Kristel Bell, Founder & CEO of Surprise Powerz:  “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, enjoy your everyday life.”

by The Bloom Report | 17 Jul 2023

Biographies and Interviews



What is it about the Toy and Game Industry that you love?

I love that the Toy and Game Industry has the potential to provide children with valuable learning opportunities. My toy company, Surprise Powerz, was created for that specific purpose - to bridge the STEM gap that young girls face, by providing them with a variety of early learning STEAM career dolls that represent them in look and voice and teach them new STEM topics.


Do you have a mantra that you live by?

 “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, enjoy your everyday life.”


Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?

I was inspired to go into the Toy and Game Industry by my mom. As a young girl, my mom inspired me and my siblings to love STEM. I wanted to create a similar experience for the young girls of today to be inspired by a STEM role model that looks and talks like them as well. This is why I created Surprise Powerz, a diverse line of STEM role models for young girls to imitate.


If you look back at yourself 10 years ago is this where you thought, you’d be?  Where did you think you’d be? What changed? What went right?

10 years ago, I did not see myself in the toy and game industry. I saw myself helping to create positive change in the world through STEM. However, the more and more I researched how to make the biggest difference, I realized that it would come through our children, especially those least represented in this space.


What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?

I love seeing the STEM trend for early learners. Being that 90% of a child’s brain develops by age five, I believe it’s critical to start engaging kids in STEM starting as toddlers and preschoolers.



What advice would you give a young adult graduating from high school or college today?

This question strongly depends on the individual. However, I would recommend they research which professions would be most in demand to make the best choice about their educational and career choices. Education is a big investment and researching prior and continuously is key to feeling secure about your choice. 


What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is hearing 3–5-year-olds say things like “I want to be a coder,” “I want to be an astronaut,” “I want to be a vet,” or “I like math”. I also love when they repeat the doll’s STEM-related phrases and have open-ended conversations with the Surprise Powerz dolls. This shows that Surprise Powerz is positively affecting toddlers’ and preschool students’ engagement in STEM.


What and/or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by all of the kids! They are so inquisitive, daring, and open-minded. They are the most confident people I know. We just need to make sure our young girls don’t continue to lose confidence in critical subjects like math, starting in preschool.


Where do you come up with your best ideas? 

I come up with my best ideas when I’m on the go! This is why I have so many notes on my phone.


What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

My favorite toys growing up were dolls as I loved to pretend play with each one. However, most of the dolls that I played with did not look like me, were not made with real girl’s voices, and did not teach me anything that would further my development. This is part of the reason I created Surprise Powerz dolls, to provide our girls with dolls that represent them and teach them STEM starting early.

stem career dolls

Tait & Lily, Inventors of Betcha Can't!