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Meet Joe Francis of Kinderwise

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Francis.

Joe, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
About 17 years ago, I met my wife through a mutual friend. I was a working musician and music teacher at the time and soon discovered my wife had been singing and dancing her entire life. We later married and, of course, wanted to make music together. For a while, we performed as a duo in clubs and casinos. Over the years, I learned more about her family and background. Her mother had grown up in orphanages and had Asperger’s syndrome. Her father was an extremely intelligent math professor but somewhat shy.

Both my wife and her siblings were not fully prepared to handle the complex social environment of society. Before we decided to bring our own child into the world, we began to develop a live, Disney-style stage show for young children. We wanted to use it as a way to both express ourselves musically and re-enforce some of the life-lessons that parents teach their children. My wife was the prime motivator for researching this topic, of course.

We also began raising our son during this period. After years of study, we also developed an emotional intelligence book series designed to help parents with emotional recognition, manners, social interaction/play, and safety. The book is meant to create a communication bridge between young children and their caregiver(s). It is light, fun, yet thorough and contains over 50 lessons.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth ride! The live show has been the biggest challenge and we have probably rewritten it 30 times. The difficulty is that our original message was aimed at kids 5 and under yet our show has to be exciting, energetic, and appeal to older children too. We compromise with a slightly edgier “pop” sound but must be careful to not go too far. We are currently working on an animated series, Sparkelina’s World, and a Nappytime CD. These will be a bit softer, musically speaking, and are meant for kids 5 and under. We have also several other products featuring our show characters Busybee, Sophie, and Sparkelina.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Kinderwise – what should we know?
Our company name is Kinderwise and we perform live shows, sell products, and are developing an animated series. In Los Angeles, most people would know us from live performances in and around the city. We have played at the Grove, The Commons in Calabasas, The OC Book Festival, and many other events in the area. Our live show features two to three characters: Busybee (a giant bee), Sophie (a pink elephant), and Sparkelina (a magical doll). Our music is a mix of pop, rock, and several other styles. Shows involve music, comedy, storytelling, and above all, lots and lots of audience participation!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We sincerely care about children and understand what parents are going through. We believe that, if you want to make the world a better place, it must start with the lessons we teach our kids.

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