At South Austin Moms you know I’m all about making your mom life easier, so you are going to be thrilled to hear about this mom’s business! Julie and her business partner, Amy met while teaching together in an Austin school. Each with littles of their own they understood the struggle with short attention spans and how screens have become a go-to solution- but definitely not the healthiest one- and they were seeing the direct results of excessive screen time with the kids in their classrooms. They are a perfect example of two heads being better than one, and when they put theirs together Busy Bebes was born. Mommas, Meet Julie Hildebrand…

 

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town? I am originally from the New Braunfels area (McQueeney). I moved to Austin in 2002 to go to UT and fell in love with the city! 

 

Tell us about your children… I have a toddler, Maddie, 3.5 years old, but I also teach 20 first graders so I feel like I have LOTS of kiddos! 

 

You have a mothering heart, which inclines you to love them all! Tell us one thing people would be surprised to know about you… People would be surprised to know that I am a PBS Digital Innovator All-Star. 

 

What?! I need to know more about that…What does it mean? Sure! I was chosen as a PBS Digital Innovator in 2014 for my digital innovation in the classroom.  Only 16 were chosen in the entire country!  After working with PBS for many years through webinars, conference presentations and summits, they ran another campaign to find “All-Stars.”  Local stations nominated Digital Innovators who were working closely with them and who continued to be innovators in the classroom.  I was then chosen as a PBS Digital Innovator All Star and have been working with PBS to deliver high quality webinars for educators around the nation!

What an honor! 

 

What is it about Austin that you love about living here for 17 years? My favorite thing about living here is the culture. Everyone is so laid back and inclusive! It’s also very kid-friendly! We love running Lady Bird Lake as a family and trying out new restaurants. We are big foodies! 

 

I’m excited to hear about how Busy Bebes came to be and your goals for supporting littles (and their moms!)

As an educator for over 10 years, I’ve learned a lot about how children grow, learn and interact with others. I’ve seen a rapid rise in the diagnosis of children with learning disabilities, such as ADHD and Autism, and felt I had to do something to help children growing up in a time when devices are everywhere you look. After the stress of finding and organizing “busy” activities to keep my toddler entertained, I realized I could use my research and educational knowledge to make similar activities easily accessible to other children and parents. 

 

Our goal is to provide engaging and educational entertainment for children at home and on the go. Our busy activities allow children to work independently while also providing the opportunity to enrich their learning. Our desire is to keep children occupied with hands-on activities and to keep them off screens. All of our products have been rigorously tested and toddler-approved by our own little ones. We’ve done the hard work for you – researching, shopping and organizing themes to delight your child again and again. We know life gets busy with little ones in tow and hope to make your day easier! 

 

You are providing such a wonderful resource for families with littles.  I spent so many hours researching educational toys and activities I could use with my children. I do love research, but I wish there had been a resource like Busy Bebes then!

 

How has the community in Austin been instrumental in getting you to where you are now? 

This community has been instrumental in getting me to where I am now because of how supportive and inclusive it is. There are so many other educators, small business owners, and women who want to build others up in our community and they have helped encourage and support me along the way! 

 

Photo cred:

**Family Photo: Sherry Hammonds

 

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