The business founded by three Los Gatos residents when they were just teenagers has reached the major leagues.
The 20-year-old twin sisters Madeline and Gabrielle Pollock and their 19-year-old childhood best friend Kate Lally founded kit & sis (formerly AG Sisters) in 2013. The company organizes events and sells craft kits centered on the relationship between young girls and their favorite dolls.
“Our mission is to enable young girls to express their creativity through handmade and hands-on learning,” Gabriel said. “We feel that this is a lost art, especially in the era of continuous technological development. This keeps them away from the screen and allows them to participate in building something they can be proud of.”
Originally to encourage young girls in the Los Gatos community to develop problem-solving skills and self-confident localization efforts, it has now grown into a real enterprise, becoming the only seven selected in the California Institute of Technology’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program One of the enterprises.
The 12-week course takes place in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where Madeline and Gabrielle will enter their third year. Kate attended Stonehill College in Massachusetts. Throughout the plan, business leaders from all walks of life provide participants with feedback about their companies and help them develop long-term business plans.
The founders used their time in the accelerator to expand and reshape their business. They launched the first iteration of their business under the name of AG Sisters. With the help of their instructor, they changed their name to kit & sis, and the two girls took each other’s nicknames.
These young women said that the accelerator program has helped them consolidate their business and become a target they hope to become full-time jobs after graduation. They said it was a good opportunity to ask their customer base what is effective and what their business model might be different.
“We have just received so much guidance and leadership, and our business has grown in ways we couldn’t imagine,” said Madeline.
The program allows founders to visit office space, professors, lawyers, and mentors to help them navigate the establishment of business processes. They also received a $10,000 grant for their position in the program, which can be used for their business.
Madeline is the chief executive officer of kit & sis, Gabrielle is the chief financial officer, and Kate is the chief marketing officer. But when the business started, they were just three girls obsessed with dolls.
They used to take them on road trips, and Gabriel recalled pushing her doll in a stroller near San Francisco. Madeleine remembered taking photos with their dolls in Disneyland.
Encouraged by their mother, they began to like to make accessories-doll-sized food, bedding and clothes. As they grow up and start to look after their children, parents are always interested in their elaborate handicrafts and ask them how to remake them.
In 2014, they held their first summer camp in Saratoga with a total of 10 campers. Soon, they began to organize birthday parties, summer camps, handicraft days and holiday-themed activities.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they moved their activities online and sent campers boxes with all the materials needed to complete the handicrafts.
This allows them to expand their reach to girls outside of Saratoga and Los Gatos, whose customer base has been around for a long time. With online activities and newly launched subscription boxes, the company’s influence spreads across the country.
They are also working with the Westin St. Francis Hotel and the San Francisco Olympic Club to plan events later this year.
They also continue to hold online events and limit the scale to maintain intimacy and hands-on experience. Their mail-order craft boxes will come with video tutorials to help young girls who are not yet proficient in reading.
For more information and to purchase craft kits, please visit https://www.kitandsis.com.