Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Thank you for joining us and welcome to another interview in our ongoing series! For this interview, we had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the founder of the Mom’s Choice Award-Winning product, Alphapals! Alphapals is a fun and interactive learning experience with a hands-on approach to helping families experience the fun side of learning. Pairing our sets with interactive games, stories, and resources supports a fresh and impactful educational process. Then, after all the fun is had, transform your set of 26 plush letters into a comfy chair by simply packing up the letters into the structured, yet soft bag. Alphapals is a chair, educational tool, and interactive toy all wrapped up into one and is guaranteed to be a huge hit with your little ones! Keep reading to find out more about Ms. Rose and her amazing product, Alphapals!
MCA: Hi Ms. Rose, thank you so much for allowing us the opportunity to sit down and speak with you today! Alphapals is such a fun little learning tool that is sure to be a staple in every family home. Can we start the interview by finding out a little bit about the person behind such an amazing product?
Ms. Rose: The brand slogan “Always play… Always Learn” is the heart and foundation of my beliefs. I grew up in Connecticut and always valued education. I knew through my own life that education can allow you to thrive, and with the right perspective and tools, it can be fun. My experience with various pediatric learning therapies gave me the simple but sometimes overlooked insight that words can’t begin without an emphasis on letters. Letters make words, words create communication, and communication brings us all closer. Words matter, what we say matters.
I studied engineering in college and have served as a creative consultant for lifestyle brand Barefoot Dreams for over five years bringing my knowledge in business, production, and creative initiatives. At Barefoot Dreams I help the brand expand and grow exponentially in a variety of diverse ways including the design and development of their flagship retail stores based in Malibu, designing new colorways for their collections, creative directing their campaigns for their yearly catalogs, and digital content and video displays, and helping to expand partnerships. Alphapals was created after managing young learning challenges with my son. Knowing that the alphabet, colors, and words are the base and fundamentals of education, I knew a sensory educational product needed to be created that would inspire families to learn from a hands-on and interactive perspective.
MCA: Well your knowledge has certainly led to the creation of an amazing product! Can you tell us a little bit more about the creation of Alphapals and the needs were you trying to fill when you created the Alphapals Set?
Ms. Rose: The most impactful business starts with identifying a problem in need of a solution. Since going through my son’s early learning challenges, especially when it came to understanding the alphabet and pairing words together. Necessity being the mother of creation, Alphapals was created. I combined my background in production, design, and engineering to engage my son in ways that I intuitively knew would work.
I hand-crafted letters of various sizes, textures, weights, and colors and began teaching my son after long days at schools and centers. My son’s response and growth encouraged and inspired me further and I want to share this success with other families.
Applying my knowledge, education, and design and brand experiences I went on to design and develop a comfy bean bag-inspired chair that is lined and padded with a durable yet soft shell to store plush alphabet letters to allow for a clean home aesthetic. I went through many variations to create the perfect color palette, both for the bag and the letters. All elements were designed with a multi-use intention to support an interactive fun and 3D learning experience to teach shapes, colors, letters, and simple letter pairings to create words. The cozy and playful letters each have the trademark signature smiley face as a friendly reminder that learning should always be fun.
MCA: Tell us about the research that went behind Alphapals‘ unique features, and describe these features!
Ms. Rose: Some of the research came from my engineering background and my love of learning but mostly it came from being at early child development centers with my son five days a week for several years and experiences that those centers had to offer and researching spectrum learning through New England Medical journals and how to implement additional education outside of these centers as I found repetition and consistent learning was key in all daily environments.
Our signature letters consist of 7 bright colors from the rainbow that rotate throughout the alphabet. The bag itself is designed in a modern and heathered gray because I wanted it to fit seamlessly into any home decor. The extra-large sturdy zipper allows the letters to be conveniently packed away after play and was made to be durable for long-term use. The reinforced stitched handle was made to tote or carry the bag from the playroom to outdoors or on the go. There is extra space inside the bag to store a favorite stuffed animal or blanket as well if that item brought them an extra comfort. All the letters have an embroidered smiley face and the neutral-colored letters also have embroidered smiley faces in the colors of the rainbow to teach colors with these sets – reminding kids that learning is fun. The size was important in the large sets as it is suggested that the 11 inch was a great learning size. The mini letters were made for small hands and more on-the-go learning. Each set has both the child and parent in mind allowing convenience and ease of learning, both at home or on the go.
- Machine washable – For convenience of care
- Gender Neutral – To include all
- High-end plush fabric – For durability and soft to the touch.
- Sensory focused – To help kids on the learning spectrum
MCA: There are so many benefits to letter manipulatives and interactive play, can you tell us what some of those benefits are?
Ms. Rose: Each letter includes our signature smiley face helping kids know the proper shape and direction of each letter. Our rainbow set includes seven primary colors for color recognition, while our neutral letters have a colorful embroidered smiley face on them so if someone wanted the neutral set for aesthetic reasons, children can still learn their colors. All 26 plush alphabet letters encourage the education of the basic ABC’s and pairing small words together. Our sets are designed to grow with your child as they expand further in their learning journey. Being able to have a hands-on approach helps a child grow as opposed to just looking at a letter on a screen or just writing it. The tactile approach is very beneficial.
MCA: What kind of feedback have you received about the Alphapals Set?
