Many expats create businesses overseas by spotting a need and figuring out how to fill it. Marie Molinet is one reader who turned a source of family frustration into a business that helps expat families. Here’s how she explains the creation of the first digital family room.
“Since the day my husband and I met I think we knew we were destined to be nomads. Neither one of us seems very good at staying in one place for too long, whatever the reasons may be. But when we had our first girl, we realized that children of parents like us grow up not really knowing the rest of the family.
“Since she was 12 months old, we did our best to get Bianca to talk or interact with her grandparents over Skype or any other video-chat service but to no avail. The only results we got was a frustrated toddler who didn’t really “get” it and an upset grandmother who just wanted her granddaughter to know her. She wanted to do with her the activities she normally would if she were visiting. That’s when we finally said, “There HAS to be a better way”. But we couldn’t find anything that provided interaction between family members and kids.
“That’s when we came up with Family Click. At Family Click, kids can video-chat but can also do all sorts of activities with their long distance family like reading a book, watching short children’s programming, draw and paint together and look at family pictures and videos together. Everything a family is meant to do in a family-room but can’t do when living apart.
“Also, considering that we are multicultural, I’ve made a personal mission to include books and videos from all over the world. I’ve been able to get material from authors and producers from 9 different countries, and counting. That way, my kids as well as any other kid will be exposed to all kinds of children content from around the world.
“All I wanted was for my girls to have fun with family, while being safe! This is why there are so many security layers on the site. No ads, private family groups, by invitation only. While I understand that nowadays social is the in thing, I do know that as a mom I want to keep my kids safe and away from the social media spectacle.
“Even though we launched our BETA less than three months ago, my daughters have been using it almost on a weekly basis with their grandparents. My two-year old starts screaming for her grandmother and her favorite book or video every time she sees our orange screen!
“All the hard work I’ve put into FamilyClick for almost two years has been worth it. I am beginning to see it come to fruition with new users almost every day and other families slowly learning about it and using it.
“Nothing makes me happier than the possibility of sharing with others what has helped my family come together and my girls to enjoy “being” with their grandparents in spite of being 3,000 miles apart.”
FamilyClick allows you to register and use their basic video chat features absolutely free. Then, if you want to take advantage of premium content, simply load your account through PayPal.