Marissa Goldstein is most comfortable on the road. This entrepreneur and mother of two sets of twins under the age of five has traveled to more than 50 countries. Her firstborn identical twin daughters traveled with her to 20 countries and had fully stamped passports before being potty-trained.
As a serial entrepreneur, making a difference drives Marissa. She co-founded her first company, Orora Global, a clean-energy initiative based in India, while pursuing her MBA at Babson College. She co-founded her second company, Timroon Group, a manufacturing and sourcing firm based in Vietnam, with her husband, Adam, whom she met in high school. Her third company, Rafi Nova, also cofounded with Adam, is on a mission to inspire families to connect globally through travel.
To oversee their sustainable product and textile manufacturing, the young family divides their time between Boston and Vietnam. Marissa’s time with Vietnam's Hmong community inspired her to incorporate their brightly colored handmade textiles into Rafi Nova’s contemporary accessories and share their stories with an international audience.
Named for their four children — Raya, Efi, Noa, and Eyva — Rafi Nova's mission is to encourage families to adventure near and far by outfitting them with fair-trade products and accessories. The company launched in early 2020 with fair-trade backpacks designed to make family travel as easy as possible.
Global travel bans forced the company to pivot from producing travel accessories to face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19. While the pandemic shifted the company's production, it also expanded their ability to connect with more families, reach more communities, and donate more than 200,000 masks to organizations in need and workers on the front line. The company has produced multiple styles of face coverings, prioritizing comfort, function, and inclusivity.
Under Marissa's leadership, Rafi Nova restored visual cues to masked communication. Rafi Nova pioneered the first commercially available reusable clear mask, the Smile Face Mask. Celebrated actress Millicent Simmonds’ national launch of the mask — a custom floral patterned "Millie Mask" — earned her Seventeen Magazine's "Voices of the Year" for increasing the visibility of those with disabilities and specifically cited her work on the Smile Face Mask. While initially intended to serve the deaf and hard of hearing community, early childhood educators, therapists, audiologists, and many other professionals have widely adopted the mask.
In 2021, Rafi Nova will launch the Sensory Friendly Mask in partnership with Easterseals, the nation’s leading disability services provider. Designed by therapists for people with sensory sensitivities, the face mask dramatically reduces new stimuli that often deters users from wearing traditional masks.
Marissa’s approach to business is distinguished by her ability to see solutions where others only see crises. Her social entrepreneurial leadership earned Rafi Nova two Stevie Awards, one for Female Entrepreneurship and another for Most Valuable Corporate Response. The Massachusetts State Senate saluted the company's accomplishments in a formal citation for outstanding leadership in business innovation and adaption.