Leadership traits are essential qualities that make effective leaders in the workplace. Whether you are managing a team, a department, or an entire company, these traits allow you to guide people and projects to success.
The best leaders rarely follow established pathways or copy the routes others have taken. Instead, they embrace new ways of thinking and strategies that others have yet to try. Standing out as inspiring business leaders and enabling a plethora of educational and inspirational products, Kim Mitzo Thompson and Karen Mitzo Hilderbrand are creating benchmarks in the dynamic business arena.
For over 36 years, Kim Mitzo Thompson and Karen Mitzo Hilderbrand, known as The Twin Sisters®, have been writing and producing educational and inspirational products through an establishment renowned as Twin Sisters® Digital Media that utilizes music to teach children basic skills.
Starting with just one album, “Rap with the Facts—Multiplication,” written for Kim’s third-grade students to help them memorize their facts, the twins formed a record label in 1987. Together they have led their company through dynamic changes in the music and publishing industries.
With over 75 million albums sold and over 180 national awards, including nine Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified gold albums and one Platinum album for educational excellence, creativity, and overall classroom and family fun, Twin Sisters® positions itself as the leader in children’s educational music.
In an interview with CIOLook, Kim and Karen share valuable facts highlighting The Twin Sister Digital Media’s significance in the modern industry.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Twin Sisters. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
During our 36 years in business, we have been faced with many challenges. When the entire music industry was taken by surprise when Napster made music free, it was in chaos for a long time. We pivoted at the time from being a children’s record label to a children’s educational publisher.
We started making workbooks, flashcards, learning games, and all sorts of new products. We also started ensuring we were set up to sign up with all of the online streaming services, such as Apple, Amazon, Spotify, etc., as they all emerged.
Then years later, when the same thing happened in children’s books, we turned our company into a totally digital products company. We focus on eBooks, audiobooks, apps, teacher resources, videos, sheet music, and music.
Tell us something more about your company and its mission and vision. What are the qualities and aspects that make it stand out as a leading company in providing educational and inspirational products?
Twin Sisters® Digital Media is the #1 award-winning provider of digital resources for teaching children through music, eBooks, audiobooks, videos, instructional materials, and more!
Our core values are Faith & Family, Kindness & Service, Perseverance & Hard Work, and Creativity & Fun! Our vision is to be known as a wholesome brand that encourages children to love learning.
Enlighten us on how you have been transforming the digital media niche through your expertise in the market.
Our focus continues to be on music and education, as well as inspirational materials to help children learn. We have just launched our first business-to-consumer website and plan to continue growing our brand through this website, a subscription app we are developing, and an NFT launch that allows access to a VIP section of our site.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
At Twin Sisters, we are dedicated to our Christian Faith, volunteering, and helping children learn. Our many partners are all dedicated to children as well.
As a company, we have supported Royal Family Kids Camp with their auction, birthday parties at camp and other meaningful activities our employees have participated in. We continually align ourselves with like-minded charities and projects that benefit children.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
We are continually developing and using new technologies in our products, content delivery, and e-commerce website. We spent years making all of our products available digitally, which is now the focus of our B2C website.
In addition, we have published many AR books and have many apps as well. The newest QR code technology allows users of our physical products to use their cameras to stream videos, audio, and/or download products. We are also exploring how AI technology can be used in future products.
What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector?
How is your company preparing to be a part of that change? I believe the next significant change will first be around AI and how it can be incorporated into products. Eventually, also the AR experience will also be enhanced with holographic learning, such as the artificial heart the Cleveland Clinic is pioneering for physicians.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Twin Sisters?
I envision ourselves being a household brand recognizable by everyone and dedicated to helping children learn through music, art, video and other experiences. Our B2C website is just launching this month and we hope to be able to reach millions more parents, homeschoolers, teachers, and children.
Though we have sold over 75 million albums and millions of other products, we want to be easily accessible for every new generation. At the same time, we keep up with new technologies and trends in learning.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the digital media sector?
I think the key to success is finding something you are passionate about, being persistent and not giving up, but being open to change along the way so you can adapt to new ideas and ways to learn. Whatever the business you learn, it is ok to fail and keep refining until you get it right!