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April 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 4
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Jandie Jams Adds Up

Mom's CD Teaches Kids to Count

“We believe in our product and that it is going to help kids and families.” Sandy Sartor, Jandie Jams
Many parents might recognize Sandy Sartor’s dilemma: In an attempt to find educational resources for her small children that were more interesting than flash cards, she purchased a music CD designed to help them learn addition. But her husband refused to listen to the music in the car with the kids because it was annoying and repetitive.

Then he suggested something unexpected: that she and her friend Julie Scott produce fun, quality, educational music for children that was also tolerable for adults.

The two accepted the challenge and created Jandie Jams Music LLC last year, drawing on their varied skills and experience to build the company. Sartor had a 14-year career in engineering, while Scott’s background in music performance encompassed solo work on the Royal Viking Cruise Line and cabaret gigs around New York City. She currently runs a vocal performance studio for performers aged 7 to 15 years.

A Personal Investment

Scott and Sartor told very few people about their idea and chose to invest their personal savings. Scott created the song lyrics and original music, adding studio recording to her list of accomplishments. Sartor contributed by working out approaches to presenting the math concepts.

In addition, Sartor organized the company and researched copyright and trademark protections. She was also responsible for finding the right people to produce their work. 

“We found a product that we admired, and pursued a relationship with the same manufacturer,” Sandy shared with TDmonthly Magazine. She also hired and directed a fine artist, graphic designer and printer to help develop the CD’s companion book.

Friends Turn to Friends

For advice, the women turned to Scott’s friend David McCloskey, founder of the toy company WabaFun, which released the successful construction line Superstructs in 2003.

“He has encouraged us and given us good advice,” Sartor said. “We were advised to follow our passion for providing music that makes learning fun. We believe in our product and that it is going to help kids and families.”

Getting the Product Out

Two years after the original concept was formed, the team presented their first product at the 2007 American International Toy Fair in New York City. “Listen in Addition,” a CD and companion book, is their first release. A second product, focused on multiplication, is currently underway.

“Kids have different learning styles, and presenting information in different ways gives kids the best chance for success,” the team explained. “The songs are all original music and are performed by live, skilled musicians. We do not use synthesized, electronic music, nor do we rework old songs with new words. We present addition facts in a fun way, and clever rhyming words enhance verbal skills.”

Although they are still working toward success, Sartor and Scott have been pleased with the positive feedback about their product. Their one piece of advice to others just starting out in the toy industry is to “keep a sense of humor.”

So far, they have found that their best marketing tool is putting the product in front of the customer.

“We have found that if anyone takes a moment to look at the book and listen to the music, they are sold,” they said.

Following is the first Jandie Jams educational product:

Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $16.99
Age Range: 4 to 8
Launch Date: April 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Audio & CD

The “Listen in Addition” CD/book combination offers fresh and original music and whimsical illustrations to engage preschool through early elementary children while they are learning addition. The math skills covered in the CD are those that children are required to master by the end of 2nd grade. Catchy tunes, charming vocals and a variety of musical styles and instruments make it interesting for both kids and adults. Launch date: April 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 12121      (added 3/29/2007)

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Brenda RuggieroWriter's Bio: Brenda Ruggiero is a freelance writer from western Maryland. Read more articles by this author

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