(Will Barrios- Founder and CEO of Tatro)
In this new feature called #MakerSeries, RyeTheNewsGuy.com will give you a first-hand look at some of the up and coming makers of tomorrow by showcasing some of their products that are making a splash in the industry. These makers are all apart of Broadway Makers' Alliance, which is a collection of creatives who’ve taken their passion for Broadway and created high-quality products and services for the Broadway and theatre community. RyeTheNewsGuy.com is a proud member of Broadway Makers' Alliance.
Will Barrios, creator and founder of Tatro, talks with RyeTheNewsGuy.com about the creation of Tatro- an innovative first-of-its-kind toy for kids that focuses on different themes in entertainment. Barrios talks about the creation of Tatro, how he took an idea he had as a kid and made it his passion, and the launch of the new product.
How did you come up with the idea for Tatro?
I have a really long history with the idea of Tatro. When I was a kid, I was a very creative and I was homeschooled for a while. I was in public school and private school for awhile too and I didn't really have a certain creative outlet other than maybe doing some school productions. When I was home, I kind of needed a creative outlet, and so I started building this little toy- this little playset for myself. I'd get a cardboard box- I'd cut a hole in it, I'd put a floor in it, I would take little beeds and build them on magnets and I'd start running them around the floor. I started just building different scenes and then kind of conceiving different shows and things that I could do on this little playset and these stories I could tell.
It's just kind of evolved--I was about 10 years old then, and it just really kind of evolved from there, until I was about 19 and then I moved to New York and it still followed me. I actually later in life decided to go to school for Production Design and I used an advanced version of this toy actually as a design prototype in my portfolio to get into design school.
I had spent time trying to figure out, okay, I saw this creative outlet, like "what do I really want to pursue after New York?" And I started looking at passion projects and things I can do. And I realized that everything I was reading always went back to what you did as a child that you would do today if somebody didn't tell you to stop. And for me that was this idea of this playset. I played around with the idea of it for a few months and then I finally decided to just take it on. That was two years ago, and here I am now really about ready to launch the toy.
Where did you come up with the name Tatro? Is there a meaning behind it?
There's really no meaning to Tatro- actually the O in it is a really strong sound and I looked at a lot of different mythology words and I looked at kind of where the pronunciation was and what felt stronger or not and I just went with the name Tatro!
I see. So what are some of the themes or characters that kids will be able to experience with Tatro? I understand that it's more of a pop culture playset with fun pop culture themes for kids.
So the really cool thing about Tatro is that it is a bare playset, and that was the original concept and then you add on whatever you choose to it. So it very well could be a stage for the kid who loves theater.
But other than that we have so many amazing kids that love comics, that love wizards, and that love unicorns there's so many ways you can go with this. So, you know, we have a theme called"Glitter and be Unicorn" which is this candy colored unicorn world. And every premium pack, comes with a drop and with two characters and we named all the characters so you can have someone to identify with in the set.
And then we also have things like our superhero set, which is called Superhero Metropolis and it's comic inspired. So if you look at the design of it, it's got the little print dots in there that I think really speak to those who are kind of comic obsessed. So of course kids love superheroes, and they love to fly so they both have capes!
Awesome. So where can we find Tatro, and where can kids buy it? Is it just available exclusively on the website or is it in store too?
So the plan for our first year is to be mostly e-commerce only, for the majority of people. I live in Louisiana and so we are going to do local pop-ups throughout the state and we may venture out through there. I have a great relationship with Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn as well, so we're going to be doing some pop-up shops there and connecting with our local community. But other than that, the best place to go would be to visit www.tatrotoy.com or you can find us on Facebook and Instagram @tatrotoy
Great, that is super exciting! What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs and the Future Makers of tomorrow?
I think there's two things: One is have a vision and make it BIG! The second part is just do the thing, just DO IT-- whether you think you have the skills or not, just dive in headfirst and you'll figure it out from there.
(One of the designs from the premium pack of Tatro)
(One of the designs from the full pack of Tatro)