Q. How do you come up with so many creative ideas?
All of my businesses have been the result of a need I had myself. With Baby Einstein, I wanted something for my own child that didn’t exist: exposure to classical music, poetry and art in an entertaining way for babies; with The Safe Side, an engaging way to teach child safety to kids; with [my book] “You Are The Best Medicine,” a loving way to explain cancer treatment to children; with Baby Bytes, a fresh way of using technology to entertain toddlers and educate parents; and with The Soft Skin Company, a unique way to moisturize skin.
What is the most difficult aspect of running a business?
Personnel. As an entrepreneur, this is a particularly difficult aspect because you care so much about the business that you’re creating. Everything is very personal, and it’s difficult to find others who will be as passionate about your idea as you are. That’s why most successful entrepreneurs end up doing most of the work themselves. But that can be a tough situation too, because you have to be able to recognize and admit that you can’t be good at everything. It’s a balancing act.
Working with family can be challenging. How have you and your husband been able to work so well together on so many projects?
We recognize one another’s strengths. Bill wouldn’t question my creative impulses, and I wouldn’t question his financial management.
Are you ever disappointed that you sold Baby Einstein?
Yes and no. I’m sorry to see that the company was mismanaged, because I loved what I did and was so proud of the vision behind it. Unfortunately, I think that vision has been lost. However, at the same time, selling the company offered me a lot of financial and personal freedom that I wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.
If you could start your entrepreneurial career over again, what would you do differently?
Julie Aigner Clark
Julie Aigner Clark is a businesswoman and founder of The Baby Einstein Company, a multimillion-dollar multimedia business that produces toys and entertainment for children ages 4 and under. After selling Baby Einstein to The Walt Disney Company in 2001, Ms. Clark has founded several other successful businesses including The Safe Side, Baby Bytes and her most recent venture, The Soft Skin Company. In 2010, she authored the book "You Are The Best Medicine", inspired by her battle with breast cancer.