By Amy Weintraub
A desire to find great music to listen to, and age appropriate entertainment for her young children led Amy Weintraub to develop and produce one of the first live action music videos for toddlers for the home cassette market in 1987. "Most of the programming out there, especially music programming, was too simple and nursery-rhymish -- I wanted to find something that was both more meaningful to the child's life and more interesting musically for us as parents to enjoy, Hap Palmer's music did just that!" states Amy.
Our company is called Backyard Enterprises Inc., a.k.a. Backyard Productions We are the creators and producers of the BABY SONGS and TALES & TUNES children's video series. We are dedicated to producing original, quality, and entertaining media products for children. Our mission is to create programs that pre-schoolers love -- and won't drive parents crazy! We want parents to enjoy our programs too!
Amy Weintraub and Brooks McEwen met in 1983 in a prenatal class when they were pregnant with their first children. Both Amy and Brooks had been involved in television production but had quit their jobs in the hope of staying home with their babies. Tired of singing "Twinkle, twinkle little Star" and "The wheels on the Bus" -- they discover the wonderful original children's music by Hap Palmer. Fans of MTV, they decided to contact Hap to create music videos for toddlers based on his fabulous songs.
They formed Backyard Productions in 1985 in Amy's backyard garage -- and BABY SONGS was born. The idea of BABY SONGS was to create videos that would keep young children entertained -- they instinctively knew that young children love to watch other young children. Amy and Brooks were not interested in simple visuals -- each Baby Song takes children to familiar places -- playgrounds, kitchens, grocery stores, homes, and shows young children just like the viewer! Each video contains over 100 children in over 20 locations. BABY SONGS reflects the child's world and portrays issues that young children are concerned about, like separation anxiety, sharing toys, getting dressed, tasting new foods, etc.
By 1998 Amy and Brooks had produced nine BABY SONGS videos, six TALES & TUNES videos and four BABY SONGS audio tapes. The success of Baby Songs spread through mostly word of mouth. Parents recommended it to other parents. Testimonials came in from day care centers, pediatricians, media reviewers, educators and celebrities like Jane Pauley, John Lithgow, and Sting! These tapes are now available nationwide in video/music stores, mass merchants and children's toy stores. Total sales have been over 1.5 million. Needless to say, Backyard moved out of Amy's backyard and into offices -- close to home. Amy now runs the business, and plans are to produce four new BABY SONGS videos, books, and audios.
BABY SONGS also met the needs of a stay-at-home job opportunity for Amy, so she could be there for her two very young children. Amy quit her television production job and put her energies into BABY SONGS. Since that entrepreneurial decision in 1987, BABY SONGS has grown into a total video/audio series and a brand recognized by nursery schools, educators, and parents throughout the United States.
BABY SONGS was chosen TV Guide's pick of best children's home videos; People Magazine's pick for hot new music videos for tots; and Siskel & Ebert gives them "two thumbs up". They have won numerous Parents' Choice Awards - but the best feedback has come from the hundreds of fans who have responded to these videos. We are very proud that our videos appeal to both parents and children. Our goal is to make you smile!
Amy lives in Southern California with her husband and two teenage children. Her BABY SONGS philosophy is simple: "I am interested in bringing joy and smiles to parents with young children. I hope that BABY SONGS celebrates childhood and parenting. I want our videos and music to make a positive difference in the lives of families and continue to entertain and inspire very young children."
The best advice I can give someone who has an idea for a new product is: KNOW YOUR COMPETITION! Before I fully developed my idea for live action musical videos for toddlers, I viewed and listened to all the children's audios and videos "out there". It was important to me to see what works and what doesn't. How was my idea going to be different from the other products available? What could I learn from products I liked?
Competitors can be helpful with giving you information about sales, distribution, manufacturing sources, etc. You can find this information in trade publications, annual reports, company website and business publications. Research and knowledge will give you the confidence to move ahead with your passion.
Owner of Baby Songs