Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:
We want to educate our children and the best way to do that is in a way that will be fun for your child and and will integrate the both parent and child in the learning process. Goosie Cards does that.
Using photos that you supply, Goosie Cards turns them into durable cards with the caption of your choice on them that you and your child can play with many times over. Whether the cards are used to go through photos of loved ones, or to teach letters of the alphabet, it’s fun.
Jennifer Marchett is the mom who founded this great business. With a passion for children she saw the opportunity in her business and ran with it. Parents are the first people to educate their children and her flash cards are a great way to start that process.
In the interview below Jen talks about some of her inspiration for her product and some of the things she had to do to get started.
With our interview Jen has also donated a gift certificate which will be given away to one of our readers. It is for 10 free custom Goosie Cards like the ones pictured here.
Anyone who would like a chance at winning the gift certificate can enter the giveaway but leaving a comment on this post telling me what you would like to do if you won the 10 free cards. Starting now and ending on . I will choose the winning comment on the 30th and that person will be contacted by email. Ships to the US only.
What are ‘Goosie Cards’?
Goosie Cards® are the first and only custom flash cards for children on the market. They are created online at Goosiecards.com by uploading personal photos and adding text to individual flash cards. Goosie Cards offers a new teaching approach for parents because they can use their personal photos to create custom flash cards to educate their children. For example, parents can create a special set of flash cards for a little one that stars each member of their family to teach them who’s who or maybe their own set of personal ABCs to teach them every letter in the alphabet from their point of view.like M is for Mommy. Goosie Cards are the ultimate flash cards because they give parents the power to teach and their teaching possibilities are endless! Goosie Cards are high quality flash cards that are easy to wipe, durable, portable and proudly made in the USA- which is very important to me since I am a parent of two small boys!
What was your inspiration?
Goosie Cards® was inspired by my son Zach, then 6 months, after we spent some time looking at generic flash cards and family photos during his lunch time. I liked to keep his hands busy during feedings so I would give him flash cards and photos to hold. I started thinking about the photos on the flash cards and realized that they really didn’t hold a meaning in his life. And that’s when the idea hit me.what if I could teach my son about people and things that were familiar to him with personalized flash cards?
I put him down for a nap and started to research the concept that afternoon and realized that there was not another company or service creating custom flash cards. I named the company Goosie, which is my son’s nickname, and began my journey. I tested out my concept with my playgroup that consisted of four other moms and toddlers. I created a bunch of cards with photos of all the children in our group. My idea was a hit! All the children loved the cards and the moms thought they were a great way to be proactive in their child’s early learning by creating their own personalized learning tools. I turned my passion into a business and Goosie Cards was launched a year later in June 2006.
What kind of response have you gotten from your product?
It truly has been overwhelming! Within a couple months after I launched, I was contacted by FAO Schwarz! And a couple months later I was debuting Goosie Cards at FAO Schwarz in New York City on Mother’s Day weekend. I was also 6 months pregnant with my second baby, Luke! It was a whirlwind last year because my original business plan was to offer Goosie Cards online only. That quickly changed and now we are carried across the country in national accounts like Learning Express as well as Children’s Museums and high end boutiques and bookstores. And there will be LOTS more to come!
In addition, Goosie Cards has introduced me to the autism community. I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to have a business that truly helps and educates all children. The birth of Goosie was based on the simple approach of using photos to teach your child. It was fun, playful and educational. It wasn’t until I launched Goosie Cards that I understood what an impact my cards would have on teaching children with special needs, especially autism. The direct connection to real, visual objects enables children with autism to easily associate words with the corresponding object, and therefore making it easier to communicate. That is what is so amazing about my journey! My proudest, most rewarding accomplishment is knowing that I can truly help and support the autism community with one of the most advanced, communication learning systems. The wonderful thing about Goosie Cards is that they are for every child.
Have you received any advice that has been invaluable in creating your business?
Yes and that was to continue creating this company through the inspiration that flows through me every day. I was told that I have all the right ingredients and to keep doing what I’ve been doing. So I am!
What steps were needed to go from a prototype Goosie Card to a thriving business?
First, there were the physical elements which were the 2 essential pieces to my business: the flash cards and a functioning photo web site. I created the actual flash cards in Power Point using my digital photos and then I had the cards laminated- so I had the look. I went through a couple web designers until I realized that I was the only one who knew what I was feeling and what I really wanted, so I became part of the process and created the web site that lives today. The Goosie® brand is built on my philosophy and values as a mom, so it resonates with parents. It’s not just a flash card it’s a parenting style that you believe in. and that’s to be hands on with your children. My customers are parents that believe in the same values as the company, and that is where the business happens.
What have you learned since you launched that you wish you’d known before?
Everything- but if I knew everything before I started my journey I wouldn’t be the person I am today, which means Goosie would not be what it is. I would say that I learned that no one knows your business better than you, so always be part of the process and never leave something completely in that hands of someone else.
What have you been able to take as a mom and apply to your business?
Goosie is about being a mom- about being a parent. So, that part is pretty easy because new product lines are created out of the desire to teach my children about something new. I just transfer it over to a larger scale for my business.
Do you involve your children?
Absolutely! As Zach and Luke grow, so does the product line! I have grown the business based on their interests and development. I am actually creating a book series, which will be available in a couple months, because of Zach’s love for books that have an exciting story line. I love that my family inspires me and is a part of Goosie. I also feel proud to be a “mompreneur” that has launched a successful business that is both fun and educational.
How do you manage your time between your business and time with the family?
Well, that is always a challenge! My husband works with me now, so we are both privileged to be “stay at home” parents and run our own business. It’s wonderful because we each take time during the day to get work done, so when one is working the other gets to spend quality time with the kids. It’s a great balance for us and our children, but it takes a lot of work and communication.
Do you have any advice for other mom’s who would like to take an idea and turn it into a marketable product?
My advice is to do your research and make sure there is a market for your product and that it stands out from all the rest. Create a prototype and test it out with other moms and ask for their honest feedback across all categories: price, quality, where it will be manufactured, does it fill a need, etc. If you found a product that scores high and fills a need then you are on the right track. If it is a product for a child, let a bunch of children play with it to test it out. Bring it into the real world and give it a try. But most importantly, go with your gut. Your passion will guide you in the right direction!