El Brown was a full-time stay at home mom and creator of KinderJam, a learning program for preschool-aged kids. She built the curriculum out of a need to help her son who was not developing speech at the projected rate.
When she began teaching KinderJam classes her goal was to help the family finances by paying the car bill. Her classes grew until she was grossing over $50,000.00 a year.
As her program grew, she attracted other mothers who wanted careers that allowed for a stay-at-home lifestyle. Brown quickly packaged up KinderJam so potential instructors could purchase their own KinderJam business.
Today, Mrs. Brown works full-time growing KinderJam as CEO and is backed by a dedicated team of women who share her vision.
Listen to the Podcast
Highlights from the interview:
- Why did you get started making part-time money?
- What is KinderJam?
- Who is the typical KinderJam customer?
- Talk about how you packaged KinderJam up to sell?
- How much does Kinderjam make?
- What’s the potential of KinderJam?
- How do you market KinderJam?
- What mistakes did make along the way?
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Philip Taylor: Okay, welcome to the part-time money podcast. My name is Philip Taylor of ptmoney.com. Today I have with me Miss El Brown. El is a fulltime stay-at-home mom and creator of KinderJam which I believe she started on the side. KinderJam is a learning program for pre-school aged kids up to 8-years-old. I’m excited to learn about what business she’s created here and how’s she got it out to the world. So welcome to the show El.
El Brown: Thank you for having me.
Philip Taylor: I’m so glad you’re here. What made you want to get started making some part-time money?
El Brown: Well, you know, it was really an organic experience. I wasn’t necessarily looking to make part-time money. I noticed some developmental delays in my son when he was about 18-months-old and since I’m a teacher by trade I developed a program to teach and evaluate him so I could communicate with his physicians on what I was seeing. And a girlfriend suggested that because I worked so diligently with Rickey too, that I should teach a class. So at that point I decided to teach a class and the class turned into some part-time money.
Philip Taylor: Got you.
El Brown: And very quickly the class became popular in Monterey, California and then the other ladies started to enquire about how they could teach the class and that’s when I packaged it up and I got my first two licensees.
Philip Taylor: Got you. Wow! I’m excited to talk about all that. So for those people who don’t know, what is KinderJam? What does it do?
El Brown: KinderJam is a Music and Movement program that focuses on kinesthetic and tactile learning for pre-school and toddler aged children. Most of our classes are taught in a “Mommy and Me” format so we have the parents in the classroom with us while we are instructing the children so that we are also teaching positive parenting engagement and parent education skills and strategies. Essentially, we are completely mobile teachers who move from libraries or pre-schools to community centres where we teach this 45-minute weekly class. We also do birthday parties and play dates.
Philip Taylor: Got you. Okay, so it came out from the need when you said that when your son—what was it… a speech development?
El Brown: At first I thought it might be speech and language. The physician wasn’t seeing the same things I was seeing. But, because he was with me all day long I knew that for the amount of input I was giving him there should have been more of an output. So I started the program which was, at the time, called Ricky II’s time which is my son so I can take anecdotal notes so that I can go back and give evidence. That later became evidence I took to Stanford University that cumulated in a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
Philip Taylor: Got you. Wow! This is a great story. So let’s talk about the beginning. You said you were a teacher, did you have any specific type of training or licensing in this area?
El Brown: Well early childhood is my specialty. I have a Masters in Early Childhood Education so I was pretty aware of what the developmental milestones were and what I should be seeing at a given time in my son’s early development. I was noticing that he wasn’t hitting those benchmarks which were essentially guidelines. Some kids hit them before, some kids hit them afterwards but I noticed that there was about a 6-month lag in some areas. So I am hypersensitive because I’m an educator so I did pause a bit before bringing up an alarming concern to the physician. And I did tell his pediatrician but I was told was that children mature at different rates. He’s happy, well-adjusted. Mom— you’re doing a good job because when babies go out for ‘well visits’, they are looking at eyes, ears, nose, throat, heart to make sure all those things are healthy. Sometimes they are not looking at the developmental delays that may be there. So you could have a fully healthy and functional child but they may have some delays in areas that might not come up in that 15-minute visit. So my teaching experience came in when the doctor said, “I think he’s fine.” Then I became my son’s first advocate and first educator at that point. That’s when I put my teacher hat on and started looking at him as more of a student than my child.
