all know those little bits go missing now and then....