Ms. Rose: The strong response from consumers has already prompted the expansion of the Alphapals brand. We have launched a variety of different colors and sizes including our mini bag and our multi use backpack for on-the-go learning. Along with our Alphapals merchandise with branded T-shirts, adult and kids socks, onesies, and pouches. We have been featured in media press such as in Parents magazine, New York Magazine, Life and Style, In Touch Weekly and were awarded the “Good Housekeeping 2021 Parenting Awards” for the “Best Fun & Functional Gear/Entertainment Playroom Picks” along with the “Good Housekeeping’s 2021 Best Toy Awards.”, for our backpack set. And of course, being awarded the “Mom’s choice awards” was one of our highest accomplishments. This season we will be featured in Oprah magazine in both print and online, Real Simple magazine, HGTV, Southern Living, New York Magazine again, and Martha Stewart. Additionally, you will be able to see us on screens across American Airlines. We also have a strong presence in the blogger and influencer space through gifting collaborations, educational and academic partnerships and several local and national charitable initiatives. We also have expanded into exclusive retail stores on both coasts such as Barefoot Dreams in Malibu and Breathe at Home in New York. And we are now selling on Amazon with great reviews.
Dr. Laura Armbrust, Speech and language Pathologist & Co-owner of MJ Kidz, LLC-Pediatric Practice-New Jersey/Philadelphia
“My patients love Alphapals, I use them for many purposes and have been having lots of fun with them! For articulation treatment, I have been using an Alphapal at the beginning of our session to talk about what letter we are working on and what sound (or sounds!) it makes. I am happy with the quality and versatility of this product.”
Joe Zee, Fashion Journalist, TV Producer
“Alphapals is the perfect toy for our daughter as she becomes familiar with shapes and colors. This is a toy she can grow into for when she eventually learns to sound out letters. It’s a great educational toy and looks super cute in her nursery. We can’t wait to spell out words together with Vivi!”
Stan Cook, Owner Barefoot Dreams
“Our customers have bought multiple Alphapals sets in our Malibu store as they are such easy gifting ideas – no sizing required.”
“My son loves all different kinds of letters. He was so excited to open and play with these. It’s the first thing he plays with in the morning and the last thing he plays with at night! Thank you!”
The Alphabet Set was beyond my expectations!! I purchased for my 2yr granddaughter. We all had so much fun playing alphabet games — also just tossing around ! Maya also is enjoying just cozying up when bag is filled with the letters
“LOVE these soft, cute letters to help kids learn the sounds and letter recognition”
My grandson absolutely adores his Alphapals. He was already learning to identify the letters of the alphabet and now he has so much fun finding the right Alphapal when asked to pick a certain letter out, as well as loading them all into the backpack and wearing it around. One of the best gifts ever!
“I bought both the Dove Grey backpack sets and the backpack set with the primary colors for my twin granddaughters” The backpack is so soft and the letters so cute with the smiley face. My daughter-in-law homeschools their 6-year-old brother…The girls can’t spell yet but I could see the fun they were having with them learning letters will be like playing a game”
“Easy to buy and receive. Materials were packaged well!”
“Arrived in a beautiful box and fast!”
“I highly recommend these letters. My kids 3 and 5 years old love them. I definitely don’t regret buying the full size over the mini. The mini is probably a space saver, but if you have room, go for the full size. The storage bag makes a great and convenient little ottoman or beanbag. It’s very soft too. The kids like to lounge on it when the letters aren’t in use. The letters themselves are soft and fun. They’re a great learning tool for letter recognition for the 3 year old and spelling small words for the 5 year old.”
Social Media influencer Quotes
The way to learn color and number with @alpha.pals .
🔠Alphapals is a fun and interactive learning experience, keeping your child’s imagination running wild.
🔠Let your child’s imagination soar with alphabetical plush letter sets!
🔠Alphapals Rainbow Set – a comfy seat full of wonder and play. The soft fully-lined Alphabag includes 26 high-quality, large plush Alphapal letters stored inside.
@alpha.pals created by a mommy who saw a need with it came to early learning provides a fun and interactive learning experience for kids through the use of colorful plush alphabet letters and unique apparel.
As parents who are avid supporters all things educational when it comes to Daylee we were absolutely excited to rock with their alphabet toddler apparel.
Alphabet Soup Tee-$16.00
Multi Color Kids socks-$10.00
MCA: Wow, it sounds like people really love your product! What can we expect to see next from Alphapals?
Ms. Rose: Our mission is to continue to be an educational brand that continues to expand in family households across the world with our clever, whimsical, and multi-use design, inspiring kids that learning and education are fun. We plan on expanding into highly requested lower case plush letters, and number sets and continue with our highly produced content and fun educational videos showcasing all the ways you can learn and play with our sets. We are working on a book of letters A to Z and a television series showcasing the letter’s special personalities and helpfulness. Our trademark tagline is “Always Play…Always Learn” and our four pillars of education, imagination, kindness, and patience will guide our intention in each product design. We have given back to many charities for STEM early education and Boys and Girls Clubs amongst others and will continue in the giving back spirit. We will be expanding to more small stores across America and through Amazon, we are working on shipping to other countries including Mexico and Canada.
MCA: It is truly amazing when you can do what you love while also giving back in the process! We’re sure we will be seeing many more great things from Alphapals, please be sure to keep us posted on all your future endeavors, and thank you for a great interview!
You can learn more about Ms. Rose and her award-winning product, Alphapals by visiting her MCA Shop page.