Philip Taylor: Got you. In the program did you have to create songs for it? Did you have to really create the whole thing from scratch or did you sort of pull from a template that you worked with? How did you know even where to start that?
El Brown: Well, originally I used the songs as the other children’s artist because what I was looking to do is see how I could communicate with Rickey II. So when I first started with Rickey II, I tried to teach him the way I would a child who was in my classroom because I didn’t know what was going on with him. And when I saw that I wasn’t reaching him I decided to look at things that interest him, one of which was music. I started to incorporate music and movement trying to get him to do vocabulary. I used songs from artists like Jack Hartmann and Greg and Steve because those are things I use in the classroom. Now KinderJam has its own music, but at the time I used content rich children’s music that would reach my son and those were the music that was used in our classes in the beginning.
Philip Taylor: So you started doing it with your son and then how did other people hear about it or know about it such that they started demanding it for some of their own kids?
El Brown: Well I had a neighbour who saw me working with Ricky II. I would give him 45-minutes a day and she happened to come over during that 45-minute time and she said, “You are working so hard with him that you’re making me tired. You should teach a class! All this energy for only one child.” We’re military, so I went to the community centre on our base and I’m like, “Hey I’m El Brown. I teach my son and I’m a credentialed teacher. I think the other parents could benefit from this.” They agreed and they asked me what was my program called? At that time I didn’t have a name, so I was like, “KinderJam! How about that?” And so about three months later I started teaching the classes on post, and through ‘word of mom’ they just grew really quickly.
Philip Taylor: That’s just great! Word of mom— I like that. KinderJam! That’s a great name to come up with on the fly like that.
EL Brown: Well thank you. Now it’s a registered trademark.
Philip Taylor: Smart. So did the community centre, were they paying you for the classes at that time or were the individuals paying you?
El Brown: Well it was a contract. So I was there as an army contractor and essentially the parents would pay me a monthly tuition and it was a 70-30 split. So the 70 percent of the tuition will come to me and 30 percent would go to the army’s community center.
Philip Taylor: Because you were using their center and they’re helping you market the service.
El Brown: Yes and KinderJam still uses that structure for our instructors. So if someone wants to become a KinderJam instructor we train them to teach the program and then we pair them with the municipal entity in their area. If they are at Belvoir we will pair them with the city of Belvoir and then there would be a 70-30 split between the instructor and the Belvoir community center.
Philip Taylor: Gotcha. That’s smart. Takes care of a lot of logistical issues.
El Brown: It does.
Philip Taylor: These communities they already have the people connection and they also typically have the facilities to do something like this.
El Brown: Because most of our instructors are moms looking for part-time money I thought it was a great way to part-time money because most of them start out were like, “I have a child who is in pre-school from 9:00 to 12:00. I want to be there at 12:00 to pick up my son or daughter so what can I do between 9:25 and 11:30?Z” Those are mostly the people who are KinderJam instructors.
Philip Taylor: At that time you weren’t teaching, is that right?
El Brown: I was a stay-at-home mom fulltime. I had my son at home so this gave me an opportunity to exercise my professional muscle and earn a little money. At the start I only wanted to earn $495 a month because that would pay for our trip payment and within four years we have grown to 40 instructors teaching in 8 countries and 11 US States.
Philip Taylor: Wow! Forty instructors? Eight countries?
El Brown: Eight countries and I’m sorry 12 US States.
Philip Taylor: Wow! That’s big time growth. When did you start this?
El Brown: I started my first classes in December of 2008. And we grew in March 2010, that’s when we got our first licensees.
Philip Taylor: Gotcha. Okay. So early on while you were doing these classes, how were you managing your time? Did you actually physically have to go somewhere and teach? How were you managing the time?
