Own child prompted former Riga TTT star hoopster to start board games business

  • 2021-10-04
  • Linas Jegelevicius

You are light years away from sports if you have never heard of Ieva Kulite, a former hoopster on Latvia’s legendary woman basketball TTT roster. But now Ieva dribbles the ball quite rarely – she is up to her neck in creating board games for kids. For her own too! Moreover, she brings home the bacon with the passion-turned-business!

“It all started when I had to prepare my daughter for school. Like most parents, I found it was really difficult to hold her attention. I had to find a way to make learning more fun and interesting, so I made a prototype of the Tangoo snail board,” Ieva Kulite told The Baltic Times Magazine.

At first, it consisted of just a few elements, but the basketballer-turned-game-maker could foresee it had the potential to pan out.

“Not only was my daughter happy to learn, but by adding more elements to the game, we were able to have hours of fun and each day she learned a little more. Watching us, my partner said: “You need to get this game on the market.” I agreed, so that’s what we did,” grins Ieva.

Having spent 26 years on the basketball court, she says the sport has forged her fighting spirit and the drive to go for more.

The card board games she and her partner create have taken off rampantly not only in Latvia – a German game seller has also ordered a significant number of the amusing pastime.

“Every review we get is excellent. In fact, 99.9 percent of parents have given us a 5-star rating, noting how happy they are and how much their kids love this game,” Kulite said before adding: “Our next milestone is to find a publisher and distributors for the games.”

She says the games help children to develop not just their alphabet, reading and counting skills, but also their communication skills and even their strategic thinking.

“It is a game that totally engages you. It is interesting for children and their parents, too,” Kulite is convinced. For now, ‘Tangoo’ and ‘Burtu Gliemezītis’, the educational board game for kids, are the businesswoman’s best-known brands.

“We are happy to see more kindergartens starting to buy our game as well. We’ve had some really great feedback from them as the game makes an excellent educational resource,” Ieva Kulite said.

Marvelously, the coronavirus pandemic has just made the board game business bigger and stronger.

“This game became a life saver for many parents, as it is fun so children don’t complain about having to learn,” the former Riga TTT player noted.

Ieva’s amusing games can be checked and purchase on the online store www.gliemezitis.lv. The international versions of the games are also sold via www.tangoo.eu , also on eBay and Etsy.