Our next interview with Walmart’s Get on the Shelf contestants is with Kathy, creator of Christmas Caroloke.
What product did you submit to Walmart’s Get on the Shelf contest?
We submitted Christmas Caroloke, the ultimate Christmas carol sing-along. Our product is comprised of a standard audio CD of musical accompaniment, along with 6 glossy, full color Christmas carol lyric books.
There are 2 volumes – “Traditional Carols” and “Contemporary Classics”, and each volume comes with its own heavy duty vinyl storage case. By simply popping the audio CD into their stereos and handing out the accompanying full color lyric books, our customers can have a rousing Christmas carol sing-along within minutes. It will also soon be downloadable at our site, and customers can purchase the books as well.
Where’d the idea come from?
My husband, brother-in-law, and I were on a family vacation in the Caribbean and we were on a big sailboat. It was warm and beautiful, and we were just relaxing and talking about work. It was December, and as a pianist, I get a lot of work at holiday parties playing carols for sing alongs. One of us wondered aloud what people do when they can’t afford to hire a pianist like me, and when no one in their group plays an instrument. What if they just wanted to sing Christmas carols? Maybe they would ask someone like me to record the piano accompaniment. Then we started brainstorming about how we could provide people with a high quality (i.e. real musical instruments, not a sequencer) product that allowed them to sing Christmas Carols easily with no equipment to purchase. Christmas Caroloke was born!
What’s your background (and or day job)?
My husband is a drummer, recording engineer and singer. I am a pianist, arranger, and a singer as well. My brother in law is a graphic artist and web designer. We are lucky that these are our day jobs.
What difficulties did you have creating the product?
Well, on one of the days that my husband and I were recording, the house behind our recording studio caught fire. It turned out it that the renters there were cooking methamphetamine, and it could have exploded any minute! I remember telling my husband that I did not want to die playing “Good King Wenceslaus”! We cleared out, but the Fire Dept. handled it right away, and we went back in to the ” Christmas Cave” to finish.
Have you sold any? (or is the product currently for sale somewhere already?)
We’ve sold two thousand through our website at Christmascaroloke.com. Several cities have used it at giant citywide Christmas parties and tree lightings, the Girl Scouts across the U.S. have bought several for caroling at convalescent homes, and countless families have used it for holiday and work parties. We have been floored at the response. Our testimonials make us very happy, because we feel we are spreading joy through this music, and through enabling people to sing. We would like Southwest Airlines to use it during the stressful holiday season at the airports. They are ingenious enough to try it, and we think people would love it! We’re working on this.
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