When Christi Bostwick, the award winning author and creator of Blankie Bits walked through the hallway on her son’s ninth birthday and found another piece of his disintegrating security blanket, Blankie, on the floor, she felt so sad for him. He was so sad that Blankie was “going away.” As a mom and a child psychologist, she knew that if she was struggling with what to do, other parents must be, too.
I wrote and self published, Blankie Bits, and was a 2014 finalist in the Indie Book Awards in the parenting/family division. Blankie Bits gives kids and parents a plan for how to handle Blankies as they grow. Since the award, I have worked to have My Blankie Bits Blankies™, and personalizable Blankie Bits keepsake boxes that match the the book made. All printing and materials have been produced in the USA! The benefits of the Blankie Bits products is that everyone has a Blankie story and they help keep kids emotionally healthy!
Slowly watching something they (children) love disintegrate allows children rare practice at experiencing grief. Parents can use this ideas given in Blankie Bits to help ease the grief process by giving children a plan to help themselves and see another child go through grief practice.
Saving the pieces of “bits” allows children a keepsake of their beloved blankets while naturally progressing through an important developmental stage. That’s the goal … to encourage positive independence in children.
Target Audience + How to Reach them:
Parents and grandparents for baby gifts. Kids age 2 and up. I am still figuring out how to reach them. I have created a WordPress, Phd4kids.com, and have started reaching out as a parenting expert to online blogs and magazines.
I have had one television appearance on Kansas City Live that did not amount to much. I have done one giveaway on Pennypinchinmom.com. I have been “lunching” several local authors/speakers in the area to get ideas and network. I would like to work my way into professional speaking.
Being a finalist in the 2014 Indie Book Awards gave me the confidence I needed to believe that Blankie Bits was good, and not just because my friends and family said it was good. Telling anyone about it, instantly gives me street cred!
Overcoming the Challenge:
I’m still working on it. I have a real job as a child psychologist. I am part of a group with six pediatricians, and I am very busy. I see 21 patients in three days and work on Blankie Bits 24/7 the rest of the time.
When you imagine success, what does it look like?
Getting Blankie Bits into upper end department stores and bookstores. Brand recognition as a child psychologist, author, speaker, and parenting expert. GMA or Today would be awesome!
What steps are you taking to achieve your goals?
Talk to anyone who will listen, including the amazing underworld of social media. I think that is where my break will come as a parenting expert and the rest will follow.
What PR + Marketing activities have you done and what were the results?
I have boldly contacted stores, such as Nordstrom, to no avail using all kinds of unorthodox ways. For example, I walked into the Kansas Nordstrom, sold the sweet manager on the product, and she worked to get the buyers name and number. I had to talk to the buyer by phone, which was the death of the lead. It works so much better if I can get in front of people so they can see and touch the book, Blankie, and keepsake box.
As an entrepreneur, how do you decide what to do yourself and what to hire someone to do?
I have hired an advisor, recommended by a trusted friend, for $250.00 for the year. I talk to her twice a month and she gives me ideas, lets me bounce ideas off of her, and cheerleads. It helps mostly because it holds me accountable.
How do you manage family and business?
I had to wait until my children are older, now 16 and 18. I didn’t go back to work as a child psychologist until my daughter was 12. I never look back and think, “I wish I would have worked more or sooner.” I loved, and still do, being home with my kids. Honestly, I have not done as good of a job with balancing kids and work with marriage.
What advice do you have to fellow mom entrepreneurs?
It’s a marathon and everything has it’s time. If you feel obsessed and cannot stop thinking about it, you don’t care that it’s hard, you just keep going.
What have you learned about yourself being an entrepreneur?
That I am as strong as I thought I was.
If you could wave a magic wand and be given anything to help your business right now, what would it be?
$20,000 and a relationship with human interest news shows like Good Morning America or Today as a parenting expert.
What is your favorite go-to resource, tool, book, app and why?
YouTube and Google. I have taught myself how to use graphic arts programs so that I can self-publish. I have found amazing people who have been so willing to help me with prototypes and small quantities.
What is your favorite indulgence?