How These Parents Built a Brand to Help Kids Handle Scary Situations

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When my daughter was a toddler several years ago, she – just like many other children her age – cried with extreme separation anxiety whenever I would walk out the front door. It didn’t matter who she was left with, her world came crashing down whenever mama went somewhere without her.

As endearing as it was to be her personal rock star, her tears pulled at my heartstrings. I grappled with guilt – babies aren’t the only ones who deal with separation anxiety. Although I’ve read plenty of expert advice on what to do in these type of situations, nothing can tell you what to do better than your own maternal instincts.

And that is where Twigtale comes into play.

Simply put, Twigtale makes parenting a tad easier by creating personalized stories to help children understand sensitive situations at an age-appropriate level. Work-at-home mom Carrie Southworth, along with her childhood friend Nishad Chande, founded the company on the idea of helping children with life-changing issues through expertly-scripted books.

Chande first came up with the concept when his child was afraid of starting preschool. The school director suggested he help ease the process by creating a book about preschool, using his own photos. Rather than putting together something with construction paper and glue, Chande came up with a better idea, pitched it to Southworth, and the business was born.

Twigtale lets parents create use a photo book to explain common childhood issues with their children, like a new sibling coming into the family, losing a pet, what happens when daddy goes on a business trip, and so on. These customized stories make both parents and their children the main characters of their plotlines while helping ease those common anxieties in a very therapeutic way.

CEO Carolyn Guimbarda says that while parents have been creating customized photo books for years now, this isn’t your typical coffee table book of your last trip to Big Sur. “We didn’t invent the concept, we just simplified the process. With the app, we limit the choices because when people are after a solution, they aren’t as concerned with background colors or font choices. We’re kind of like a combination of Shutterfly, Mad Libs, and a family therapist,” she said.

Southworth agreed on this point, adding, “with Twigtale, parents can easily create their stories with their kids’ photos on their iPhones in the grocery store, the school car line, or even the subway. There aren’t a lot of mothers out there who have that 20 or so minutes to sit at their desktop to go through the dozen or so templates and fonts from a service like Shutterfly. Twigtale is very easy to use and with our app, it’s been made even easier for parents create and order a book in no time.”

Both Southworth and Guimbarda know the value of being stay-at-home mothers who work to be challenged while providing a product to a demographic they know best – themselves. As far as their own advice for other SAHMs who want to dip their toes into the “momtrepreneur” pond, they say it’s pretty simple: surround yourself with support.

Image courtesy of Carolyn Guimbarda

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