Buy A Stapler, Help a Child: An interview with Rachel Jonas Gilman, VP of Marketing at Yoobi

What is Yoobi’s mission? Why is this important? How do you donate these supplies to classrooms/how do you choose which classrooms to donate to?

Yoobi’s mission is simple! We believe that kids and teachers should be provided with the fundamental tools needed to learn and be creative. Working closely with our nonprofit partner, the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF), we’ve impacted 4 million kids since 2014! Many teachers spend their own money to provide their classrooms with supplies. That’s why Yoobi was created, because for every Yoobi item you purchase, we donate a school supply item to a classroom in need here in the U.S. KINF identifies schools “in need” as those elementary schools where at least 70% of the student population is enrolled in the federal free or reduced lunch program. We believe that we have the responsibility to ensure that teachers and students in our most underserved schools have the essential supplies they need.

 

What style of products does Yoobi make? How does Yoobi balance functionality with aesthetic/how does it decide which brands to carry? Do you have any products that may be helpful for summer internships?

Yoobi makes fun, colorful stuff that’s at a great price point and always on trend. We appeal to many different age groups, so whether it’s your first day of school, or you’re off to your first-ever summer internship, Yoobi has items that are perfect for any occasion. Yoobi allows everyone to express themselves through school supplies, desk décor, accessories and flair! For those getting ready for a summer internship, you should check out our Cactus Pens and Spiral Avocado Notebook, because the #1 rule of any internship is to never go anywhere without pen and paper! You can also pick up one of our Flat Coin Purses, which is great for your new ID card and can be used for your school ID when you head back this Fall; and our Coral Grid Document Organizer is perfect for keeping all your documents together this summer.

 

How long have you been with Yoobi? What is your role in the company? What did you do before this?

I first joined Yoobi in January 2014 to help launch the brand at Target stores nationwide and on Yoobi.com. As their VP of Marketing, I oversee the company’s brand partnerships, public relations and cause marketing, as well as our direct-to-consumer channels. Previously, I was the Head of Marketing and Press at Jonathan Adler in New York City, where I led the brand marketing strategy for the company’s vertical retail, online, wholesale, interior design and licensing businesses. I also ran direct-to-consumer marketing at Cole Haan, where I developed integrated marketing plans to support a fleet of over 100 stores and their website. Before Cole Haan, I did marketing and PR at Juicy Couture, where I supported the brand during a period of major expansion including the opening of over 40 stores.

 

What is Yoobi’s business model and how does it support to your mission/what makes Yoobi different from another company like Staples?

Yoobi’s “buy one, give one” model is the foundation of our mission and vision. Our mission is to bring color, differentiation and innovation to the school and office supplies category and help solve a big problem along the way. Yoobi wants to ensure that all kids in the U.S. have the tools they need to learn and be creative.