Entrepreneur Feature: Kristy, Educational Technology

My name is Kristy Sevy.  I am a mom, wife, hair fanatic, and founder/CEO of FuzePlay (an EdTech company).  I have a background in Piano Pedagogy and Marriage Family Therapy.

I entered the startup world a little over a year ago when I decided to build FuzePlay! I didn’t have a background tech or business, but worked hard to develop the competence needed to run a company and develop a technical platform.

FuzePlay is an EdTech company that shows kids (and adults!) how stuff works. Our technology and toy platforms focus on making high level STEAM (science, tech, engineering, art, math) products that anyone can understand! Our main product is Zubi Flyer, a hackable frisbee that teaches coding in a fun and simple way: 1, 2, 3, | Build Hack Play.
I also launched a rad volunteer program this past year called STEAM Parents! In the initial phases of my startup I would visit schools and teach a simple circuit class; this was one way that I validated my ideas. As I posted on social media I started to get contacted by moms who were interested in volunteering at their child’s classroom. Parents were feeling the same pressures as I had been in regards to their children’s education, and wanted to help fill the gaps! So I replicated my process for teaching the simple circuit class in a way that any parent could teach. FuzePlay sends the lesson plan and all the materials for free! Moms have loved being able to bring something cool into their child’s classroom; not to mention it gives moms who aren’t so into the PTA (myself included) a way to contribute! We are accepting new volunteers now, so if anyone is interested, send me an email!

www.fuzeplay.io  Ig: @FuzePlay, @kristy_sevy; Twitter: @fuzeinteractive, @sevykristy;

What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?

My oldest daughter!  I am a mom of three girls, and everything I do is to inspire them to own their freedom, find happiness, and realize they have so much more to offer than just a pretty face.  I want them to roll up their sleeves with confidence and contribute to something beyond themselves.

My oldest daughter has always loved STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math).  From the time she was 6 years old and asking if the doctors could “Put heat into Grandpa’s body to kill his cancer,” to a couple years ago when she was asking about coding and robotics.  Through the years I’ve tried to find products that would satisfy her interests, but I was usually left overwhelmed and frustrated (remember I don’t have a background in tech).

One day she came home from school crying; she had been getting teased for liking and doing well in math.  That was my breaking point.  I began hunting for quality STEM products that would give her confidence, but to no avail.  Around that time, I also started doing research and found that the U.S. currently ranks LOWER than 28 other countries for STEM learning; as well, women only comprise 24% of all STEM fields COMBINED and are culturally pushed out of liking STEM around ages 8-12 years old.  I decided that these numbers combined with my personal experiences were unacceptable and decided to do something.  That’s when I started FuzePlay!

What is your best advice for other (LDS) women entrepreneurs?

Work, family, friends, health, sleep, beauty, clean house: pick three!  Don’t spread yourself thin, and spare yourself the guilt of not “doing it all.”

Just START! Don’t let fear, failure, or perceived competence hold you back.  Just because you feel like you lack the skills to get the job done, doesn’t mean you can’t be confident in your ability to work hard and develop the competence needed to be successful.  It’s scary to put yourself out there and try something new, but if I let my fears and failures stop me I would stop every single day and never progress or have big successes.

Welcome the naysayers.  There are always going to be haters, but realizing they care enough to spectate is a powerful realization that you can leverage.

What spiritual guidance have you had with developing and growing your business?

It’s easy to be hurt by comments from both friends and strangers suggesting that I’m not a great mom because I decided to contribute to something beyond my home and family.  However, I’ve had countless spiritual experiences where I am reminded to be authentic to myself, my family, and the Lord.

The decision to start FuzePlay was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life.  I know it was the right choice for me and my family.  I have realized that I wasn’t entirely fulfilled being a SAHM (stay at home mom). I needed more, and that’s ok.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

I fail every single day.  I’ve had some whoppers, like my first public speaking event.  I’ve learned that failure isn’t failure – it is a swinging door to opportunity and growth. That sounds so optimistic it makes me cringe, but it’s true!  We don’t address failure enough in society.  Instead, we idolize the lifestyle of picture perfect mommy bloggers.  To combat this fear of failure, I’ve made a habit of asking my girls every day what they’ve failed at and, in turn, I share one of my failures and what I learned.

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