ACE and RILEY is a women-run Vancouver startup dedicated to transforming the way girls play. Currently there is a massive gender gap in post-secondary STEM programs and STEM careers which can be traced back to the lack of cognitively enriching toys marketed towards girls during the critical neuro-developmental period in early childhood. ACE and RILEY is committed to levelling the playing field for girls by creating toys, activities and experiences that promote curiosity, problem-solving and exposure to foundational STEM skills while embracing and encouraging a lot of SASS.
MEET OUR TEAM
Thanks for stopping in. We are so excited to launch our company focused on transforming the way girls play. Thank you for taking part in this important journey with us,
xx Amy, Chantelle & Caylie.
Dr. Amy Tanner, Co-Founder/CEO
Recently named one of the "Top 12 Thriving Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2021" by Thrive Global, Dr. Amy Tanner is a woman on a mission to create a world where girls are encouraged and supported in their STEM career pursuits. As a pediatric behavior consultant, Amy has spent over a decade observing neuro-development in children. Her work led to the discovery that toys for little boys are not made the same as toys for little girls.
Intent on disrupting this finding, Amy launched ACE and RILEY in early 2020 as a toy company providing little girls with the same opportunities for cognitive development that have long been provided to little boys. Prior to launching ACE and RILEY, Dr. Tanner has been actively involved in autism research and intervention and has been a speaker at conferences in Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and throughout North America. She is a Professor at Capilano University in Vancouver and Queen's University Belfast.
Chantelle Stewart, Co-Founder/COO
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted a job that made a difference in the world. I have always had a passion for social change and spent the first two years of college studying sociology and psychology until I found my love for applied behaviour analysis. I have work with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder for the past 10 years. Throughout this time, I have seen how much toys impact learning, how the toys a child plays with really does predict their future academic success and the difference between girls’ and boys’ toys. When we were first launching Ace and Riley, we talked about walking down the toy aisle and noticing the messaging these toys were sending to girls. By having babies, kitchen sets, cleaning sets and make up in the girls’ aisle what are we saying to them? We are saying that while the boys learn skills that are essential for engineering you need to learn to be pretty. While the boys are learning to code robots you will learn to be a good mother. While the boys are learning about space you will learn how to clean. We would never actually say these things to our daughters, we would tell them you can be anything you want to be, but do their toys reflect that message? In order to get equality for women I feel like it starts with revamping the messages we are sending our little girls about who they are supposed to be.
Caylie Valley, Co-Founder/Girl Mom Extraordinaire
Ever since becoming a mom to not just one but two incredible girls I’ve made it my mission to give my girls the absolute best start to their lives as I can. I remember being in kindergarten and our classroom being divided up into two play areas, one side with cars and building blocks that boys were encouraged to play with and the other with baby dolls and kitchen sets that girls were told to play with. From kindergarten to high school I can say not much has changed if anything it was worse. Cooking, cosmo, and parenting classes were filled by female students while trades, advanced math, or sciences were filled by mostly male and if you wanted to avoid teasing you would follow these trends to survive socially.
Now that I am a mom I’m seeing this happen to my kids all over again. My girls are only 3 and 5 and have been gifted well over 20 baby dolls between birthdays and holidays. To me giving my girls the best start is to give them well rounded skills at a young age so they can confidently choose to pursue what they love when the time comes. Since starting Ace and Riley I’ve exposed them our whole collection and dressing up in their lab coats and tutus to do science experiments is their absolute favourite part of their day. Being apart of this mission to pave a new path for girls has been so special and rewarding to me knowing my girls are benefitting from it.
To create innovative and sassy toys, activities and experiences for girls that promote curiosity, interest and aptitude in science, technology, engineering and math in early childhood.
To close the gender gap in stem careers by revolutionizing, rethinking and raising the bar of what are considered 'girl toys'.
Girls shouldn't have to choose between a lab coat and their glitz and frills, they can have it all. We're here to make stem fun, relevant and super sassy.
CURIOSITY, INQUIRY & ANALYSIS:
Our toys, activities and experiences are designed to promote these foundational problem solving skills. Our experiments are designed as experiments; beginning with a hypothesis, moving through the scientific method and then evaluating how it could be changed or improved.
Storytelling accelerates learning in that stories are 20 times more easily remembered and more accurately retained when we are part of a story than learning which is derived from facts and figures. We incorporate role-play and story telling into our play-sets and experiments in order to maximize learning.