El Brown: KinderJam grew with my family situation. When I first started out I only taught two classes a week since I brought Ricky II with me. He was only 2-years-old at that time. When he started pre-school, I started teaching back-to- back classes while he was in pre-school. So my husband would take him to pre-school in the morning and I would teach a 9:15 class then a 10:45 class and I’d be there to pick him up by 11:45. So I actually fit my classes in between my son’s schedule. And it was pretty simple because a KinderJam lesson is eight weeks so once I have that lesson planned for lesson plan one, I teach that same lesson for the next eight weeks. Regardless of how many classes I teach, I’m teaching the same lesson for him. So the only thing I’m doing is bringing my equipment at the end of the day and sanitizing it while I watch Law and Order or something.
Philip Taylor: Got you. Okay. So it fit your lifestyle the way you really wanted. And it sounds like eventually you even worked yourself out on having to teach. Obviously there was a point where you said, “Okay. It’s nice that it helps me pay my car note.” Then it got to a point to where you’d say. “Man this is becoming a real business and I’m not sure. I’m a teacher by trade and I’ve got a son I’m staying home with. This has maybe become something a little too much to handle.” Is that sort of when you started thinking about bringing on others?
El Brown: No…in all honesty it was a widely thought about bringing on others because when I first started everything was so organic, it was happening in manageable chunks. I work in a military community and our ladies are very transient. So when I taught my first class of people they stayed with me for about a year. When a year’s time was up they were prepared to get relocated to their next duty station. It was at that point that they came up to me and said, “You know El, if you packaged it up we would love to teach at the next location.” That was only two ladies. One went to Michigan and one went to Japan so it was really manageable. I spoke to them as if they were friends and they were just teaching my lesson pointer. And then by the time it grew to the next two ladies, we were like five friends. It wasn’t until there were about 10 of us that I had to do some kind of management. At that point I built a social network because we had kinderjam.org which is where they did their training. So instead of answering all the e-mails back and forth I started a new network that I called KinderJam Central and they all had their own page. That way if someone was in Singapore and they had a question while I was sleeping, the young lady in Japan could answer her question. And what happened is that all this information started to build on this one site and it became a resource area like a big office. So if they needed to order supply they did it from this site. If they needed to ask a question they did it from this site. If they want a chair they did it from this site. I started posting our lesson plans and videos of me teaching lesson plans and webinars on this one site. So with 40 women I have someone who does operations now. But still, that site is our main hub and the questions that were answered four years ago are the same questions young ladies have today. They can just go out there and it’s all archived.
Philip Taylor: So smart. That’s Genius! I love how it grew organically like you said and you were able to create that community even amongst the people who were helping you grow your business. At that time what was the relationship between you and the other coaches? Was it a 70-30 deal like you mentioned?
El Brown: Well KinderJam trains them and we supply them with their supplies, so they pretty much pay for starter which is about a $1,000 and training. Then they pay a monthly licensing fee. So we are just really there for professional development and for continued support. Now we have come to the point where we can actually help with job placement as well. Essentially I’m just teaching them to do what I did to make my part-time money four years ago.
Philip Taylor: You might have said this already but you said that your goal was to make your car note. When you were first working with the initial base there were you making the car note?
El Brown: I was. And very quickly I matched my husband’s salary, who is a Major in the army, within a year. What happened is that I started on the base and ‘word of mom’ is a very powerful thing. And then they started telling civilians about my classes. Since the civilians couldn’t take the classes on the base I had to reach out to the YMCA and then I had to run a space at YMCA. After I rented a space at YMCA, children’s museum and libraries started being interested in KinderJam. So I would go in and do their story time. It saved them money because I would go in for 30 minutes but I made $100 for teaching this class. Then I would go to city of Monterey and start teaching classes for them. Once someone asked me, “Why don’t you have a baby class?” That’s when I created BabyJam. Then I started teaching that class at libraries. I got my first big contract at a military privatized housing neighbourhood where they had started an awareness program. They sent out some surveys to families to see what type of classes they wanted for their awareness programs— Zumba, Yoga… And the parents thought of KinderJam. And so my first contract was with Pinnacle Privatized Housing to author KinderJam as a resident amenity for the residents of their neighbourhood. That’s when KinderJam became a business because that was my first $30,000 contract.
Philip Taylor: Got you. Wow! So earlier when you went to your first base what was the material and equipment you went with?
