When Laura Wellington lost her first husband to a long battle with cancer, she knew one thing for sure: She wanted to make the world a better place for her children ... and the world around them.
The result was The Wumblers -- a colorful and eclectic group of cartoon characters that can now be seen in books and short animated specials. Wellington began drawing these cute creatures when she was just 15, then rediscovered them as a means of healing and escape after her husband died.With the help of her children (who named the characters and the town they live in and came up with storylines), she brought "The Wumblers" to life.
momlogic sat down with Laura to find out how she made it all happen ... and why this mom ROCKS!
momlogic: How were you able to create such a successful business while in the midst of extremely life-changing events?
Laura Wellington: Having watched my late husband face his own mortality with optimism, dignity, courage and strength for three long years, I realized how precious the gift of life was. If he could be this way when facing his own death, I could be the same when facing my own life and future. This made every hurdle throughout the building of this business surmountable -- and my commitment to succeeding on behalf of families and children just that much more powerful.
ml: What elements did you feel were missing from children's entertainment that drove you to bring "The Wumblers" to a larger audience?
LW: Children's entertainment has become such a business that I felt it was missing critical elements that will ultimately help parents and families raise "human beings" -- which goes well beyond the practice of raising just "good kids." Many programs being manufactured to turn a quick and sizable buck ... were not resonating with children and parents. In "The Wumblers," we address issues that go beyond what every other children's preschool series addresses today. Episodes teaching empathy, fortitude and responsibility towards your family and mankind are just some of the messages "The Wumblers" teaches. And all the while, we do so while making kids "feel" -- and, much of the time, "laugh."
ml: What lessons did your children teach you while they took part in naming the characters and creating storylines?
LW: They taught me how courageous and wise children can be. Certainly, these apples didn't fall far from the tree, so to speak, when reviewing my late husband's character and seeing their own. They also reinforced in me the understanding of how important positive role models are for children of all ages, both in and outside the home. Kids learn through example. My kids did -- and in that, they have become strong and positive examples for others.
ml: What advice would you give to moms who have a great idea but are hesitant to move forward?
LW: You have one life to live. Live it smartly, but LIVE it!
ml: To you, what does it mean to be a mom who ROCKS?
LW: It means being current and aware of your kids' world -- as well as what they are "into" -- as much as your own. It means being happy and excited with your life, and exhibiting that to those who surround you. It's being a role model because this is "just how you live," and not giving in to society's pressure to be anything different. It's being a master of your own destiny ... and loving every minute of it!