Monday, January 23, 2012

Spotlight on Mom -- Flor Lozano-Byrne of

This week's Spotlight on Mom is Flor Lozano-Bryne, creator of SillyCreatures, a never before seen plush toy that your child will go crazy for. What sets these plush toys apart from others is its uniqueness --they are stuffed with internal organs for children to explore.   Has your child ever wondered what was inside their plush toys?  Well, now thanks to Flor and her one of kind plush toys, they will see that they have a heart and digestive tract.  And, with a food bag, that contains marbles, that are included with each of Flor's Silly Creatures, your child will spend hours pushing these through the Silly Creature's mouth opening, and it will pass through its digestive tract, out the other end.  I also love the special message that is included in each of Flor's plush toys hearts.  You can also write and store your own personal message in the heart's small pocket.  Well, enough about these toys, as I will be sharing a full review this upcoming Friday.  And, one lucky reader will receive the sample I was sent to review. So, mark your calendars and check back here on Friday for the review and giveaway.

But, in the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Flor Lozano-Bryne of

Name:  Flor Lozano-Byrne
Company Name/Product/Service: toys
Company Location: Mill Creek, WA    
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @sillycreatures
Age of Company:  2 years
Favorite Book: The Power of Now 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.

I am a stay at home mom to an 8 year old boy. Before that I was an Aerospace Engineer. I love horseback riding and I have a 14 year old Lipizzan gelding.
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
The SillyCreatures are not regular plush toys, they are stuffed with internal organs for children to explore. It all started when my son was 5 and he started making up stories about Silly Creatures, making mischief around the house and also fixing things up and doing kind actions, playing with him like imaginary friends. We wrote some stories about them and I came up with my own version of how those "silly creatures" should look like. But my son didn't agree with my pictures, so he drew his own. 
Later my son wanted those Silly Creatures to be tangible so I had to apply my craftiness and ingenuity to make a stuffed animal resembling his drawings. When we finished sewing, we added the stuffing and sewed the animal closed. But he was not happy with it, he wanted to see again what was inside. So I opened it for him to remove the stuffing and put it back, he was totally fascinated with it for hours. The bulb lighted in my head and I decided to put something interesting inside. I made a little stuffed heart to put inside, he loved it! I has hooked, so I made it a digestive tract, which was connected to a mouth opening and would go all the way through to a rear opening, I grabbed some buttons and explained how that would work: he had to put the food (buttons) in the mouth of the animal and slide them all the way through the digestive system to pop them out the other end. Again, that gave him hours of fascinated play.
I remembered his teachers telling me about his difficulties to properly grab a pencil due to fine motor delays. Here, he was exercising his fingers with such a motivation no amounts of Occupational Therapy would pair! The bulb in my head lighted again and I decided these toys would be a great tool for developing fine motor skills, on top of learning about the human body. No toy like this existed, so I decided to make it a business, the business I had always dreamed to have.
What is a typical work day like? 
I haven't had two similar work days since I started this business. Every day is full with different activities ranging from ordering materials from suppliers, coordinating production, designing new products, making new business contacts, visiting clients, Twitter and Facebook activity, website updates and upgrades, testing prototypes, school drop-off and pick-up, volunteering at school and regular visits to the barn to name just a few.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 
So many things to do and not enough time.

What did you do in your past work life?
I was an Aerospace Engineer with a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

What have been some of your major successes?

I hope the Silly Creatures becomes a major success

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I want to give a good example to my child, to keep going no matter what.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I wish I discovered that secret.
What is next for your business?
I want to share the design and production expertise, as well as the resources that we have acquired in order to offer US plush toy manufacturing to other companies. We will be offering custom private label manufacturing for 2012. 
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 
Just do it!

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