What It's About
An educator teaches mindfulness to the next generation.
Words of Wisdom
According to Suzanne, her "motto through it all has been 'less hustle more grace'... and keeping my eye to the quality of my life rather than the biz performance. My kids are still home, and I could speak a lot to the pressures of balancing things."
As I'm sure you already know, shopping for toys and games on the internet has consistently been on the rise since 2008. In 2016, almost 44 million US consumers shopped for toys or games online!
Notes from Chris
Any parent can relate to the feeling of helplessness when dealing with a child having a meltdown. The crying, possibly screaming, and maybe even kicking and hitting. What do you do? You want to raise kids that can deal with their emotions in a healthy manner. But becoming a parent doesn’t come with a handbook. Learning to teach kids social skills and manage their emotions is one of the biggest challenges of parenthood. Suzanne Tucker is a parent educator, physical therapist, and mom. She noticed a lot of her parenting class graduates were asking for help in connecting with their children, especially when stressed. Suzanne realized this was an opportunity to help other parents connect with their kids through daily play. She wanted to create a fun way to learn because she knew kids are especially receptive to learning through creative play. So she decided to make a game, called PeaceMakers Mindfulness cards, to do just that. Each of the cards in a deck of PeaceMakers has a positive message meant to spark conversation between adult and child. The cards are especially appealing to kids due to the colors and animals that represent themes, such as balance, love, and forgiveness. Suzanne decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to produce her PeaceMaker cards. In about one month, she raised $8,000—twice her goal! For Suzanne, the experience validated her idea. She wasn’t an influencer; she just wanted to make a difference. From its start in 2016, PeaceMaker monthly sales averaged about $1,000. The first BIG jump in sales was in the holiday season of that year—with monthly sales going to $10,000! Suzanne attributes this increase not only to holiday shopping but also due to a great article published in the Philly Voice at that time. PeaceMakers Mindfulness cards were her only product at the time, and the piece included a direct link to purchase the cards. Sales grew from there. Once she had three months in a row of $10,000 in sales, she put her energy into creating a second product, the Time-In Toolkit, an alternative to time-outs and behavioral charts that helps teach children emotional regulation. By early 2018, Suzanne had named her company Generation Mindful, or GenM. (At first it was just that one product.) The company was growing so fast, she started to hire more help, including a marketer and content creators. However, another lesson here: she ended up taking back much of this work to keep the voice and brand of Generation Mindful intact. The company has a very distinct—and hard to copy—brand and voice. This has been the brands’s greatest struggle, but it is also one of their greatest assets. Earlier this fall, GenM ran their latest Kickstarter campaign for a third product, SnuggleBuddies. They raised $35,000 in 2 weeks. From the initial $1,000/month, to the $10,000/month boost and then back again before restructuring and working smarter, Suzanne now expects the company to hit seven figures in revenue in 2019. Another of Suzanne’s goals for 2019 is to create more products. She also wants to translate her products into Spanish and then French. Through her tools, toys, and programs, she wants to “make connection a habit so that together we can raise an emotionally healthy world.” One year ago, she transitioned to working full-time on Generation Mindful.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Generation Mindful: Interested in learning more about Suzanne's products and how you can help your chilren process their emotions? Head on over to her website!
- Kickstarter | Time-In ToolKit & SnuggleBuddies: Here are some Kickstarter campaigns that Suzanne launched for a couple of her products
- Immigrant Couple Translates Heritage Into Children’s Flash Cards: Two immigrants from Laos meet the needs of an underserved community in a $50,000 per year hustle
- Sign Language Videos Spell Out Profits for Special Ed Teacher: After using puppets to make sign language videos for her toddlers, an educator stumbles upon an underserved market
- Music Therapist Writes Custom Lullabies For Restless Children: After leaving her day job to care for a new child, a music therapist also creates a new source of income
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