Paying for a professional brand expansion plan prior to launching her child-focused gardening and healthy eating business, Bloomers! Edutainment, was far and away the best money that Cynthia Wylie ever spent.
The results confirmed that any business aimed at children should be present wherever they are and at all times. This came down to three places: school, home, and of course, the internet. In all three spaces, Wylie and her team have worked to create games, tools, programs, and products that are fun and easy-to-use and meet the overarching goal of getting children to eat healthier.
“We’re a very grassroots oriented business and everything we do boils down to ‘let’s make it fun for the kids and easy for the parents and for teachers,’” she says.
The difference between Bloomers! Edutainment and other gardening programs aimed at kids, Wylie says, is the company’s adherence to fun and ease. The programs can happen at home, online and in school. In all three spaces, children learn about growing vegetables in fun and interactive ways. Colorful and attractive products like Bloomers! VeggiePOPs (which look like lollipops but contain the fertilizer, seeds, and nutrients that will grow into different vegetables when planted) allow kids to grow their own produce in a fun and simple way.
“So many parents struggle to get their children to eat vegetables but we’ve seen that almost without fail, if a kid grows a vegetable themselves, they will eat it,” Wylie says.
Bloomers! VeggiePOPs and other consumer products have proved hugely popular in retail outlets ranging from specialty toy stores and grocery stores, to the likes of Home Depot, KMart and other major chains. The company is now looking to expand into plush toys and gardening apparel for children, Wylie says — products that she and her team are designing themselves.
“Our business model is a licensing model, which allows me to have different categories of products without having to invest in infrastructure,” she says.
Last month, Wylie attend a licensing event where she was able to start discussions with parties from Canada, China, the Middle East, and Latin America, all of whom have a growing interest in opportunities related to children and healthy eating. She will soon be going to Chile, where she has been awarded a government grant, to work with schools there on a healthy eating project.
“We are not the only country with a childhood obesity problem, we’re not the only ones who want our children to be doing more fun stuff outside,” she says. “Chile is making a huge push for improving public education and they want their children to be healthier, too.”
Bloomers! is also putting together a deal for its first animated TV show, “The Bloomers Know and Grow Show,” which will soon be sold worldwide. The characters are those that Wylie created in her kitchen to encourage her own children to eat healthier, and which gave rise to her successful enterprise.