Name: Julia Pimsleur
Business: Little Pim, a language learning program for kids
Industry: Children’s Goods & Services
Location: New York, New York, U.S.
Reason for starting: Inspired by my own bilingual childhood, I wanted to give my young son the same opportunity to learn a foreign language. I discovered that there were no high quality education materials for teaching toddlers a foreign language, so I set out to create them for myself. I was uniquely qualified given my background as a filmmaker, language teacher and mother.
How do you define success? Success for me is made up of 3 parts: reaching for a greater, bigger, bolder version of myself and my company; enjoying and being grateful for what I have, each and every day; and giving back so that I can pay forward all the help I have received along the way When I am fully engaged in those three things I feel energized and successful.
Biggest Success: Hands down my two children, Emmett and Adrian (9 and 6). They are thoughtful, funny, creative, talented boys and I am so proud to be their mom. I am also pretty darn proud of how, at Little Pim, we built a leading brand in the very crowded kids space with a very nominal budget. This was possible thanks to there being a real need for the product we created, the incredible word of mouth publicity we got from parents and the outstanding people I hired to help me build and grow Little Pim!
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? We had to invent our own hybrid distribution plan from scratch, because there was no slot on the shelf at retail for our product. There never had been a fun, affordable language teaching program for kids before Little Pim. I knew from my own experience as a mother searching for a series like this that parents wanted our program – but how to get it to them? Over the course of five years and a lot of spaghetti on the ceiling we figured out how. It’s a mix of selling online, in stores that carry educational toys, and via technology partners like Leapfrog, VTech and Mango Languages. We continue to create new partnerships and look for new ways to reach parents. This year, we are partnering with national daycare center chains to introduce 2-6 year olds to language while at day care, which is very exciting for us.
Who is your most important role model? My mother ran her own business for a few years when I was in grade school and she said to me “you print a business card and then you are who it says on the business card!” She was half joking but she showed me by example that you can do anything you dream up.
Edited by The Story Exchange