Tiny Talkers just won a Totally Awesome Award for Most Lively Language Class in Portland. We recently spoke to them about their experience as a business owner, the best advice they’ve ever received and more. Hear what they have to say below!


Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Most Lively Language Class” – what do your customers value most about your business?
Tiny Talkers: My joy, enthusiasm and commitment to the families that I work with. Families also tell me that they appreciate the diversity of the topics that I teach. One parent said “It’s not just practical stuff like ‘eat’ and ‘more.’ It is fun things like animals and weather and transportation which really got my child interested in language and eager to learn how to communicate either with his hands or vocally.”

RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
TT: I infuse a lot of music into my toddler and preschool classes and encourage parents of younger babies who take my workshop to do the same. Musical activities stimulate the brain while offering rich language opportunities and encourage physical coordination. Combining music while learning to sign with your child is a winning combination and when done in a group setting offers an enriching experience that builds community in a holistic way. In other words…it’s a lot of fun!

RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
TT: My business was born about 9 years ago around the time my second child was born. My motivation has always been to pay it forward. Using sign language with both of my children was the biggest gift I ever gave myself in my parenting journey. By teaching it to others, I feel like I’m bringing more happiness to the world. Happy kids = happy parents/caregivers.

RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
TT: Water with lemon in it. I’m a fancy girl like that.

RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
TT: My students give me gifts daily. I’m touched every time a parent or a caregiver takes time out of their day to send me an email with a story about how sign language helped them that day along with countless photos and videos of their kiddos signing. It’s incredibly rewarding every time someone reaches out to me. When one of my students “graduated” from my class, they gave me a framed photo of him signing “thank you” to me. That meant the world to me.

RT: What is your biggest pet peeve as a business owner?
TT: There is never enough time in the day to get everything on my to-do list done. Some days I wish I could channel my inner Star Wars nerd and create a clone army of myself to get it all done.

RT: How do you keep your stress levels down?
DD: Summer time fills my cup. We are a big camping family so being able to completely get away and unplug helps to keep my stress in check and memories of summer time fun has an amazing way of carrying through the rest of the year. During the school year I like getting outside for long walks and hiking (weeding does not fall into the anti-stress level category!) or doing something artistic. Anything right brained makes me happy and recharges me.

RT: What’s your secret superhero power as a business owner?
TT: While I’m not out there in spandex and a cape, I feel like making my students feel like they are achieving stronger bonds with their kids is my super power. I tend to think outside the box, so I can always bring new ideas to the table to make signing not only effective but fun.

RT: Tell us, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (as a parent or business owner)?
TT: Dolly Parton said something fantastic once that is always in my mind when I’m having a tough time: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

RT: How about the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
TT: “Sleep when the baby sleeps” said the most unproductive parent ever.

RT: Is there a special offer you’d like to include for Red Tricycle readers?
TT: $5 off your next workshop or class through February 1, 2017.


Check out their website here.


Photo credit: Serravision Photography

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