The Dream Pillow is a new product that was dreamt up by a 7-year old, The Dream Pillow™ is a new must have stuffed plush for children to help dream good dreams! This bedtime essential, created and developed by kidprenuer, Harper Miller, promotes positive thinking and visualization at an early age, while allowing kids to dream up silly adventures and flex their imaginations. Each night, children are inspired to write down their hopes, dreams, and aspirations on a Dream Pillow Wish Note, place the wish note into their Dream Pillow, and explore their wildest dreams while enjoying a restful night’s sleep. Like a favorite stuffed animal, kids will love cuddling up with their plush Dream Pillow every night!
Harper is nominated for a 2018 TAGIE Award in the Young Inventor of the Year category. Harper’s mother, Jenna Sellers Miller, recently discussed all this and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially come up with the idea for this product and how different was the prototype to the final product?
Jenna Sellers Miller (JSM): The first Dream Pillow came about when Harper overheard a conversation at bedtime where I was encouraging her brother to think of happy things before bed. Using the example of how if you watch tv or read a book before bed, that will change what you dream about. That’s when she came up with the greatest idea! She loves to draw and create so she decided that they should write down or draw what they WANT to dream about before bed to create the stories themselves. At first tucking it inside their pillowcases sounded like a good idea but she realized her favorite thing to snuggle was her stuffed animal. So, we created a small pillow, more like a stuffed animal in the shape of a pillow where they could tuck their dreams. Funny story though, she wanted me to sew it but I didn’t know how to sew (I got my grandmothers sewing machine from our attic) and just figured it out, but the first model didn’t have a right angle to be found!
MM: How long did it take to write and illustrate the story book?
JSM: That actually took the longest. The writing was quick. A friend and I wrote it. The illustrating took forever. Harper’s babysitter who works and is in college painted each scene for us and we took pictures of the paintings. She was able to fit it in with her busy schedule but it took about 6 months to get them just right.
MM: The pillow is super soft! Was it tough to find a manufacturer?
JSM: No, I have a housewares brand, so we have great resources, although we’ve never manufactured a fabric item before. But luckily out of the first two fabric examples we received from the factory, Harper went crazy for one. It’s the softest plush without being overly silky. Its magical!
MM: How did you go about getting this item into stores?
JSM: Well word of mouth in our area means that pretty much every kid’s store, gift store, even all the pharmacies are carrying, The Dream Pillow. We also attended a trade show this summer, but whenever I travel for work, I pop in a few stores to show them the product. So far only one store hasn’t ordered it on the spot! I wish I had that average with our housewares products!
MM: Do you plan to stay an independent company or would you like to sell the series to a well-known company?
JSM: Right now, we are having tons of fun with this. I love working with Harper. It’s amazing if you hand the reigns over to an 8-year-old what they can do creatively… I’m amazed with her instincts. So, the answer is, for now we’d like to continue to develop as an independent company.
MM: What experiences with fans have been most memorable to you and why?
JSM: One fan wrote that she overheard her little girl whispering “I love you Dream Pillow”.
MM: Overall, what are your biggest goals for the future of “My Dream Pillow” and are you planning any other themes at the moment? If so, can you tell us any details?
JSM: Harper has just developed the most adorable new line called “Dream-imals” The first one is a lamb. Launching on our website in three weeks!
MM: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
JSM: Just how happy I am to be involved in such a feel-good product. (Working with my daughter and encouraging kids to believe in positive thinking and to dream big!). This special product led us down the road to the TAGIEs Awards and we are thrilled!
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Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!