Almost 7 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 17 in the United States have a developmental disability, the CDC reports, and the community is still largely under-served. Carissa Tozzi is changing that.
From an iconic New York City life as the entertainment editor of CosmoGirl and Seventeen to a publicist for social media influencers to the co-creator of an app for moms of children with special needs — Carissa Tozzi has done it all.
Tozzi saw a gap in the market: a community where moms could interact with other nearby moms — the app asks for your zip code — as well as vetted experts. True to her sense of style, Tozzi also created a virtual apparel outlet full of cool, fashionable clothes, toys, and interior decor, for this overlooked and often stereotyped community.
After her son, Wolf, was thought to have sensory issues as a toddler (later proven false) Tozzi became more aware of the challenges that parents — particularly moms — face when raising children with special needs. When Tozzi moved the next town over from a former colleague and power mom of two children on opposite ends of the autism spectrum, Wolf and Friends was born.
The app is designed to build a community for moms of children with special needs, both from a shopping and lifestyle perspective. The app also provides access to experts in the space with whom you can engage on Zoom, a store to browse brands that cater to children and moms, and much more.
On this episode of SheVentures, find out what it’s really like working with celebrities, the value of influencers, and how more brands could stand to accommodate this under-served community.