Julie Aigner-Clark stumbled on that idea nine years ago when she was looking for videos to entertain and educate her baby. Finding nothing age-appropriate on the market, she began creating them herself. The result is Baby Einstein, a company adored by moms and tots alike.
Now, Aigner-Clark has a new project: helping parents keep their kids safe.
Don't miss her interview with The Early Show on Friday morning.
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"That first year, we did about $100,000 in sales," she says. "And for me that was a miracle. I was making $20,000 a year as a teacher."
Just days after the release of their second video, "Baby Mozart," they hit a stroke of incredible luck they call "the Mozart effect."
Aigner-Clark explains, "All kinds of research was done that said 'Listen to Mozart; Mozart is great for you.' There are wonderful studies showing that listening to Mozart will stimulate your mind. And I had a video called Baby Mozart. So I was really lucky."
The little homegrown company became an Einstein empire.
Aigner-Clark says, "We were a million dollars in sales in year two; $4.5 million, year three; $10 million, year 4. I mean it was amazing. And by our fifth year, we had done over $20 million in sales. As the business grew, and grew, and grew, and we were this tiny little company, we just felt like the stress of running that business was a lot. And other than that, it was really time to move forward. I mean we had to take the company to the next level."
So three years ago, the Clarks sold Baby Einstein to the Walt Disney Company. Through new videos, books and juvenile products, Baby Einstein brought in $170 million for Disney last year. But the Clarks aren't looking back. There are new challenges, including an unexpected diagnosis of invasive breast cancer.