HOUSTON - Teddy bears are a popular gift for children, but one Houston mother decided to create a line of teddy bears that helps young children learn Spanish.
Dr. Tameka Maiden makes it look easy as she juggles her career as a pharmacist, being a single mom, and the creator behind the Cubby Love Bears line.
“I always wanted to be bilingual, but I never could get it. So I wanted to create something that my child could learn early, and actually build that foundation where she could, you know build on it as years to come," says Dr. Maiden.
She also tells us about the difficulties many parents face when they try to balance their careers and raising a child. She feels her Cubby Love Bears can help bridge a gap between parenting and education.
Before giving birth to her daughter, Tori and becoming a doctor, she was a teacher in Houston. She says that her Cubby Love Bears are about more than just making a toy for her daughter.
“I felt like when I left the school district, I left my kids behind, and creating the toy line, and creating the bears was a sense of giving back to them," she says.
Dr. Maiden sat with her daughter and demonstrated how the parent or caregiver can read the book that accompanies each bear. The child gets in to interact by squeezing the bear to learn words in Spanish or point to images in the book. In less than a year, Dr. Maiden managed to sell over 600 hundred bears that help children and their parents learn Spanish.
“Oh my God! It’s been amazing! Everyone is excited about the product. Everyone loves the product. Everyone is asking where was I when they were kids?” said Dr. Maiden about the feedback she has received.
Dr. Maiden has expanded her line. She collaborated with Houston rapper, Trae Tha Truth, for a gifted bear that helps children with special needs communicate.
“We created something for his foundation, which was a way to give back to the kids. So by creating this bear were able to give back and help kids who have autism," she says.
The gifted bear is currently sold out on her online store. Dr. Maiden says she has big plans for her other bears.
“I would like to see my bears in stores. I would like to see the Cubby Bear a household name for kids all over the world.”
Dr. Maiden is hoping to launch a line of bears that speak Mandarin. Click here to visit her online store.