Kristin Edmonds is a speech pathologist who provides motivational services and products to help her clients improve their language, their voice and their speech. She’s also an innovator and entrepreneur who calls St. Louis her home.
Kristin is the founder of Mindfull Games: a company that produces fun vocabulary games that help improve literacy. Kristin’s idea for Mindfull Games began years ago, when she was working at a rehabilitation hospital in Boston. It was there that she discovered that using games to treat speech and language disorders in children was highly effective. Since then, Mindfull Games has become well known among educators. The most popular of Kristin’s products is called Verbal Volley, which is sold in specialty toy stores and teacher supply stores around the country. But it’s not just young children who benefit when they play Verbal Volley: Older kids preparing for their SAT exams, stroke victims in rehab, or simply adults in search of intellectually stimulating games are all counted as among her customers.
Kristin was a guest on the Tuesday, April 30 edition of Innovation Tuesdays on KMOX Radio. The segments, facilitated by InnoVox STL, showcase emerging innovative entrepreneurs in the St. Louis area.
Kristin invented the Verbal Volley game when she had to cut back to part-time work outside the home due to family needs. She took the homemade game on note cards to the head of the Gifted Program at the Parkway School District in suburban St. Louis. That school official told Kristin that the game fit the district’s goals, and she would buy 26 of the games, if she ever produced them. That is what led Edmonds to try to produce a card game (even though she knew nothing about business nor manufacturing.) She got a loan from her parents, which she has repaid.
Next up for Kristin: non-English versions of Verbal Volley, and a mobile app version of the game. The beta testing of the Verbal Volley app is almost completed. Truman University Communication Sciences Student Research Group is testing it and the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School has tested it.
If the first Verbal Volley app does well, she will add extra difficulty levels which are already copyrighted. Kristen says she would love to see multi-lingual people playing Verbal Volley in three or four languages at a time. Now she is in licensing talks with someone who wants to manufacture the card games for the toy market while she makes the apps. Apps are conducive to record-keeping, which is what educators need.