There’s this weird thing that happens to some of us when we have a kid: we suddenly become super crafty DIYers. I, for one, am the least crafty person on the planet, but I now make my own shampoo, laundry detergent, herbal tea, and cloth diapers. Yup. In my case, it’s because I have an irrational fear of BPA, phthalates, PCB, HCB, and other chemicals. For other parents, it’s about cost savings. And then for other parents, it’s about the fun of being crafty. For those, there’s Moonfrye, a crafting/DIY site for parents.
The company announced Thursday that it has raised $2.5 million in funding led by GRP Partners with participation from Greycroft, Daher Capital, and Google Ventures.
If the name Moon Frye sounds familiar, it’s because the company’s Chief Creative Officer is Soleil Moon Frye of 1980s TV series “Punky Brewster” fame. Moon Frye co-founded the namesake site several years ago as an online community, and it has since grown into a network of crafty moms.
The site features crafting content in the form of blog posts and images from an array of different contributors. At first glance, the company’s business model is a mystery. The site looks like a blog, but it doesn’t host ads. But there also doesn’t appear to be a commerce angle or a premium account sign-up. CEO Kara Nortman says that the company is not yet disclosing details about its product or business model beyond the basics: it's a social network for crafty moms.
"Our product has a unique, innovative design that is going to be a game-changer for providing parents and children with a shared creative outlet," said Nortman, in a statement. "If moms are shutting off passive entertainment in favor of engaging their kids actively on mobile devices then we have made our small dent on society."
Whatever the business model is, the company has a powerful team of supporters behind it. Advisers include industry heavyweights like Dan Rosensweig, Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg, Gina Bianchini, Erik Lammerding and Rick Marini. Investors include Mark Suster of GRP Partners and Kevin Rose of Google Ventures.
"There's a restored interest in craftsmanship and DIY. It's a refreshing change from the reliance on ready-made goods," said Kevin Rose, in a statement. "Combining real world experiences with digital tools creates a lot of interesting possibilities when put in the hands of moms and families, and Soleil and Kara have an inspiring vision to bring that to life."
Of course, Moonfrye isn’t the only player in the crafting/parents-trying-to-keep-kids-entertained space. Brit.co is a crafting/DIY site where users can find ideas and recipes and even subscribe to get a monthly crafting kit. Similarly, Babbaco is a subscription commerce company that ships boxes of age-appropriate educational kids’ games, toys, books, and craft kits.
Will Moonfrye take a similar subscription commerce path, or will the company strike out on its own? It looks like we’ll have to wait and see.