Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amazing Mom-Preneurs


I came across Wendy on Twitter and just had to find out more about her amazing web site and adventure. Check out what she has to say...

Name: Wendy Wiseman
Age; In Eros? Over 40.....In US vs Canadian? Holding at 45. I say no more! (So? I am an older mom!)
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec Canada
Current City: Studio City, CA
Children: One
Age: 15 Going on 25
Marital status: Happily married to Mark Diamond for 18 years this June 14th

Here's Our Story: Kiboomu - Learn, Laugh, Sing & Grow

I was the founder and owner of KIDZUP, an award-winning children's music and media publishing company based in Montreal, Canada. I started KIDZUP in the basement of my home when I was pregnant with my daughter, Sara. By 2004, I was one of Canada's top 100 woman entrepreneurs!

By 2005, you could find KIDZUP music in Wal-Mart, Target, Meijer, K-Mart, Zellers, Toys'r'us, and on the shelves of educational stores across North America and overseas. I am proud to say we sold well over 5 million albums worldwide.

In early 2006, I felt that it was time to expand.

So, in October, 2006, we bought Tormont Publications, a large children's book-plus publishing company. Overnight, I went from leading a small team of 7, to leading a team of 30. It was both exhilarating and quite challenging.

Ok, that's MY story.

So now I'll tell you my partner Sherry's story...

I first met Sherry in November 2006, soon after buying Tormont. At the time, she was the Children's Book Publisher at Readers Digest Canada. I found out, during our meeting, that she had been the Marketing Director at Pearson Education (the biggest educational publisher in the world!) for over 7 years. Before that, she had been a primary school teacher for years.

Sherry came in with her team to buy some of our books and music. From the very first moment we met, we knew that we were destined to do something great together! 3 weeks after our initial meeting, I hired her as VP of Publishing at Tormont.

In less than a year, Sherry had completely re-vamped Tormont's entire line, and we were fast becoming known as the "New Tormont."

Then three incidents came along that drastically changed our lives:

1) In 2007, the physical CD market crashed almost overnight. We couldn't GIVE away our music anymore!

2) Next, in 2008, came the biggest recession since the Great Depression, and sales declined.

3) Lastly, in February 2009, Sara (my daughter) auditioned for a part in a girl singing group and got it! She was immediately signed to Interscope Records, and we literally packed up, overnight, and moved to California.

The moment I moved to LA, I named Sherry the President of KIDZUP/Tormont.

In late 2009, we sold (at a huge loss) the companies. However, we managed to retain exclusive digital distribution of the KIDZUP Award winning music.

Sherry and I had been talking about using all our years of experience and know-how to do what we do best -- create fun educational products for children. But, this time, we would be creating products for the digital world (doing our small part to help save the planet). And, in December 2009, we did just that. We officially started Kiboomu Kids Inc, our very own children's digital music & apps company.

My Greatest Passion:

One of my greatest passions was the KIDZUP Foundation. My husband turned his shares to charity (he owned 40% of KIDZUP) and formed the KIDZUP Foundation. Our pledge was to feed or vaccinate a child with every product sold. We literally fed and vaccinated millions of children through this foundation.

Now that we no longer own KIDZUP, my husband changed the name, and we formed the Kiboomu Kids Foundation.

Our goal is to continue to feed the mind, body and spirits of children all over the world.

Another of by biggest passions is creating. Being able to start over and create amazing products for children with Sherry is another dream come true.

What I’ve Learned as a Mother and Entrepreneur that I Would Most Like to Pass on to Other Moms?

Until 2009, (when life was good) I would have said attitude, passion, communication, listening skills and hard work can bring you anything. I proved that by starting with very little, you could grow it into something beautiful and powerful.

After 2009 and the crash of my business, (and the loss of our personal fortune, and the death of my mother ) I can tell you this:

I curled up into a little ball and disappeared for a good couple of months, licking my wounds. And then one morning, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and put my wonder-woman panties back on (pampers?). And I started over again.

This, I know, has inspired and taught my partner Sherry, my husband Mark, and most definately my daughter Sara. It showed them it is OK to fail, but not OK to stay beaten down. When life throws you a bowl of lemons, you have to know how to make lemonade out of them. And, luckily for me, I had a lot of extra sugar hanging around, so it is actually quite sweet!
Where the Name KIBOOMU comes from:
Ki = KIDS
Boo= BOOKS
Mu= MUSIC
Sherry was the publisher at Pearson Education, Readers Digest, and Tormont Publications. I was the president, publisher and owner, etc of KIDZUP Productions (Music) and Tormont (Book-Plus).
We are taking the BEST of the book-plus industry, mixing it with world class award winning music, and creating the BEST and most innovative kids apps out there!
So VOILA! The name is a combination of where we both come from, and what we are moving forward into in the digital world!

Target Age;
The target age group for our site/products are 0 to 8 years old.

Website:
We are super excited about launching our website in June! We will have THE LARGEST childrens’ data base for award winning kids music, long lyrics and sheet music.
There will also be videos featuring our apps and music.

Blog:
As you can see, our blog is currently on Blogger. We will be moving over to a customized Wordpress blog that we are working on now!
Right now on the blog, we have tons of printable activities, games, songs downloads, song lyrics all for free! These are a great site for moms, teachers and home-school classrooms! Our goal is to grow this into the largest data base of learning resources out there!

Apps:
We are super excited to launch our new children’s app series called The Preschool Storybook Piano App.
The first title of the series is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The second title will be ABC and the third is Old McDonald.
The Preschool Storybook Piano App is a singing piano storybook designed to educate and entertain young children. It is going to be amazing so keep watching our website, blog and twitter for the announcements!

Be sure to stop by Kiboomu for their June launch. But in the meantime check out their blog at; http://www.kiboomu.blogspot.com/

3 comments:

CharB said...

Hi Sandi, Following you now. Saw you from TM Blog FOllow Network. My blog is www.momsguidetotravel.com.

Thanks
Tawanna

Sandie Lee said...

Hi Tawanna. Thanks for popping by and I returned the favour :)

Kathy said...

Popping by because of Follow Friday but will keep following because your blog is fabulous. As a small business owner I love seeing what others are doing and this post from Kiboomu is honest and inspirational. I can't wait to check out their site!

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