Monday, April 27, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Meggie & Annie from Sleeper Hero

 photo IMG_2712_zpsaff387e1.jpg

This week I am SO excited to feature Meggie and Annie from Sleeper Hero!  These mamas are a sister team who have come up with the greatest idea - a doll and book combo set that helps your kid transition from a crib to a toddler bed, and helps them stay in bed after the transition (you can also order the doll and book separately).  This is one of the BEST ideas and I just knew I wanted to try it out with Lemon to see how she liked it!

Since we have under a month left of school, I wanted to get Lemon ready to get out of her crib (yep, she's still in her crib because she's never tried to climb out!) and thought the best way to do it would be to get a couple of books about it, since she LOVES to read.  Before we started potty training we read tons of books about the "big girl potty" and I think it helped, so books about "big girl beds" I knew would be great too!  Sleeper Hero is one of those books (well, about being a "big boy" - but close enough!) and it comes with the Sleeper Hero doll - from in the book!

This girly girl wasn't too sure what to think about this super hero doll on Saturday night, when we opened the box, but she loved the book right away!  She is like me, has to warm up to things so I knew I would just have to keep him around and talk about him often so she started to really like him.  But, when she woke up the next morning, the first thing she asked for was her "astronaut doll with the two buttons."  She sat with him all morning (she named him "Hero the Astronaut"), and then at nap time she had me read the book to her - twice.  Twice!  She loves it and she totally gets the concept of the lights, she keeps asking me if she can see the red light and I keep telling her, you have to wait until you go night night tonight.  :)

I also ordered her a couple more books and a new night light so when we have a chance (Ian wants to wait until school is out) we will put her toddler rail on her bed and go for it.  I will report back so stay tuned, and how Hero the Astronaut helped in the process once it's official.  But, for now, she has carried him around everywhere this weekend and absolutely loves the book and illustrations.  These mamas are doing something amazing and I'm so happy that we get to be a part of it, before their product is in every store!  You've got to get your kiddo one of these books and dolls!


What is the name of your shop and how can we find you?  
The name of our shop is Sleeper Hero and we are also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

Tell us about what you make/sell in your shop.  

We sell an amazing doll that helps children transition from a crib to a big kid bed SleeperHero!  SleeperHero is a super powered doll that comes with a storybook. This unique duo helps children (and parents) conquer their bedtime fears. The book is a story about a boy that struggles with staying in his bed at night. That is until he is introduced to a doll, SleeperHero. SleeperHero is a buddy that is there for him at night when he gets scared. Better yet, this doll has a special light on its chest that shines bright in the dark, wards off his imaginary bad guys AND teaches him when it is an okay time to get out of bed in the morning. His bright light changes from red to green. Red means “stay in bed" and green means “rise and shine." The color changes based off of the clock preferences a parent sets for their child's unique sleep schedule. With the help of his SleeperHero, the boy is able to stay in bed at night. And, when he learns to sleep better, everyone in the house sleeps better.

How/why did you start making these products and open this shop?

When my older son, Jack was 3 and transitioning into his big boy bed, we struggled nightly to get him to stay in his bed.  He would come down several times at night, asking for a drink, snack, another story, a snuggle.  You name it.  We tried laying with him and that would work until he fell asleep, but then he would wake throughout the night and come into our bed.  We tried night lights and other tricks to get him to stay in bed.  After one night of complete exhaustion, I wrote SleeperHero, a story about a boy (much like Jack) that was having similar struggles.  Some of the characters from the story were actually inspired by Jack.  (He had hippos that lived under his bed.)  The boy receives a gift from his father, a SleeperHero doll, that wards off scary things and helps him know the correct times for “sleep” and “wake” signaled by a color changing light on his chest from red (sleep) to green (wake).  
I kept the story to myself for a while and then decided to share it with my sister, Meggie.  She is a graphic designer and loved the story.  She illustrated the book and we worked on a prototype for our doll.  We spent many nights drinking wine and researching how to start a business and how to create a prototype.  We started our business, Purple Pancakes LLC.  (We stole my oldest daughter, Charlie’s, journal password to come up with the name for our business.)  From there, we picked out fabrics that we wanted for our doll and our mom sewed our first prototype.  We were lucky to find a local company to set us up with a manufacturer.  

How long have you been in business?

We started our business in March, 2013, but we did not actually receive our first shipment of SleeperHero packages until October, 2014.  So, we have been selling SleeperHero since last October.

What is your background (college/career/etc.)?

Annie: I have a Bachelor’s Degree from The College of Mount Saint Joseph (here in Cincinnati) where I studied Elementary Education and Special Education.  I also have a Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan in Education.  I taught for 8 years in the Cincinnati Public School District as an Intervention Specialist (Special Education).  After we had our second child, I decided to stay home and raise them (and a couple more)! {My husband is a Special Education teacher and I'm a HS English teacher, I love that your backgroud is in education!}

Meggie: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and majored in Graphic Design. Most of my design experience has been in advertising, and I am currently a Senior Designer at DunnhumbyUSA in Cincinnati. At an early age, I aspired to one day illustrate a children's book. It's been all the more rewarding to carry out that dream (and then some) with my sister and friend.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

Annie: My husband and I met in high school and were good friends.  We reunited in college when he transferred from EKU to The College of Mount Saint Joseph.  We started dating then in college and married in 2005.  I am the luckiest girl to be married to my best friend.  He is an amazing father and he continues to make me laugh.  We had our beautiful daughter, Charlie in 2006, then came our sweet son, Jack in 2007.  We took a little hiatus on the kid thing for a couple of years and had our funny daughter, Alex in 2011 and rambunctious son, Will in 2012.  We enjoy being around family and friends that make us laugh.  Although four kids is overwhelming to say the least, we love our big family and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Meggie: My husband Dustin and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary this May. He's the love of my life and the greatest dad to our little guy Bruce. Bruce is just over a year old and still in a crib, but he already loves snuggling and giving his SleeperHero kisses. 

How does this company help your family?  Or you?

Annie:  SleeperHero was literally a “dream come true."  It was a passion I had and didn’t really realize the power of it until I shared it with my sister, Meggie.  We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to start a business and make a product to share with the world.  We knew it would take a lot of time and a lot of money to make it all work.
Although we aren’t yet profitable, we find it most rewarding when our customers are finding success with their SleeperHero.  It means the world to us to know that our product is helping children and families overcome this tough transition.  Families have so much on their plates these days and without proper sleep, they can’t possibly tackle the upcoming day. 
Creating SleeperHero has also been a rewarding experience for us because we see our family and friends rally for us.  Our children are our biggest fans and like to help with shipments and they often tag along to events where we sell SleeperHero.  It has been really neat to show them that you can follow your dreams and work really hard for them to become a reality.   

What is the most challenging part of this business?
The most challenging part of our business is getting exposure for SleeperHero.  We need to spread the word about SleeperHero to get it in the hands of families in need.

Where do you see your shop in the future?
We’d like to see SleeperHero in retail stores all over the country.  We have hopes of creating a girl version of our SleeperHero {YES!}, but need to sell our inventory before we can make that dream become a reality.

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

Follow your passions and surround yourself with a team of people to support you along the way.  You will have many ups and downs and times you want to throw in the towel.  If you build a great support team to pick the towel up for you when things get tough, you will have the courage to keep pushing.  My sister and I are a perfect team.  We fit like a puzzle when it comes to building our business.  

What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own? 

Little Hip Squeaks, Whirlybird Granola and Sweet Viola Designs.

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment