Comcast RISE Recipient Profile: Brown Toy Box

Comcast continues to invest in small businesses with the Comcast RISE program. Announced at the April 2024 kick-off event at the Russell Innovation Center, now and through May 31, eligible businesses in Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton and Fulton counties can apply for a grant package at https://www.comcastrise.com/. A total of 100 grants will be announced in August 2024.   

Terri-Nichelle Bradley, founder and CEO of Brown Toy Box, was awarded a Comcast RISE grant in 2020. Brown Toy Box seeks to eliminate generational poverty through play, by making STEAM-based toys that are accessible, representative, and fun for kids. Terri-Nichelle’s business has grown from filling subscription boxes at her dining room table in her Atlanta home to now selling toys in stores like Target and Walmart. Comcast RISE helped Terri-Nichelle get the resources she needed to generate brand awareness and launch into a full-scale toy company.  

About Brown Toy Box 

Terri-Nichelle created Brown Toy Box in 2018 out of a quest to find purpose in her life. She wanted to help eliminate generational poverty by creating a pipeline into STEAM careers. After doing some research, she learned that there is a lack of diversity in STEAM fields due to a lack of exposure. Terri wanted to make sure that every child could see themselves represented in these fields. She chose to do that through toys because children use toys to learn about themselves and their place in the world.  

“We want to make sure kids have confidence exploring those activities. Then later those classes, then later those majors, and then ultimately those careers.”  

Terri-Nichelle first started out with the STEAM kit. Each of the six STEAM kits represents a different STEAM field – science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. They feature a cast of characters called the Dadisi Academy crew, which gets its name from the Swahili word for “curious.” Today, the company creates over 70 products, including giant puzzles (Oprah’s favorite!), books, and memory cards.  

To create a new toy, Terri-Nichelle looks at trends in the toy industry and asks, “How can we ‘Brown Toy Box’ this up?” Each toy is created with the consultation of toy designers and put in front of focus groups made up of children, teachers, and parents. The designer will create a few different versions of the toy, and the one that gets the most positive feedback gets put into production. Each toy is made in China and assembled and shipped right here in Atlanta.  

It’s a long, tedious process, but for Terri-Nichelle, the hard work is worth it when she sees the impact her toys have on children and even adults in the community. 

“Every time I see a kid playing with our one of our STEAM kits, or with the plush, or somebody reading the book, or I have an adult that comes up to me is like, oh, I wish I had this when I was a kid, right? That keeps me going when I’m feeling exhausted.” 

Rising Above Challenges with Comcast  

Today, you can walk into Target and see Brown Toy Box on the shelves, but for Terri-Nichelle, the road to getting there was not an easy one. She launched her business in 2018 and failed fast. She relaunched in 2019, but things started to fall apart again when the pandemic hit. She wanted to transition from a subscription box into a full-scale toy company, but she needed to amplify her brand awareness. That’s where Comcast RISE came in. Of all the benefits that Comcast RISE offers – monetary grants, technology makeovers provided by Comcast Business, commercial production, business coaching, and more – the commercial stood out the most to Terri-Nichelle. Receiving the grant was a game-changer, Terri-Nichelle says.  

“We could really pinpoint spikes in sales to when someone was calling me, telling me they saw the commercial on television. That capital that came, that revenue that came in was critical for us to be able to do that evolution into, you know, creating our own toys.” 

Brown Toy Box is sold in Target and Walmart, and for their next step, they are planning a partnership with Microsoft to launch games.

“I think the challenge of an entrepreneur is just to weather the storm. And we’ve done that. And so we know that we’re built for this.” 

Terri-Nichelle Bradley, Founder and CEO, Brown Toy Box

Terri-Nichelle encourages other entrepreneurs to take the opportunity to apply for Comcast RISE. Without the grant, she says, “I think it would have been a longer, harder, slower journey. And so I’m definitely grateful for the Comcast RISE grant. It really was exactly what we needed at that specific time.” 

About Comcast RISE

The comprehensive grant packages include business consultation services, educational resources, a $5,000 monetary grant, creative production, media schedule, and a technology makeover. Comcast RISE is committed to supporting the growth of all small businesses, while advancing the objectives of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as community investment. The program was created to help businesses and their communities thrive with a focus on economic growth. 

To learn more about Brown Toy Box, visit https://browntoybox.com/ and to read more about former RISE recipients – check out Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks.   

For more on eligibility requirements and how to apply for the Comcast RISE grant program, visit www.ComcastRISE.com.   

We think you may also like…