Developer Interview with Lisa Molnar from Cades & Birch

Today’s interview is with Lisa Molnar from Cades & Birch.  They have a wonderful variety of handmade items including some great spots to store your tech!  Visit them on Esty, Amazon Handmade and Instagram!  Be sure to tell them you are visiting from The iMums.

Hi Lisa! Tell us about your company and how you got started?  What types of products do you sell?

I am a mother of four. My husband and I have been blessed with three boys, and were finally able to complete our beautiful family two years ago, when we adopted our daughter from Ukraine. My life has been full of people I love and creating beautiful handmade treasures. I believe that it’s those little personal touches that make people feel special and I have always found delight in hunting for the perfect gift for everyone. My favorite part of throwing a party has always been finding those unique personalized accents that make an event unforgettable – and that is how Cades and Birch came to be. We create meaningful keepsakes that are personalized for your events and occasions, distinctive creations you will be proud to display or gift to others.  We are trying to create beautiful products that help our customers celebrate and remember those important moments in life.  From the birth of a baby,  to the death of a furry family member and every graduation and wedding in between.

Tell us about national unplug day?

National Unplug Day is a 24 hour global respite from technology highighting the value of disconnecting from digital devices to connect with ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.  National day of Unplugging 2019 is from sundown to sundown March 1-2.

How can families make a step to cut tech even for a few minutes via small steps?

I really struggle with balancing technology in my home.  I have three high schoolers and a middle schooler.  Finding a healthy balance with technology is a constant struggle and that is how our Unplug boxes came to be.  Our first Unplug locked box was created as a place for me to lock up my sons gaming controllers and then I soon realized that all of us would benefit from locking up our phones during dinner and family time.  Locking up phones during meal time is a manageable small step for every family. Creating a place in your home where all technology sleeps at night is another great start.  All my kids leave their phones in the kitchen at night.  Having the Unplug box on the kitchen counter is a great reminder and its adorable too.  My kids tried to fight this rule saying they need an alarm, so I went to Walmart and now they each have alarm clocks that do not affect the quality of their sleep.

 

Tell us about the various unplug boxes and how you use them.

Our Cades and Birch UNPLUG boxes help you put the phone away and UNPLUG (while your phone is charging up).  We have several customized versions where you can UNPLUG and give your mind a rest for as long as you need.   Our UNPLUG locked version was created because sometimes our devises need to be taken away and locked up.  My son Gabe is the model and is super excited to be the spokesperson for locking up cell phones…not.  🙂

 

 

 

 

We have a small desk size UNPLUG and be Present version that is perfect for a desk or bedroom. All our Unplug boxes have a hole in the back which allows for the phone to be charged while it is in a time out.

 

 

 

This Unplug Planter is our most popular version because several devices can fit inside and it looks adorable on your table or counter top.  Add your own personalization to make it special for your family.  We also sell a lot of these boxes for campers and motorhomes with customizations like “Lets wander where the Wi-Fi is weak”.

This beautiful box is hand painted cream, softly distressed for that sweet vintage style, and engraved with your personalization.

Do you have tech rules in your house for your kids? 

I don’t have a ton of tech rules and can always improve, but these 5 are manageable for me.

  1. No phones during homework.  If they need the phone for music accessibility, the phone needs to be outside the door.
  2. No phones during meals.
  3. No looking at phones while having a conversation.  The phone must be put down and eye contact made.
  4. All phones are charged in the kitchen at night to help encourage quality sleep.
  5. No phones in nature.  My boys are big surfers so we are always at the beach.  When we are at the beach, phones stay in the car.  When we are hiking, phones stay in the pockets unless there is something awesome they want to take a picture of.  When we camp, the phone don’t get charged until we head home.  A dead phone makes for a very creative, fun kid and an engaged parent.  J

 

I am excited to be able to share our products with your readers. We all know we shouldn’t be on our phones all the time.   We know we should put technology down and engage with those around us and our Unplug products are a beautiful reminder to do just that.   Here are the links to our Cades and Birch shops:

Etsy:  link here

Amazon Handmade- Amazon’s version of Etsy : link here 

Instagram: link here

Come and visit us!  Be sure to unplug for National Unplug Day!

