Starting off our series of interviews with people who are able to make our parenting journey a little bit easier is Isabelle, founder of Kinfo, an app for parents to find and share recommend anything from toys to days out to recipes, all of their favourite things. Isabelle speaks to Onco about how she found being a new mum and why she founded Kinfo.
Onco: Hi Isabelle, please tell us a little about yourself.
Isabelle: My name is Isabelle Delmas, I have 3 children (Elie 7, Gabriel 9 and Sasha 13) and we live in West London. I have a PhD in Pharmaceutical studies and started my career in the pharmaceutical industry. That brought me to live in different cities and countries before coming to London, 10 years ago. Before having kids, I wanted to travel as much as possible and I was completely workaholic. Then I got pregnant, had to slow down, came back from the US to Europe and changed jobs to “only” travel in Europe.
Onco: How did you find being a new mum?
Isabelle: Becoming a mum was a sort of a revelation as I did not expect myself to go through that intense emotional journey. I realised that my baby was more important than anything else in my life and that changed completely the way I was prioritising things. I soon knew that I wanted more children and we had Gabriel 4 years later, then Elie.
Onco: How did you know what to buy for your babies and children?
Isabelle: I did not know what to buy and where to buy things when I had my first baby. My mum was very helpful, although lot of things had changed since I was a baby. So I relied a lot on my friends who had a baby before or my paediatrician.
Now that the kids are not babies anymore, I still rely on what my friends are recommending, whether it’s an online shop with amazing customer services, a place to go for a Sunday family lunch, a movie to watch or a children book.
Onco: What is Kinfo about?
Isabelle: Kinfo is a mobile app that helps all parents share recommendations about meaningful activities for their kids. We have already more than 800 recommended toys, games, books, indoor centres, party places, recipes, clubs, events etc that have been recommended by our amazing community of mums, dads and now carers. Any parents, nanny or friend interested in discovering great products and services that other families have experienced can join the app. It’s very easy to share a product or a place and anyone can do it. The majority of our recommendations are for parents of children at primary school age though.
Onco: How did Kinfo get started?
Isabelle: My previous job was very intense and frustrating from a parenting’s perspective: no time to see the kids, no time to organise anything during the weekends and I was – of course – completely behind on any information regarding local activities, fairs, events etc. I also started to worry that my kids would grow without much input from me and, together with a busy husband, we did not want to outsource their childhood. So I decided to stop my demanding and inflexible job at that time and started to design one that would fit better my purpose and my lifestyle. I had the idea of Kinfo with my husband when we realised that it was actually natural to connect with other parents, from school for example, and that they were happy to share their recommendations about what to do with their kids. The main obstacle was time as explained before but also a modern digital way to collect and share those recommendations. Kinfo was born.
Onco: How can we tell the recommendations are genuine?
Isabelle: It is very important for Kinfo that all recommendations are coming from parents like us and not from sponsors. We do not accept any form of sponsorship nor promotion to guarantee our integrity.
Onco: What’s your favourite recommendation?
Isabelle: I have discovered a lot of great things parents have recommended on Kinfo, and one of the recent one is FeedMe2: a ready to eat healthy food prepared on the day to feed the family on days you don’t feel like cooking.
Mums are absolutely incredible to spot on great ideas such as this one!
Onco: What’s your best parenting tip?
Isabelle: I think that we, parents, need to be careful not to underestimate the impact of too much time our children spend on digital games and internet. I work a lot on my computer and on my phone so the kids see me a lot in front of a screen but I am telling them that these are tools for my job and that I need them to work. I think a child does not necessary need an iPad or an iPhone to play and we should try harder to let them run outside, use pencils to draw or bricks to build castle or clothes to role play. Toys can be connected and use technology as long as they are meant to develop their creativity, social dimension and physical development.