Saturday, October 12, 2013

Regrouping for Our Focus Group

We met for the first time today since summer, and also put our games to the test by having our first focus group with elementary school children- our target market! Six new people joined us from Stuyvesant High School as we took a short trip to the Manhattan Youth Community Center in Tribeca. Everyone was quite nervous and antsy as we broke up into groups of two and headed to meet the kids. All of the kids were extremely enthusiastic about our activity book, and some even fought with one another to do them first, which we took as a good sign. As we tested the games, we found common complaints and confusions among the kids that we wrote down, as well as their reactions to each of the puzzles. The kids were very focused on the puzzles, and we got positive feedback from one of the teachers, who said that Flip 'N' Check was a brilliant idea due to its reusability, and that “the game calmed the kids down, even on a Friday, which was amazing.” All of the kids found the artwork to be great, and we even hosted a mini meet and greet to one kid who requested an audience with our graphic designer William Yen. By the end we were exhausted but exuberant that we obtained so much feedback to continue and improve our games.

Fist Full Of Orders

Pam arrives back from Canada with a fist full of orders and no time to waste placing our 1st order with the factory. First, we must make tweaks to our product after discovering a few glitches in the sample. Talking back and forth to China and waiting for a revised sample just added two more weeks to our pre- production schedule- grrr.

To speed things up we send a purchase order to the factory to begin talks, it’s inevitable they will have changes since we have never worked together before. Next, we rush our sample to a forensic lab in Texas to have the raw materials used in our product tested to make sure they meet US toy safety standards. 

Phew. We just got word from Armstrong Forensic Laboratory that all the raw materials used to construct our product meet US toy safety standards!

The last piece to this puzzle is to wire transfer money to the factory.

We are officially in production for our first product, FLIP N’ CHECK!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Flip 'N' Check Day 14: Start Spreading the News

Today we set out to spread the word about our upcoming event at the Frying Pan! We're in the process of contacting Stuyvesant's alumni association as well as other organizations in the high school. You can check out our event on Facebook -- and like our page -- at!

We researched on raffles and silent auctions and brainstormed some ways to get the word out to the public. You can help by sharing this with your family and friends! Thanks!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Flip 'N' Check Day 13: Don't Stop Me Now

Believe it or not, the gift show is less than a week away! In just a few days, Ms. Chmiel will be flying off to Toronto, ready to promote Flip 'N' Check to the Canadian world. In the meantime, we had to make some final touches to ensure that her trip will be a success. We began sending out our new press release about World Wonders and the gift show to a line of Canadian and New York press outlets to spread the word.

Also in preparation for the show, we finished making the appropriate changes to our product demo video to be shown on a loop at Booth #5230. The video was originally made by Stuyvesant's video production class under the guidance of Ms. Elka Gould, but as you know, the name of the product has since been changed to Flip 'N' Check.

And here's some more exciting news! We're hosting an event on August 20th at the Frying Pan! All are invited to this fundraising and networking event. We are proud to announce that current candidate for Manhattan Borough President (and Stuyvesant alumnus) Jessica Lappin will be in attendance to kick off our elevator pitch open mic. We'll have a raffle and exciting prizes. Please come and join us for food, drinks, networking, and a good cause. We appreciate your support!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Flip 'N' Check Day 12: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Happy first day of August! Today saw no time for the stormy weather to put a damper on our moods. With Canada practically a week away, we had to get to work on preparing for our international debut! World Wonders will be setting up a booth at the gift show, so it is only appropriate that we provide them with booth materials to promote our product. We made changes to our product demo video and press release to accommodate for the updated version of Flip 'N' Check. There was also discussion of a possible future fundraising event, and of course, game development and revision are always underway!

It's always so nice to see you, Natasha!
We had a pleasant mini reunion when Natasha stopped by the Frying Pan! Being a Toronto native, she advised Ms. Chmiel on her upcoming trip to the Toronto Gift Show. She also conducted a short interview on the importance of mentorship and our own experiences being mentored. Though we had a little trouble filming outdoors on the barge with the helicopters and rain overhead, we managed to find a quiet spot inside the caboose. There, we reflected on our summer and the many skills we've learned.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flip 'N' Check Day 11: No News Is Good News

Back at the Queens Public Library, we further attempted to research alternative manufacturing options and continue game development. While we currently have a sufficient amount for a full set of Under the Sea activities, it is always good to have options. And options, we have! We're exploring a variety of different exercises in different subjects -- even our fill-in-the-blank activity is turning out better! As we said in a previous post, we are greatly looking forward to the feedback our focus groups will provide. Ms. Chmiel is in the process of organizing our first one with the Manhattan Youth Group.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Flip 'N' Check Day 10: Surprises, Good and Bad

Let's give you the good news first. Today, we welcomed a new member of the team, back from his trip to Cambodia! The thousands of miles in between and twelve hour time difference meant close to nothing -- it was like he was here from the start. We quickly brought Mark up to date on our project. We now have more than enough activities to fill the Under the Sea version of our book, and after days of trial and error, we are finally satisfied with our fill-in-the-blank activity. With Mark's fresh perspective, we gathered more insight on the possible response we might receive. Of course, we still have to conduct the focus groups for our target audience in the imminent future.

And now, for the not so good news. We've heard back from our manufacturer. Our sample, unfortunately, is not exactly the way we envisioned it... but fingers crossed that it'll be fixed in time for the Canadian toy fair! Ms. Chmiel is contemplating flying to Toronto herself to meet with our distributor and to help sell our product.

Serious business. Ready to work!