Inspirational Woman: Erika Brodnock | CEO and founding member of Karisma Kidz

Erika_croppedTell us a bit about yourself, background and what you do currently

I’m the CEO and co-founder of Karisma Kidz.  My background as a leading parenting coach, specialising in child confidence and happiness and the fact I’m also a mum to five children was the best preparation for creating something that helps children to identify and manage their moods.  I’ve taken the lessons I’ve learnt from my own experiences, from being a parent and the key principles from my coaching and created an online tool that provides parents with the basic building blocks for creating cheerful, confident and creative children. The Karisma Kidz game and app centres around a ‘Karisma Kid’ avatar and ‘BloomaBear’ pet who explore the many intriguing areas of Moodville. Through online and offline activities, children are encouraged to play their way to emotional literacy and utilise tools and techniques that will nurture their mental health and promote resilience throughout their lives.  The Karisma Kidz platform has been developed by a group of leading psychologists, parenting coaches and trainers and we’re always looking for new additions to the Karisma Kidz family.

 What has been your biggest challenge?

Overcoming a debilitating illness.  After the birth of my fifth child and the breakdown of my relationship I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.

At the point I was told I would need to take medication everyday for the rest of my life, I became determined to find another way to manage my moods…

My children were hugely affected by my illness and their behaviour deteriorated. The more I saw the effect my illness was having on them, the more determined I became to conquer my illness and ensure that my children were provided with the support they needed and so I embarked on a journey of self discovery. I trained in a variety of disciplines including Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Matrix Re-Imprinting, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), HeartMath Breathing Techniques, Silva Mind Training and Psych K to name but a few. I used these techniques to manage my own moods and emotions and to reconnect with my children.  Upon teaching the tools and techniques to my own children and seeing their behaviour and results at school improve, I realised I could turn my experience into something worthwhile, that would help others, and it was then that I came up with the concept of Karisma Kidz.

What’s been your greatest achievement personally?

Personally, my biggest achievement has been to provide a stable and loving environment for my family.

Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your children grow up cheerfully, with confidence and the ability to be creative!

Professionally, securing funding from Wayra UnLtd and forging partnerships with the children’s tablet maker Kurio, who have agreed to preload the Karisma Kidz app to 1.8 million tablets this year has been very satisfying.  With their support, I can see my idea turning into a reality and that is amazing!

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you be doing?

If money was no object I’d be enjoying a lifestyle in sunnier climes… Venice Beach in LA is one of my favourite places so I’d almost certainly be living there!

Besides living on Venice Beach I’d also be running the Centre for Positive Thinking Children, an organisation that takes the Karisma Kidz principals to children and families all around the world and equips them with the skills they need to grow into well rounded and successful individuals.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Dr Barbara Frederickson who wrote the book ‘Positivity’. This is a brilliant guide that draws on cutting-edge research and lab-tested tools to help people create a healthier, more vibrant, and flourishing life. Dr Barbara Fredrickson explains how to broaden minds and build lives through positive thought.  The principles discussed in this guide, and other books such as Dr Bruce Lipton’s ‘The Biology of Belief’ and Daniel Goleman’s ‘Emotional Intelligence’, reflect everything that Karisma Kidz stands for. Our mission is to empower children through play by providing products and services that enhance their cheerfulness, confidence and creativity.

What does the future hold for you?

We will be launching the Karisma Kidz online game and app on 21st November after months of development and testing.  This will compliment our range of Karisma Kidz Esteem Builder Dolls that are already on the market.  We hope to secure more funding to further enhance the platform and expand the Karisma Kidz empire!

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