Meet Kelly & Callie
Our business is the culmination of more than 20 years of friendship and a shared life passion for fostering children’s emotional learning. Before we were Slumberkins, we were childhood best friends who grew up to become a family therapist and a special education teacher living and working in the Pacific Northwest.
In our respective fields, we both witnessed the link between emotional growth, academic progress, and how much improvement students made when families were actively involved in their children’s learning.
The problem? With so many students, so few teachers, and not enough social-emotional resources to go around, educators needed more support. Even more, we knew families needed to be part of the solution.
In 2015, we both serendipitously left for maternity leave. With newborn babies on the way, we began to anticipate the challenges our children might face in terms of their emotional development. Together, we felt inspired to imagine a different kind of world for them.
Our desire to give our own children an emotionally healthy childhood led us on a journey to create Slumberkins, a brand to empower parents to be the first teachers of their children’s emotional learning journey.
The Beginning of Slumberkins
Slumberkins was born in our living rooms as a side-hustle experiment. We taught ourselves to sew and began selling our first Slumberkins at craft fairs and on Etsy. The initial response was overwhelming. Unable to keep up with demand, we decided to leave our roles in our schools and have been “all in” ever since.In 2017, we took our 18-month-old Slumberkins onto Shark Tank and introduced our creatures to a global audience. While the “Sharks” didn’t invest, we moved forward, expanded our team, and eventually opened up a headquarters in Vancouver, Washington.
Since then, we have continued to expand our creature collection with interactive storylines and affirmations. We have also brought our work back into schools, with a cohesive curriculum that strengthens the home-school connection and supports all of the adults involved in students’ emotional growth.
The Experts Behind Slumberkins
Kelly is a mother of two with a dual Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and School Counseling. She has worked as a school counselor and family therapist at a K-8 school in Portland, OR.
Callie is a mother of three with a Masters in Teaching with endorsements in Elementary Education and Special Education. She has worked as a special education teacher in a therapeutic day treatment school, as well as in an elementary school in the Pacific Northwest.
Director of Therapeutic Content
Sarah has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Licenced Professional Counselor. She specializes in early childhood and play therapy and has worked in community mental health agencies, elementary schools, and private practice settings. She is a mother of two and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
Director of Educational Content
Kim holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Special Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Services. As a former special education teacher, she is passionate about finding creative ways to introduce and implement social-emotional learning while striving to create an inclusive learning environment for all learners. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children.
Manager of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Krista is dedicated to the nurturing and healing of communal space. She is a mother of three children and a lifelong learner who leans into the tension of paradox. Drawing from her life experiences as a biracial woman in the beauty industry, she is determined to create a more just and equitable world.