Julie Aigner clark grew up in Michigan, where she went on to attend Michigan State University and major in English Literature and Secondary Education. After teaching middle and high school, Julie left work to become a stay-at-home mom to her first daughter, Aspen. It was this experience that inspired her to create the Baby Einstein company. Julie made what she wanted for her own child — high end video board books that would delight her baby with bright images and beautiful music.
Baby Einstein grew quickly as a result of word-of-mouth – babies loved the videos and music, and parents loved the opportunity to expose their young children to a quality and classical medium. During the five years that Julie owned the company, she had another daughter and began writing Baby Einstein books through a partnership with Disney Publishing. In 2001, she sold Baby Einstein to Disney for a large undisclosed) sum. The products are now sold around the world and have been translated into many languages.
In 2003, Julie formed a second company called The Safe Side. These videos provide a powerful and positive way to teach elementary aged children about safety. The videos are used by families, schools and child safety programs nationwide.
Julie is a two-time breast cancer survivor and recently authored a children’s book called You Are The Best Medicine, published by harper collins in September 2010. The book helps adults explain cancer treatment to children, and 100% of Julie’s proceeds from the book are donated to UCLA’s Jonsson comprehensive cancer center to be used to further cancer research.
Julie lives in Colorado with her husband Bill, daughters Aspen and Sierra, cats (Stella and Eliot) and dog (Rusty).
3 trends that excite you?
Cancer research. That’s all i can think of. I’m just not trendy, I guess.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I write, draw, brainstorm with my daughters and dog.
What inspires you?
My kids. Trees. Wind. Sunshine. Rain.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I thought that someone else could love my company as much as I did. I learned that if you give something up, you have to be willing to let it go. You have to be ready to move on.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
[quote]Be inspired by what you love. Don’t take no for an answer.[/quote]
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
My thesaurus – the same green paperback Roget’s Thesaurus I’ve used since college. It’s so much better than the online Thesaurus! And i love imovie.
Who would you love to see interviewed on ideamensch?
Tom, of Tom’s shoes.
Did you ever expect you’d end up as professionally successful as you’ve become?
Not in a million years. I was the introvert at the back of the classroom reading poetry.
What’s a personal statement that you live by?
Live the way you want to be remembered.