Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in educational materials but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Laura Blum, Founder, CEO & Creative Director of About Love and Language, located in Pleasant Grove, UT, USA.
What's your organization, and who are your members?
We are a nonprofit that makes baby board books that are written in English to rhyme when signed in American Sign Language. Our books are for families who have children at risk for language delays. Families who are trying to learn ASL.
Tell us about yourself
I am a nationally certified sign language interpreter with a degree in Early Childhood Education. 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents who have no experience with hearing loss. Parents with deaf children want to enjoy bedtime stories with their children, but because they are learning ASL and have limited vocabulary, they struggle to read/share traditional books with their children. A snuggly bonding moment is now a point of frustration. We create books that are simple to sign. Each book has a QR code that parents can watch and learn signs from a Deaf mentor, as needed. Families love being able to bring bedtime stories back into their family routines. What is really cool- is that these books RHYME when signed in ASL. Rhyming is usually lost when translating traditional books. This really makes the books fun to sign- and still makes me geek out. Also, the books are illustrated by Deaf artists. Since 90% of deaf children are born in hearing families, it is so important to provide Deaf role models to show them they can dream and live up to their potential.
What's your biggest accomplishment as an organization?
I am not very business-minded or business savvy- so just establishing a business was a huge accomplishment. (All the hoops and forms filing to become a nonprofit was a daunting task.)
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being an organization?
Juggling all the responsibilities as a small business owner- you wear multiple hats, the creator, the manager, the accountant, the advertising agent, the social media guru, etc...etc..etc...
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow an organization today?
Make sure you are passionate about the business you want to start. It has to be something you would be willing to do for free... lol ... because when you are starting out... you are doing a lot of work without monetary compensation. In those beginning years, you are living solely on your passion for what you do.
Second tip would be to really evaluate your personality. Do you like learning from mistakes and failures? Nothing runs smoothly or goes exactly as planned- being able to pivot and being able to adjust and reassess great qualities to have.
Third, make sure you have a strong foundation, be it self-esteem, family, friends, etc. Rejection happens more often than doors opening, but if you are doing what you love and are surrounded by supportive people, you can navigate any obstacles on your path to success.
Where can people find you and your group?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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