Julie Clark is a mom, a classroom teacher and an entrepreneur best known for creating The Baby Einstein Company. For the past 20 years, her work has involved finding ways to make complex topics stimulating, engaging and fun for young children and their parents.
As a new mom, Julie wanted to expose her own baby to the enriching content she herself enjoyed: classical music, nature, art and poetry. As a teacher, Julie realized the challenges of making this kind of content enticing to babies. Working from her basement during her daughter’s nap time, Julie used a borrowed camera to capture scenes her own baby responded to: toys, kinetic art and even the family cat! She edited this first video on her home computer, and The Baby Einstein Company was born.
Even without a marketing budget or employees, the success of Julie’s first video was astonishing. Babies and toddlers responded so positively that demand exploded for additional video titles, and, eventually, music CDs and books. In just five years, Baby Einstein became the world leader in developmental media for young children, establishing a new category of child entertainment that has helped parents and caregivers for the past 20 years.
After selling Baby Einstein to The Walt Disney Company, Julie set her sights on a new and more challenging topic in education: child safety. Unhappy with the materials that were available on this topic – videos Julie thought were too frightening to children – she founded The Safe Side. Her goal was to make the concept of safety compelling, and to help children feel empowered rather than victimized. Along with John Walsh, Julie created the “Stranger Safety” video and curriculum to help parents and teachers discuss this difficult topic in a positive and self-affirming way. With 100% of the sales proceeds benefitting The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, The Safe Side videos are now used by families and schools around the country.
When a 2008 diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer turned her world upside down, Julie once again used her affinity for education to author a children’s picture book titled “You Are the Best Medicine.” Published by HarperCollins, the story helps young children understand the effects of cancer treatment on a parent, and how their own love and understanding play a part in healing. Through sales of the book, Julie supports breast cancer research at The University of Colorado.
Today Julie is deeply involved in a new startup called WeeSchool. Frustrated with the lack of parenting support during the formative first three years, Julie’s venture encourages new parents to see themselves as their child’s first, most-important teacher. As an app platform, WeeSchool provides a first-ever full curriculum from birth to age 3 that prepares wee ones for preschool. Based in part on the recently published Colorado Early Childhood Guidelines, and written with the help of University of Denver’s Carrie Germeroth, PhD, WeeSchool distills the heavily academic concepts used by early childhood researchers into user-friendly content that can be implemented by any parent or caregiver to help very young children get off to a great start in life.
As a keynote speaker, Julie’s passion for early childhood is unmistakable. Her lifelong work has focused on bettering the world for children, particularly during their first three years of life. She has appeared in many media outlets, including Oprah, The Today Show, USA Today, The New York Times and People Magazine. Recognized at President Bush’s 2009 State of the Union address, she was described by the President as “representing the great, enterprising spirit of America.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntuc02bVAjQ&t=6s).
Julie has been a keynote speaker for several organizations, including Microsoft, The Harvard Business School, Women in Business, The University of Denver and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A resident of Denver, Colorado, Julie is the parent of two lovely daughters with her husband and business partner, Will.