Lyla designs the most adorable monsters and has won many awards for such a young entrepreneur! Last Fall she won the TAGIE Young Inventor Award, then in February the Women in Toys Wonder Girl Award and now she is a finalist in the Nickelodeon and Girl’s Life Kidpreneur contest! And, she could use your votes, http://www.girlslife.com/Voting/StartYourBiz.aspx
How did the idea for Lyla Tov Monsters come to be?
I wanted to give my Dad a monster as a holiday gift when I was three years old. I drew a picture of it and asked my mom to help me make it real. I picked the fabrics out and she sewed it together for me. My Dad liked the monster so much that he thought we should sell some, so my mom and I made more to take to a craft fair. We thought that since my name is Lyla and “Lyla Tov” means “Good Night” in Hebrew, that these could be good monsters who keep the scary monsters away.
What are your responsibilities in the business?
I pick all the fabrics and details for each new Monster. I decide if they should have T-shirts or tutus or even a pocket on the belly. I even pick the ribbon to put in the girl Monster’s hair. I also chose a children’s charity each year to donate some of the money we make selling Lyla Tov Monsters to. I look online to research and find one that is really helping kids and could use more money. Sometimes, I help my mom and dad make decisions for the business too; like should we sell the Lyla Tov Monsters on a website that might discount the price, even if it means we might make less money because we could sell more Monsters that way.
What is your favorite part about being a toy designer?
I like to look at fabrics and imagine how they would look made into Lyla Tov Monsters. I also like when other kids tell me how much they love their Monsters and that they sleep with them every night.
What was your first thought when your name was announced at the TAGIE Awards?
I was so surprised. I didn’t think I would win! I was excited but then nervous because I had to go onto the stage and make a speech in front of a lot of people.
How has Lyla Tov Monsters grown in the past year since you were name Young Inventor at the TAGIE Awards?
We have done a lot of things this year. I met so many people at the TAGIE Awards that gave me good ideas about what we could do to sell more Monsters. We found a lot more stores to sell them. I also won a Wonder Girl Award through Women in Toys and now I am a finalist in the Nickelodeon and Girl’s Life Kidpreneur contest.
How can people vote for you to be named Kidpreneur?
You can click on my video on the website at http://www.girlslife.com/Voting/StartYourBiz.aspx until Sept. 26th. You can vote every 30 seconds and I think the other girls must have had their businesses longer than me because they have a lot more votes. I would be excited to win and hope some of the people I met at the TAGIE Awards will vote for me.
What do you do when you are not designing Lyla Tov Monsters?
I just started 4th grade at PS85Q in New York City. I like to read, draw, paint and sew. I went to sleep away camp this summer for a week. I am a Girl Scout and play basketball. I also have three younger siblings at home, so I play with them a lot.
What are your plans for the future?
I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I want to keep selling Lyla Tov Monsters for now. If we sell a lot of them, I can use the money to go to college when I am older. It would also mean that more kids have a Lyla Tov Monster to cuddle at night and can have a good night’s sleep!