Where Motherhood and Inspiration Meet
When I became a mom, my professional priorities started to shift. My son Wolf was born in 2011 and when I heard from his preschool teacher that he may have sensory issues, I wanted to figure out what I could be doing at home to give him the tools (and toys) that would help him in situations that may be overwhelming. What I found in the market was completely depressing not to mention that it didn’t serve his needs.
At the same time, many of my friends, colleagues and other parents at Wolf’s school were sharing stories about their kids and the challenges they were facing – from delays in social and emotional development to autism, anxiety, ADHD, and sensory processing issues.
As a longtime editor, I wondered how the shopping experience could be more helpful, informative and “cool,” especially for parents whose kids may need some extra support. The market only served parents of typically developing children or children with learning differences and special needs—not both. I wondered what I could do in the kid’s space that was design-minded, inclusive, and compassionate.
So, I brought together my editorial background with my passion for parenting and began curating products that are sold on therapy sites alongside items found in mainstream, upscale, and independent retailers. Each product is vetted by our team of parents, kids, childhood development and special needs experts and can be used as learning tools to support a child’s overall development. For example, we will feature modern indoor swings that look great in a play space or bedroom, but we will explain the benefits of the swing for typically developing kids as well as for children that need this kind of movement for their therapy. And when we suggest why a dollhouse makes a perfect gift, we explain how to play with them to enhance your child’s speech and language development, social /emotional development and academic skills.
I also reached out to my friends (and former colleagues) Gena and Billy Mann who were living in a neighboring town. They had been my go-to’s over the years when friends’ kids were diagnosed with challenges since they had lots of experience raising a son with autism. When I showed them what I was working on, they immediately wanted to get involved. Gena’s background as a photo editor (we worked together at Cosmogirl! after stints at Elle, and O, The Oprah Magazine) and her hands-on experience and perspective in the special needs world, made her input essential.