Developer Interview with Hoa Ly of Enjo

Find Enjo on the internet, Facebook and Twitter.

Hello Hoa! Tell us about the company!

We’re a small team who’ve taken on a big challenge – to create a chatbot to provide emotional support to parents world wide!

Tell us about Enjo(which is awesome!!)

Enjo helps you handle the ups and downs of being a parent. Enjo will make you reflect on the good things in your life, and the highlights of parenting. It could be meaningful memories with your child, what you appreciate in your partner or what makes you grateful about being a parent.

And when you’re feeling down, stressed or worried, Enjo will offer support, validate your feelings, perhaps try to shift your perspective or just let you know if it’s common to feel the way you do.

We’re still experimenting with it, but we think it’s pretty cool that Enjo sometimes can help you get out of the black-and-white-thinking that can occur when you’re filled with negative emotions, and add some nuance just by reminding you of good things you’ve talked about in the past. The feeling of ”I don’t ever do enough for my kids!” can sometimes be turned around just by getting reminded of the sweet moments you’ve shared and good things you’ve done for your family.

Any future apps planned?

We don’t have anything that’s in the planning stage yet, but of course we’re thinking about making other psychology based chatbots for groups other than parents.

Any advice for those developing apps?

Try to find something that you care deeply about, and try to find an innovative way to package it into an app. For me it’s been psychology. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of helping people live better lives by making the insights from research more accessible.

Of course there’s an infinite number of things we still don’t know about the human mind. But the biggest problem in my view is that the knowledge we do have doesn’t reach all the people who could benefit from it.

Any advice for parents?

As a psychologist and researcher I’d recommend you to try being a mindful parent, and simply practice to pay attention to the present – as well as your own and your child’s feelings. It doesn’t mean that you will never get angry or upset. It is completely normal to feel negative emotions, but not acting on them mindlessly is what compromises mindful parenting.

Most importantly, mindful parenting does not mean being a“perfect parent” and is not something you can fail at – only something you can get better at.

But I’m actually becoming a father in just a couple of weeks, so I’m looking forward to utilizing my own experiences in the future!

Best wishes Hoa on your upcoming arrival. We can’t wait to see what additional apps your company comes up with!

Download Enjo for free!



Developer Interview with Slater Collins of Jackrabbit Publishing



TheRoxyBooks

Today’s interview is with Slater Collins of Jackrabbit Publishing.  Please visit their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Slater, thank you for participating in our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a father of two living in Chicago. I have a background in software engineering, but I’ve always felt a desire to work in a more creative capacity.

An interesting fact about me is that in 2015, I ran a 50 mile ultra-marathon. My motivation was to show people that you can survive and thrive on a vegan diet.

How did the idea for your app come about?

After reading lots of kids books with my children, I realized something. Most children’s brands focus on a group of friends and the challenges they face together (e.g. Jake and the Pirates, My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.). These brands have a lot to say about friendship, but shy away from the topic of family.

The term “Family Values” is a hot-button issue for many. My motivation with this series is not to be preachy or “get back” to a time when families looked a certain way.

I simply believe that if we want children to develop happy and healthy family relationships, then we should be showing them examples of happy and healthy families. The Roxy Books were born out of the desire to provide kids with an example of a contemporary and fun-loving family.

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

From concept to launch the process took three years. During that time, I was working full-time in the video game industry and raising two toddlers with my wife. Many many nights and weekends went into bringing the Roxy app to fruition. In the end, I’m very proud of the finished product.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

I did all of the programming myself. I contracted out the illustrations, text translations, and voice acting.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

The hardest part of development was the slow pace. After a full day of work and putting the kids to bed, I only had two hours each night to work on the Roxy app.

At my day job, it might take a day to finish a feature. That same feature might take a full week on the Roxy app because of the limited amount of hours I could devote to it.

Maintaining momentum over several years at such a slow pace was much more difficult than any marathon training I ever did.

Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

My wife has always been very supportive of my career ambitions. She is very ambitious as well, having just earned the extremely difficult to obtain CFA certification. She supported me both in terms of sacrificing time together and in our decision to self-finance the app’s creation.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

I am planning on starting the next entry in The Roxy Books series in the next couple months.

