No Longer Just For Kids, Surprise Ride Adds a Line of Mindfulness Products for Adults

February 2018 | Sam Sabin

Surprise Ride is all about, well, surprise.

And last week on “The View,” the startup had another chance to make an announcement in their favorite way. While appearing beside “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary on “The View” on Feb. 15, co-founders Donna and Rosy Khalife shared plans to launch their new line of products for adults to help them “digitally detox.” O’Leary made an investment in Surprise Ride in 2016, a year after the startup appeared on “Shark Tank” and walked away without a deal.

Founded in 2012, Surprise Ride offers a mail-order subscription service, first, for kids’ activities that don’t involve a screen. Kids activities ranged from a magic show kit to a make your own pillow set to a sculpt your own animal creation kit.

But as the Khalife sisters told me in an interview, they started to see this uprising of adults who reached out saying how much they, personally, loved the kits. Some didn’t have kids, they were just ordering the kits for their own enjoyment.

“Since the beginning of starting Surprise Ride, we always felt like we wanted to create a line for adults,” said Rosy Khalife, the chief operating officer. “Everyone has this problem of being on our phones a little too much than we want to be.”

As with any business decision, Surprise Ride needed to make sure they had enough traction and interest before investing in a new product line. A few years went by, and interest kept trickling in — all while the company started to implement new strategies, like starting their weekly meetings with a meditation. So, about six months ago, they sat down and decided to make the adult activity kits a reality.

Focused on mindfulness and the idea of a digital detox, the so-called “adulting kits” include kits to make your own bird house, make a beeswax candle and build a volcano. The monthly subscription option for these individual kits isn’t an option right now.

“We kicked it off in beta now, and we’re going to be looking for feedback from our initial early adopters to shape it and evolve it,” said Donna Khalife, chief executive officer.

And in all, the expansion makes sense. The Khalifes say they always wanted to make Surprise Ride the go-to place for those who want to detox from technology, and this is just an addition to that.

“We’re that resource for you to take a break and de-stress,” Rosy Khalife said.