El Brown: (Laughs.) That’s pure comedy. I went with discount school supplies and I ordered a 35-piece band. I took my son’s changing table and I Gorilla-glued caster wheels on the bottom of it. I had this huge 6-disk CD changer and I would literally roll that in every day and I would teach the classes. When I started out I was teaching KinderJam in an art and crafts class. But after awhile I realized that those were consumable products, therefore my return wasn’t as great as teaching this class where the materials weren’t consumable. So I dropped the arts and craft class and I stocked up on my supplies for KinderJam. I added bean bags, egg shakers, ribbon sticks, monkey finger puppets, counting mats and ABC mats. But that whole process took about eight months for me to figure out what worked, what didn’t work and what was the most return for my dollar.
Philip Taylor: In terms of what worked, you mean what the kids responded to?
El Brown: Not only what the kids responded to but with what I could do with ease. Because KinderJam is a mobile business, I had to find what supplies were easiest to pack up. Supplies that take up the least amount of space. Supplies weren’t too heavy and that I could load into my truck and get to another class in 30 minutes. All of that was trial and error. Also what kind of bag I put my equipment in and stuff like that.
Philip Taylor: Alright. Is there anything like KinderJam out there?
El Brown: There are things like KinderMusik and Music Together. The only difference with those classes is that they focus on the music whereas KinderJam is actually teachers that use music as a vehicle to hold our little ones attention. And there’s also Jumpbunch which focuses more on physical activities. The business model for KinderJam I can honestly say I have not seen anywhere else and I have been looking at many case studies. I think that is why it has gotten so popular because we have never done any advertisements, everything is ‘word of mom.’ One mom sees another mom teaching the class and says, “Hey! I can do that at my next location.” And that’s essentially how we groom them.
Philip Taylor: Obviously the other teachers see value in it but for that many institutions and individuals to see value in bringing their kids to that class there’s got to be something special about it. What do you think is so special about this class that it would grow so organically like that?
El Brown: I’m biased because I’m the creator but I feel that KinderJam was created with the technique and knowledge of a teacher and with the love of a mom. I created KinderJam because I wanted my baby to succeed. So when you come into our classes, you would see that our classes are taught from the viewpoint of every child deserves to learn. Every type of learning styles needs to be acknowledged, respected and catered to. We actually use Howard Gardner’s Theory of multiple intelligences. We believe that kids are gifted but just in different areas. So we aim to have a joyful class that caters to all of these intelligences. At the time my child wasn’t speaking, yet in my heart I knew that if I found a way to communicate with my child he would be successful— that’s the attitude that we take into our classes. Other thing I think is that we are champion parents. When our parents come to our classes we believe that every parent wants to be a great parent, we just have to give them the tools and strategies to meet that goal. And I think that’s why we resonate with parents.
Philip Taylor: That makes a lot of sense. I can tell you’re passionate about it. Do you have a performance background at all? Were you nervous about being in front of people?
El Brown: No. I think being a teacher was enough practise for me. It was a little bit difficult to gage my parents in the beginning because I never taught in front of parents before. But I realized that even if the parents are not there and I connect with their little ones— it’s a done deal. Because even if a parent decides, “Hey, you know what? I’ve given a month to KinderJam, I think I want to take a break,” that little one is going to say, “Where is KinderJam? When can I see Mrs. El?” So my job is to connect with that little one. I learn my little ones names as soon as they come to the classroom and I use their names often and there’s nothing more musical than hearing someone else say your child’s name especially when you have an 18-month-old. And especially when you are in a military community because KinderJam started in a military community. So I became like an Auntie because all of our families were far away from their loved ones. Their child was coming to my class every week so I was celebrating with them, ”Oh my goodness! You are walking! Where did you learn how to walk?”…” Did she just say my name! When did you start talking?” I was celebrating with my families and because of that it was a communal feeling in the classroom. It was a safe environment. Because, again, we believe that every parent wants to be a great parent. That’s why you are there at 9:15 in the morning when you could be somewhere else. But you’re there with your little one. It’s wonderful!