What sort of feedback has the app been receiving so far?

The reception of the app has been overwhelmingly positive. People seem to love the heartwarming story and that relatable yearning for that “it” toy.

We have been extremely honored and ecstatic to be featured by Apple in the “Kids Apps and Games We Love” section of the App Store.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

Your app will take 10 times longer to develop than you think. It will also cost five times as much as you think. Once you put it out, you may not make any money on it. My advice would be to keep expenses as low as possible and put in as much sweat equity as possible.

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!

Read our review of Roxy and the Ballerina Robot here.

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot

Roxy and the Ballerina Robot Roxy and the Ballerina Robot by Jackrabbit Publishing LLC
Category: Books, Education
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone3GS-iPhone-3GS, iPhone4-iPhone4, iPodTouchFourthGen-iPodTouchFourthGen, iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX, iPad75-iPad75, iPad76-iPad76, iPhoneXS-iPhoneXS, iPhoneXSMax-iPhoneXSMax, iPhoneXR-iPhoneXR, iPad812-iPad812, iPad834-iPad834, iPad856-iPad856, iPad878-iPad878, iPadMini5-iPadMini5, iPadMini5Cellular-iPadMini5Cellular, iPadAir3-iPadAir3, iPadAir3Cellular-iPadAir3Cellular
Size: 117.63 MB

$FREE



Developer Interview with Stacie Hutton



Today’s interview is with Stacie Hutton.  Please visit their website.

200706 summer 008Thank you for participating our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in a poor, single parent family. My grandmother, although only possessing a 4th grade education herself, thought reading was important and encouraged me to read. Because I had good reading skills, I was able to do well in school and was the first in my family to attend college. Literacy can level the playing field. I know because I have lived it !
I was a teacher for many years including a teacher of the year nominee. I also taught reading courses at the college level to students studying to become a teacher. Finally, I have written many teacher resource materials and even an award winning children’s book!

How did the idea for your app come about?

I thought  reading software  desperately needed some improvements. Most good teachers will tell you that we have students read all the questions before reading the passage. This builds purpose to the reading. The reader has something in mind before they begin reading. This dynamic is called metacognition and study after study tells us it is crucial to reading comprehension. Next, I thought the passages read like encyclopedia entries. Kids , like adults, want interesting things to read . It helps them want to read more !

My app contains an entire passage about the position of Lincoln’s hands at his memorial. Parents and teachers tell me the kids love it and go on Wikipedia to learn more !And the way the questions and answers were structured it was more like a dressed up video game with questions flashing on the screen. My apps are structured where kids can go back and re-read and change their answer if they so desire Re-reading for understanding is , too, part of being a good reader. Finally, I thought reading comprehension questions should be labeled [ main idea , vocabulary, etc.] so that kids, parents and/or teachers knew what kind of questions were being answered correctly and incorrectly.

 iPhone Screenshot 2

And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?

This app took almost a year from inception to availability. The reason for this length of time is that I worked with teachers who reviewed the reading levels and tested it with students. I also worked with an education think tank and received their feedback.

Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?

Due in part to my background as a teacher and writer, I developed all the content, and I thought it was important the person designing the function of the app had some knowledge about kids and learning. I designed the app to give the child a tutoring like experience . For instance, they must demonstrate competency with plot, setting, and characters before moving to the 3rd grade passages. The app also lets kids know what kind of questions [ main idea, vocabulary, etc.] they are missing. At the end, they will have questions based upon performance in previous 25 chapters .

I did hire a programmer to do all the coding.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?

I would say finding and retaining good, reliable programmers.

Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?

I have had a lot of support family and friends have encouraged me on this very important mission . They, like me, believe literacy is crucial to level the playing field.

What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?

Yes. I am currently developing more reading apps.

What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?

I am thrilled with the response from across the globe. The app was even recognized at a reading conference, I have even had several interviews including one for television ! The best part is that I hear from teachers and parents about how the app is helping kids.

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?

Be an expert in the field of which you are developing an app.

Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your experiences in app development.  We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!



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