Grateful Greetings Friends and Family!
I hope that this message finds all of you full of Thanksgiving leftovers and everlasting gratitude! Let me catch you up on what's happening with Kidogo Productions (kidogo.tv):
Interview of Kymberly Stewart
Breshna and Other Power Meetings
Landing the Plane
Interview of Kymberly Stewart
As promised, I recently interviewed Kymberly Stewart of Kymberly Stewart Music. But before I get into that, let's extend a warm congrats to her and her colleagues whose album, "All One Tribe: Family Music Collective" received a Grammy nomination for Best Children's Album of the Year! Take a listen! It's pretty awesome :-) Kymberly's song, "Beautiful Brown Babies" is heartwarming and beautiful.
I am starting a series of interviews focused on content creators whose work appears on kidogo.tv. Kymberly was my first interviewee and she was a great choice! Kymberly and I had a natural conversation about one of our mutual passions: making sure our beautiful Brown and Black babies are affirmed and loved. Kymberly is very clear on her mission. She wants to normalize Blackness in children's entertainment. Sweeeeeet :-).
Kymberly made a video, "Same/Different" just for our Kidogo Kids! Find it on kidogo.tv's Activities page. Through song, this video demonstrates an important preschool concept of being able to recognize whether objects are the same or different. With the video, you'll also find interactive activities about the same concept.
My next interview will be of Cathleen Jenkins, the author of "Introducing the Shapes Family" very soon! Until then, buy the book!
2. Breshna and Other Power Meetings
Much thanks to Bill Hughes of Education Design Lab! He introduced me to Mariam Nusrat of Breshna, a fast-growing tech startup, which empowers people to create their own video games with no code at lightning speed. Mariam has a beautiful soul and I believe we are a blessing to each other. She encouraged me to start a twitter account to tweet my progress. Here is my first tweet:
Find Amara's game and two others games I created on Kidogo.tv (Activities page)! Let me know what you think!
In addition to Mariam, I have been a bit bold this month, reaching out to industry leaders, other entrepreneurs, and experts, all who gave their time to mentor and advise me along this path. Bill Hughes affirmed my mission and encouraged me to go after grants. Najah Wallace of Entegris gave me practical marketing tips. DeVron Warner of Harmonix helped me begin to map out a vision for gamified learning. Alex Smart of MuKn guided me as I thought out loud through next steps. Isis-Rae Goulbourne of Deuit reviewed kidogo.tv's site (I have sooooooo much work to do, lol!). Nikiki Bogle, Esq. of Bogle & Chang, LLC reminded me (again) of my power and destiny (she is now on my advisory board!). Shironda White of Cupcake Therapy and CauseEDU is hatching a plan for Kidogo to catch the eye of a certain celebrity (hmmm!). I am incredibly humbled and thankful for each one of them.
3. Landing the Plane
The above list of people with whom I met in November also includes my Black Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership program at Babson (BWEL) mentor, Robin R. Haynes of Goldman Sachs. During our meeting earlier this month, she kept on repeating this phrase, "Keeana, you've got to land the plane." At the time, I nodded my head, but I still resisted the message internally. Land the plane-- what does that mean? Why do I feel like she's telling me to stop my business? I felt defensive and a little sad/mad after the call. It took me weeks of mulling over her advice to finally get it. Let's walk the analogy out.
Kidogo is flying, sure. But it's not soaring (yet). I envision Kidogo's destination, but its flight path is still being worked out. The plane itself is still being built, sometimes the fuel tank is low, and the engine sputters. Y'all, I'm trying not to be Spirit Airlines, but my current offerings don't meet my standards. My cockpit has alerts, blinking lights, and notifications I haven't had a chance to address. I'm flying, but the flight is not smooth. I need to land the plane.
Landing the plane will allow me to re-do the flight plan, take stock of the cargo, refuel, fix gauges, allow passengers, a crew, and maybe even a co-pilot to board. While on the ground, I need to work hard to ensure I'm fixing the right parts of the plane. Maybe we don't need Biscotti cookies, but we do need a working engine.
While grounded, I can't make revenue. You see, I get paid for flying. This is the part that is scary. This is the part of the message I was resisting. Deep breadth. If you'll notice, I have hidden the site's shop and opened up the Activities page to all members without cost. I have eliminated some of the "friction", as DeVron calls it, to joining. Deep breadth.
4. THE ASK
I'm gonna need your help BIG TIME. While grounded, I won't be paused. There's a lot of work ahead. My asks of you:
*While membership is now completely free, can you ask parents, content creators, and
educators in your network to join? I have 307 members right now. I would love to grow to
500+ members by the end of the year.
*Attend an online focus group and facilitated workshop. We need to hear from content
creators and consumers. It will be facilitated by the phenomenal Rosa Hunter. Date TBD.
*Offer/Find/Create content. We need more quality videos and interactive activities. Go to
https://www.kidogo.tv/be-on-kidogotv for more information.
*Keep you eyes and ear open for grants, pitch competitions, accelerators, and investors.
Before I take off (pun intended), feel the virtual hug from me to you.
For the Kids, for the Culture,