Philip Taylor: That’s wonderful. Obviously you have a lot of passion for what you’re doing. Typically you find someone who has a lot of passion for something but not necessarily the business skills to make some money from it essentially and pull it off from monetary prospective. You talked a little bit about how this sort of organically happened for you but at some point you had to use some business skills and some entrepreneurial action. Where did that came from? You could have said, “This is getting too crazy, let’s just shut it down.” Talk to me about what helped you get over that edge? Or maybe what drove you from an entrepreneurial standpoint to see that this is something bigger than just car payment money.
El Brown: In all honesty I have to say that it was my ladies. They believed that I could do it. They looked to me and said, “El… you know this can be big.” It was other people telling me that it could be big and when the challenges came I just met them head-on. When someone said they would like to teach it at their next duty station I honestly thought that they were just joking. And then Margaret went to Japan and Amy went to Virginia and they both called me within a week of each other and I just felt like God was trying to tell me something. I told them to give me 30 days. I’ll put it down and build a very simple website that has now gone on and jazzed up to meet the demand, but I just put everything in my head down on paper and they responded to it. Honestly, from there I wasted a lot of money in different areas. There are a lot of lessons that I learned along the way and that’s why KinderJam has been a gift. Because now that I have my formula down pat, the ladies that come in and instead of starting from scratch they can actually come in and El has already made all the mistakes. I have already lost thousands of dollars on something that was frivolous that I really didn’t need or I had someone who was a slick talker, a used-car salesman type who was like, ” Oh! Hey… Let us market this! Let me do XYZ.” We were able to grow our Facebook to 10,000 followers in less than a year just because I was posting the things that I do with my own son. I used the same formula that I used at home and found that people responded to that. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way and those are just the lessons that I’m passing on to others. When the business is good it just works, in my opinion. I mean, there are some people out there who may think of a business and then try to figure out how to make money with it. I just feel that you do it what you love to do then do it so well that people will pay you for. All the other stuff you learn along the way. I was at a conference in New Orleans where Sir Richard Branson spoke and they were asking that what his philosophy was on business. And he said, “Screw it! Just do it!: And I believe it. You know… what’s the worst that could happen? You can make a mistake, then you recalibrate and then do it a different way.
Philip Taylor: Yeah and it sounds like you had a lot of those moments along the way where you could have hesitated, you could have shut it down, stopped at any point but you kept saying “Screw it! Let’s do it!” Talk about where are you at today? Give us a picture of what KinderJam looks like today?
El Brown: For me KinderJam has grown as far as it could from my couch. I spend a lot of time travelling, training, speaking at engagements and not necessarily recruiting, but giving us exposure so that people know we are out there. We have a CEO now who handles the day-to-day operations of KinderJam because that was one of the things that was really big. When I first started I did everything so I had to get to that point where I was comfortable delegating because the business could not grow if I remained the technician. You can’t be the visionary and the technician. You can’t be the visionary, technician and the processor. So I had to find people who were loyal and who believed in the vision and I had to trust them to work as diligently as I work, in my absence.
Philip Taylor: Makes sense. You mentioned that along the way you were able to get a $30,000 contract. How did that change your business?
El Brown: That changed me because I then saw the possibilities. That was the first contract that I got. I saw then, that if you work and you’re really good at what you do people will talk about you and business will find you. So that was probably about two years into my teaching at KinderJam. And that’s the contract that I worked up until about maybe two years ago. Now I have instructors who— in addition of being KinderJam business owner’s, they also teach classes that we procure contracts for. And that again started out, out of need. I was in Monterey. I was happy teaching my classes but then my husband is in the military so we had to move to DC. So I had this contract right here, but I am not going to be here anymore so that’s when I got my first employee on my first contract. I then paid someone to teach the class. I maintained all the paper work. I do all the invoices. I do all the insurances. She goes and teaches the class and I give her a flat rate per class. Then I thought, “Wait. I can do this over and over again,” so this is what we did.
Philip Taylor: Have you converted all of your coaches, the prior ones over to that model as well?
El Brown: No. It’s by choice and by need. Many of our ladies aren’t looking to work that much so it’s based on what someone’s needs are. We have one young lady who only teaches one class a week at a dance studio that’s just 10 minutes from her house because she enjoys KinderJam and her little girl loves it. We have one young lady who teaches 10 classes a week. She has three sons who are all in school so she was six hours during her day. We have another young lady who only does birthday parties and play dates. It all depends on what your schedule looks like. For us, if we have a young lady who just wants to work for a flat rate, we can fit her in a position like that. But most of our ladies like flexibility.
