And just like that Spring "sprang" and summer is here, sheesh! I know that I have an oft-repeated opening theme, but I mean it every time: I’ve missed you guys! Let me catch you up!
April: I made lots of design changes to the kidogo.tv platform. Website design is an ever evolving process for me as a novice. It is aggravating and rewarding at the same time to see my hard work in the digital flesh. The major changes:
Added a second section of videos categorized "by creator." There are a growing number of creators who have grown their body of work to such an extent that it would be only fitting for them to have a page of their own.
Made the color scheme and font more consistent.
Fixed some wonky bugs with the video players. You should be able to see all of the videos on the first page or an arrow to see the rest of them.
As always, I welcome your input and feedback.
May: I worked really hard on the Fellowship for Female Founders and MassChallenge applications. Big shoutout to Austyn Ellese Mayfield, Shironda White, Thato Mwosa, Edwine Alphonse, Charmain Jackman, Yawa Degboe, Ajahmure Clovis, Vona Hill, and Marc Germain for helping me out. Each of you used your immense skills and talents to get me across the finish line and for that I thank you. The camaraderie and support were bar none. Hugs!
June: I got into the fellowship! Yay! The women in the fellowship are FIERCE! They are all very accomplished and driven. Thanks, Charmain for recommending it. Though I am still waiting to hear back from MassChallenge, I was pleased with my performance in both rounds of the application process. I received valuable and affirming feedback from the judges.
A Little Education: Tuesday, June 14th was my first day of classes for the fellowship! It was about putting together a lean canvas and an overview of funding options. Every time I invest time in my lean canvas, I refine, edit, and improve it. The elements of a lean canvas are: problem, customer segment, unique value proposition, solution, channels, revenue streams, cost structure, key metrics, and unfair advantage. A lean canvas needs to be succinct. The elements of your business idea need to be tightly phrased, clear, and free of jargon. Writing at this level reveals whether you 1) know your business, and 2) whether you even have a business at all.
It’s fascinating how elements of my business have morphed over time. For instance, as you may recall, I first believed I could create a business only out of creating my own content, but it turned out that curating was a better model for Kidogo.
Some of the funding options we learned about: venture capital investment, angel investment, regulation crowdfunding, friends and family crowdfunding, and debt financing. All of the options underscore the idea of building a business off of other people’s money, not your own. In my case, other than unsolicited contributions, the money I earned from two pitch competitions and a grant from the ParentPreneur Foundation, Kidogo has been self-funded. Though I have talked about fundraising before, I have not yet asked anyone for money.
Reflection/Confession: When I asked myself why that is, I came up with a startling realization: I didn’t, in fact, believe Kidogo was worthy of someone else’s support until I proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Kidogo was going to be successful. WUUUHHHHH??!!! It stings like heck to write it. This whole time, I have been secretly holding myself to a legal criminal trial standard! I know I'm a lawyer, but come on!
The idea of taking another person’s money and possibly losing it made me sick to my stomach, but losing my own money seemed not as risky and not as potentially embarrassing. Peel back the layers of that psychologists! Where did I pick up this belief?? Wherever or however I had this malware downloaded in my mental operating system, the good news is that I now recognize it and I am calling BS on it (one of my favorite business coaches, Rachel Rodgers of the Hello 7 club loves to call BS, so I know she'll be happy about this!)! The proof of the viability of Kidogo is here and has been here for a while! This company’s little wins and big wins shine bright! In other words, Kidogo is enough. I am enough!! This last statement is most important. At this early stage of the company, people are investing more in the founder, not the company. I'm really just now internalizing this.
(the irony of using a white male in this gif is not lost on me, folks, lol!)
I will be raising capital in due time :-)
Recent Win: It gives me great pleasure to recap Kidogo’s Pops n’ Paint table at Hyde Park’s Juneteenth event on Saturday, June 18, 2022. This was our first B2B (business to business) customer! Powerhouse Marcia Kimm Jackson and I both go to Bethel AME. One random Sunday after church, we started chatting and within 5 minutes, I committed Kidogo to her organization, which was organizing the Juneteenth event. Hyde Park Main Streets paid Kidogo to provide an activity at the Juneteenth event. We then had 3 brand sponsors to contribute as well. It was so fun y’all! Austyn Ellese Mayfield pulled out all the stops with putting the kit together.
Each bag had a canvas, easel, 6 paint sticks, a stencil, 5 stickers, instructions, an info card about Kidogo, and cards about each of our sponsors: Incred-a-bowl, Yamacu, and Juice Juice Baby (JJB). My oldest sister who lives in Maryland and who is the founder and CEO of JJB sent the frozen pops in the mail a week prior to the event (thanks for the 50% discount, sis!). She makes her pops from real fruit and honey and they're double the size of any frozen pop we usually see. It took everything not to eat those pops. OMG, I had one and was hooked! You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or slide into her DMs on IG @juicejuicebabyllc to place an order.
I picked up the juices from Sali Bangoura, founder and CEO of Yamacu the day before the event (I was smarter this time). We met in person for the first time! I was so overjoyed. If you love ginger, then you'll love Yamacu (I LOOOVE ginger!). Sali was generous; she donated a box of juices for the parents to enjoy, and they did! Amara, who is also a ginger fan, had a bottle (or two...). Sali is local-- check out https://drinkyamacu.com/ (@drinkyamacu) to order some liquid sunshine!
Sterling Spellman, founder and CEO of Incred-a-Bowl (the third sponsor) donated money my friends, real money! Her contribution offset some of the costs of the supplies. I met both Sali and Sterling at BWEL (Babson Black Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Program). From the first day of the program both of these women were ROCKSTARS. They had an incredible mix of experience and kindness. Sterling had just finished an entrepreneurial program at Goldman Sachs and was transitioning her food business from a food truck to a brick and mortar location in RI. I will make it my mission this summer to visit Incred-a-Bowl (@bowledflavor)! Come with me!
The morning of, I bought some coolers from Target and rushed over to Austyn's to pick up the kits. I was giddy when I saw how everything had come together. To talk is one thing. To plan is another. But to execute is magical. Hugs, Austyn! Amara was a great assembly line worker as we put everything together. My parents met me at the park and my Dad and one of my church friends/piano students helped get all of the supplies to the site. Friends, my EForAll crew, and women from the fellowship showed up with their children and were all amazingly cheerful and supportive! My heart was so full!
I say all this to say: my community, sisterhood, and family are real, tangible, and thriving.
The kids were engaged while they painted. Some painted the Juneteenth flag just as it is and others had creative interpretations. All of them walked away proud of their art. Children are my heart. Enjoy the pics at the bottom of this post!
What's New on Kidogo.tv:
New Channels by Category:
Travel, Languages, and Cultures
Arts + Crafts
Environment, Nature, Outdoors
Affirmations (Amara now falls asleep to this channel nightly)
What's Ahead for Kidogo: There are several projects in the works, but I can't talk about them yet ;-) We are in the midst of planning a Back-to-School Membership Drive. The season of free membership to the interactive activities portion of this site will be coming to a close soon. Also, I need to ask for support of the curation work I do. Yes, the videos are technically free, however, curating them takes time, money, thought, and labor. I have spent hours pouring through content, picking out the gems. This is not just a hobby, but the fulfillment of a purpose. More details to come and you'll receive plenty of notice.
That's it for now!
For the Kids, for the Culture,