Like many mompreneurs in a digital age, freedom of time and the quest to make life just a little bit easier are huge factors when it comes to choosing a career path. Leila Pirnia, Chief Mom Officer of The Kive Company, (along with two of her colleagues) has found a way to incorporate both of those elements while simultaneously helping over 200,000 moms solve one big problem in one simple way.
Artkive is an app that allows you to take photos of all of your children’s’ artwork with your cell phone, store the image in the Artkive cloud, and turn your collection into a coffee table book to give as a gift to family members, or to store as a personal memento.
“Kids come home with tons of art and school work and they create a lot at home. We wanted to help organize it all, because parents usually put it in a bin, then it goes into the garage, it gets ignored, you throw it away, and then you feel guilty for getting rid of it…”
While other companies have made it possible to create personal books from photos, there are not many focusing on this particular niche and making it as simple as the Artkive team has worked to achieve.
“Anyone can go to a website and make a photo-book. As a mom, it’s aggravating because you’ve got unorganized pictures stored everywhere, it’s hard to keep track of everything, they often aren’t labeled or tagged, and making a book can end up taking hours. I know so many moms who have started photo books but never finished them. Our concept was to focus on this specific niche – the kid category – where we know parents place a lot of value and owning it, making it incredibly easy for parents to document memories in an organized way.”
“We built the app to be super easy to use. It allows you to take a picture or add an existing image, tag it with which kid created it, and it then automatically inputs the grade, the date, and let’s you add a title.. When you’re ready, you can create a book with little more than the touch of a button. What could have taken hours now takes minutes.”
Leila and her partners have done an incredible job of including the moms in the development process of this app. They regularly ask their audience what they’d like to see more of, ask for feedback on current services, and listen to the incoming reviews.
Another smart thing they’ve done is invite some of their biggest fans to be ambassadors for the brand. “The best way to attract moms is for them to hear about the app from other moms they trust. We set up an ambassador program and have been able to develop a great relationship with our most loyal users who are willing to help us spread the word. ”
Through the suggestions and tips from current customers, Leila explained that they are constantly changing, improving, and expanding the features offered on the app. They have even partnered with schools so that if your school signs up and you then enter their school code, 10% of the total you spend gets donated back to that school. While they are working on adding more features, they are also remaining true to their niche.
“We are completely focused on growing our audience and continuing to find ways to make moms’ lives easier. To that end, we’re always improving our product and continuing to build our relationship with moms.. We have also just launched a new service called APPAROO (www.apparoo.com) that is a service to help busy moms find the best apps for themselves and their kids. I’m excited about where we can go as the company continues to grow.”
With a deep understanding of the importance of community, word-of-mouth, and excellent customer service, Leila also adds a few more insights as to how moms can manage their home lives as well as a business (and it’s all about being flexible).
“When you’re getting involved with a startup, remember to go easy on yourself, test it out, and don’t fully commit until you have tested the waters and know it will be viable. Once you’ve taken those steps and you’re ready to take it to the next level, take it at your own pace – that was so important to me. Keep yourself flexible.”
The Artkive app is free to download on your smartphone, so make sure to check it out and try storing some of your children’s masterpieces in a printable book!
About Leila: Leila joined Artkive as Chief Mom Officer to help grow its user-base and create new and innovative solutions around the app. Prior to Artkive, Leila founded a portfolio of podcast & videocast channels geared to various niche audiences, including MBAPodcaster.com, LawSchoolPodcaster.com and PeainthePodcast.com, each of which ranked in the top 3 in its respective category of content on YouTube/iTunes. Prior to this, Leila was Vice President of Global Brand Management & Corporate Strategy for DIC Entertainment Company where she oversaw brands such as Strawberry Shortcake, Madeline, Trolls, Inspector Gadget and more. Prior to DIC, Leila was an analyst with Merrill Lynch’s Media Investment Banking group in New York City. Leila received her BS from MIT in Finance. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children, a six-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl.