How A Local Houston Mom Turned A Mission To Help Her Child Into A Booming Business Families Love
Who doesn’t love a good ‘how I made it’ story from entrepreneurs who turned a simple idea, something they loved and were passionate about, into a budding, successful business? We love these stories, specifically when they’re from local mamas whose business is straight from their heart. That’s exactly where Young Wild & Friedman was born, straight from the heart of mama owner and creator, Julie Friedman.
Not only was this business born from her heart, its her heart that keeps it running! What many may not know is Julie’s successful business (we’re talking products that sell out nation wide on the reg kind of successful) came to be out out of the need to support her child.
A few years ago, Julie’s daughter was diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech and some pretty severe anxiety. One thing mamas are good at is putting ourselves in another mamas shoes, or better yet, a child’s shoes. Can you imagine having so much to say, having so many emotions, but not being able to express any of it? And can you imagine being that child’s mama and not knowing exactly where to turn for help? We know the helplessness Julie felt all too well and also understand her strong desire to search for ways to help her child, even if she didn’t know where to start.
It was the Friedman’s doctor who recommended incorporating more sensory play opportunities into their daily routine. Sensory play, among many other benefits, has been proven to help calm anxiety and help develop language skills. As most moms do, Julie took charge and started researching all about sensory play, how to incorporate it with her kiddos every day, and was blown away by everything she read. All of the incredible benefits it brings for ALL children, specifically children with disabilities or struggles, was astounding!
So she started experimenting with making homemade, scented play dough and pairing it with different themed items. At the time, all she has was a kitchen and mixer, but had a lot of passion. The very first kit she ever made was the baking kit. Made with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry play dough, cupcake liners, cookie cutters and candles, she gave it to her daughter Evie and was shocked at how long and how well she played with it! With that kit, they practiced new words, Julie helped narrate her play, and during this sensory play time, she could see her daughter’s nervous little body calm and relax.
Because of these amazing results and watching Evie make progress and strides every day, Julie decided to make her Instagram account. It was meant to be a space to simply share fun ideas and activities to do with kids at home using sensory play. She shared ideas and her daughter’s progress with her now beloved play dough kits and it wasn’t long before Julie started getting messages asking if she would sell those kits. One by one she’d get messages “can you make me one?” She’d say, “Sure, yes, I can make you one!” and soon what started as making them for close friends and family turned into a mama demand like she never imagined.
Demand grew and grew, and a year and a half ago Julie launched her website to start selling her kits! Now, she’s got a full on play dough operation! She says this business bring her such a joy. She gets to educate families on the benefits and importance of play-based learning and sensory play and gets to see all of these families create, imagine and learn together using her kits.
What a gift that is!
Along with her play dough kits, she has sensory bins, and our favorite, the mini kits that are great to take on the go! You’ll find she has a theme and a kit for everyone- from ice cream, to unicorns, to astronauts and bugs. It’s clear mamas love these products from her amazing following on social media and how fast she often sells out of her kits! When we posted our fun giveaway last week, mamas were so excited for their chance to get their hands on one of these!
Besides selling her products online, you can also catch Julie around Texas hosting the cutest pop up shops to meet the masses of mamas who adore her and her kits! She was in Katy recently at Ooh La La Bakery and we’ve already put a big in her ear to come back! (we promise to keep you posted!)
This mama-run business is one for the books and definitely one to watch! How Julie manages to be mom to 3 precious littles and run a successful business like this just shows women can truly do it all. If you set your mind to something, you can accomplish anything.