Today's "I Want to Be" series features Sandra Modersohn, who creates printable educational games. Sandra is a homeschooling mom to four girls, ages 8, 8, 7 and 3. She and her family recently moved from New Jersey to Virginia's scenic Shenandoah Valley. Find out how to connect with Sandra at the end of this article.
How long have you had your business?
Little Learning Lovies started as a blog where I talked about our homeschool and shared free printables. I started that in 2009. Then, in June of 2012, I officially opened our online retail store. In a little over a year, it had far exceeded any expectations I ever had for it!
What led you to pursue it?
I found that I had trouble finding high quality printable resources for my kids that I really liked. So I started making them myself. I quickly discovered that I really enjoy creating educational games... Probably just as much as my kids enjoy playing them! It seemed natural to share my creations, and as I began to get positive feedback from homeschoolers, classroom teachers and parents alike, it seemed inevitable that it would grow into a store, though I never dreamed things would grow as fast as they did!
Are you full time or part time? If part-time, do you anticipate switching to full time?
This is a tricky question. During the summer, when I'm not really schooling the kids as much, I do tend to put in full time hours or more. When we're schooling, though, I cut that back drastically, though I can't seem to get it under about 25 hours a week.
How do you market your business?
Little Learning Lovies is marketed almost exclusively through working with bloggers. We exchange free products for reviews and giveaways and in doing this, we've managed to find thousands of customers. We have a strong and growing presence on Facebook and use that and our newsletter to keep customers updated on new products and special sales.
What is your favorite part of the business?
I LOVE hearing from customers about how one of our games helped their child figure out a difficult concept. Knowing that my work is helping kids learn in a fun and lasting way is amazing. Especially when I find out that kids on the other side of the world are learning from my resources! Totally awesome!
What one question do you get most from people about your business?
"How do you do it all!" I hear this a lot. Especially when folks find out that we homeschool. If only they saw my kitchen sink! Sometimes things slide that I wish didn't, but it's all worth it.
What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity?
I would say that you should follow your own heart. If you REALLY love what you're doing, you won't mind the time it takes to make it happen. And be patient. It took me my first 6 months of serious work to make any kind of headway with this company. And then it all just sort of took off. It can be discouraging sometimes to put your best self out there and be ignored, but if you stick with it and work hard, you really can make it happen.