Philip Taylor: Got you. Okay, so they are 10-99 employees then?
El Brown: Yes.
Philip Taylor: In terms of marketing it these days, you have really just let the community sort of take care of itself. Have you done any marketing or advertising?
El Brown: No. Because in all honesty what would happen is… If I went out and did a huge marketing blitz and let’s say I got 200 applicants and of that 25 percent want in— I’m not capable of bringing 50 women in at one time. The rate at which its growing works perfectly with my family because I’m still a mom and I’m still a wife so I’m able to manage my family. I may bring in two instructors a month or three instructors a month. Now we are getting to a point where we can handle a little more per month, but I also feel that it should be a gradual growth because if we get a huge growth spurt right now— Like, say if I have 50 people who are ready to start tomorrow, just in inventory alone, it would be logistical nightmare.
Philip Taylor: Got you. You mentioned a couple of mistakes or things that you’re glad that the new instructors don’t have to deal with. Maybe you can talk about some of those you experienced along the way.
El Brown: Working with other entrepreneurs. I had to realize then that the entrepreneurs were in the business of making money, not necessarily in the business of helping people. So if another entrepreneur came to me, his job was to try to convince me that whatever product he had is something I needed, whether I needed it or not. When I first started the biggest mistake I had made was to think that I wasn’t capable of doing it myself. So essentially I had become really proficient in pages. I’ve now found out that there are some graphics that I can do myself. I’ve also found you know that there are college student looking to get experience and I can work with them to get things done less expensively. So when I first started I thought experts were what I needed in order to be successful. Then I learned through trial and error that just in being passionate I would learn. Or I could find someone else who is just starting out like me and we could have a symbiotic relationship and we could barter so I’ve learned things like that along the way. Now I realize that you don’t need money to start a business. A lot of people think you need capital. I feel like you need passion and you need a really good concept and the money comes from there. But before I was scared. I didn’t make any money and I was spending more money than I needed to.
Philip Taylor: Got you. Wow! Who would make a good candidate in terms of someone who can work with you to like be a coach, or they could be a teacher in KinderJam system?
El Brown: Anyone who has a passion for working with young children. You don’t need a teaching background because we completely train you through our business manual training which is completely online and interactive and our curriculum training which is Early Childhood Education and Child Development. We make sure that you have those basic skills. Then with KinderJam Central that I talked about, we pair you with the mentors. You learn about KinderJam Central and you watch videos of instructors teaching the class. It’s completely scripted so that you have what you need from start to finish. and what we do is that we give you a self-pace. We allow you to practise your script, practise your movements so when you feel like you’re ready we put you with our trainer. The trainer watches the video of you teaching the class. We have a rule that you have to receive 50 out of 55 points in order to be issued a teaching certificate. By that point you are pretty much a pro at KinderJam because you cannot get through the KinderJam machine without knowing some of those basic points. We tell our ladies that even though it may be a long six to eight week process before you’re ready to teach classes, remember that when you’re working in a ‘Mommy and Me’ setting, you are teaching in front of your clients. It’s a little different than being a student-teacher that’s just working with kids and you can make some mistakes because no one sees you. These parents are paying you monthly so if you go into the classroom and you don’t know what you’re doing—you’re fiddling and trying to find music they are going to be like, “This is the worst waste of my $40 and we are not coming back.” So we make sure that our ladies are ready. You need to be a self-starter because, again, you are not working for anyone. If you don’t show up for your classes, the classes don’t happen and the parents don’t come back. And you need love kids because that’s what we do, we celebrate children.
Philip Taylor: Yeah. So for a parent who wants to bring their kid to KinderJam what do they have to invest in this experience?
El Brown: It’s relatively inexpensive because we price it so it is affordable to all family types. Our classes are generally about $35 a month which usually gives you four-five classes a month depending on that teacher’s schedule and the weeks in that month. They are generally found in catalogs in that area. For example, if you’re in Monterey you would go through the Monterey Pop and Ribs Catalog. We also have a website kinderjam.com where you can go and find a class and see if there’s a class in your area. I told you that we got about 10,000 plus followers on Facebook so that’s became something where a lot of people were asking us questions. We decided to build another site kjplaygroups.com which is a free site where you can go and get all these activities and things to do with your kids, sort of like how I built KinderJam Central. It’s a network of parents and they can answer each other’s questions because we had a lot of parent’s asking me questions like, “What do I do for my daughter’s third birthday?” Or, “My son’s trying to potty train…” I could answer only so many questions per day so we built this free site that parents can go on and share this information with each other.
Philip Taylor: Now is there certain equipment that you can pair along with this website or certain products and services that could be sold along with this free website?
El Brown: We are not there yet but we will be by the end of the year because we just finished with our new KinderJam music. We are in the process of making parent kits and it has a little handbook that tells you some of the basics to do with your child at home because we understand that there are parents out there who want to take part in something like KinderJam but there might not be an instructor in that area so we are now getting those resource kits for parents because that’s another thing parents have been asking for.
Philip Taylor: Yeah. They want to be just like you, when you first started at home doing this thing.
El Brown: That’s how I started with Ricky II.
Philip Taylor: So to become an instructor, did you say that you have to pay $1,000 upfront?
El Brown: Yes. We finance though. So, you can either pay full price and that’s your full starter kit and training, or you can finance it. If you finance it we start you at KinderJam with your licensing fee and we span it out for the next three years. Each instructor is certified for three years and then you renew after three years.
Philip Taylor: How quickly do you think a person could make that initiation fee back?
El Brown: After you start classes you can make your initiation fee back within 90 days and that’s only teaching one class per week. Because, the way it works in a KinderJam class, you have $35 per child. Thirty-five dollars is just prefixed price. You can go 20 percent above or 20 percent below. If you’re teaching a class at $35 and there’s a 70-30 split, you’re making $24.50 per child for that month. If you’re teaching a 45 minute class and that class has ten students in it, that’s $245 you have made for that month. You can teach up to 20 students. So if it’s 20 students you have made nearly $500 for that 45 minute class and you can teach that class at seven different entities. And that’s not including birthday parties and play dates. There you can get additional certification to do birthday parties. Now birthday parties are like $100 for the first 10 kids, $8 for each additional kid. For a 35-minute birthday party you can make an easy $200.
Philip Taylor: Okay. That’s good. So what about you? How has this changed you? You mentioned that you were looking for some part-time money upfront but now this is a long way from just making that car payment. What kind of revenue did KinderJam do last year?
El Brown: We hit the $100,000 mark which was good for me because that was just based on licensing fees. Then I was able to make money as a speaker as well because I was able to take the message that I did for KinderJam and I was able to bring it into Spouse Empowerment speeches, also to kinesthetic and tactile training for Child Development Centers and I also do parent education workshops. So we actually have made several revenue streams. But that’s not including what the ladies make because they do not pay based on the amount of money they make. They pay a flat licensing fee. So each of those ladies have brought revenue into their independently owned KinderJam businesses.
Philip Taylor: Gotcha. Wow! That’s great. This has been a wonderful ride for you, I’m sure. Where can people find more about KinderJam?
El Brown: You can start by going to kinderjam.com. Everything you need to know is right there. If you’re interested in classes, you can find it under Parents and find a class. If you’re interested in a Career in KinderJam, you can find it under Careers. Or if you just want to learn more about the program, About Us.
Philip Taylor: Awesome! Thanks so much for being on with me El. It’s a wonderful story. My wife’s a former teacher—she’s a formal Special Ed teacher and she has a Masters in that, so I’ll be sure to share all this with her as well. She will be excited to see what you’ve done here. I can see her doing something similar with her background and skill set one day.
El Brown: Our Curriculum Director has a Masters in Special Education as well.
Philip Taylor: Yeah. So this is great. It’s been wonderful to have you on. Best of luck continuing with the business and maybe I’ll see you at the next entrepreneurial conference speaking about what you’ve done here.
El Brown: I hope so. I attend a lot of e-conferences because I can’t go back and get a MBA so I go to conferences to get a wealth of information.
Philip Taylor: Hey you have earned your MBA. Well congrats again. Good to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much.