One of our core goals at Snorble Inc is to positively impact people’s lives. Our basic philosophy is that bringing balance to a child’s routine can create a brighter day and calmer night for everyone in the family.
For Dee Loft, who joined Team Snorble in the new year as our Senior Product Manager, her role has become more than helping Snorble progress towards being able to achieve those goals. Dee herself is seeing the positive impact of working for Snorble rub off in her personal life.
Dee’s family suffered a tragedy three years ago and since then she has juggled guiding her young son through acute anxiety, managing a seven-person household, adjusting to multiple employment changes, locating to a new city, and refocusing her career direction.
Who better than Dee herself to give some background on her personal situation and then come back to our point that her association with Snorble is already creating positivity for her family?
“My son, especially, has experienced a lot of trauma,” Dee explains. "When he was really young his dad and I separated, and he had a lot of separation anxiety being away from his dad and that's a worry that three-year-olds just shouldn't have. We sought help for him, but his anxiety kept escalating. When he was six, his dad passed away from complications associated with the flu, and my son's change in behavior and cognitive abilities was dramatic. Less than a year later the pandemic happened and suddenly thousands of people were dying from similar symptoms. My son was terrified.”
"The prolonged anxiety and stress my son experienced affected him in so many ways. He went from being a happy three-year-old who was very good at following instructions – like, put on your coat and shoes, and go to the bathroom before we go out – to a school-aged child who can only follow one instruction at a time. He has a really hard time focusing and processing information.”
“He started having panic attacks at bedtime. We were pretty good at keeping him busy during the day, but at night there was nothing to keep his mind from filling with his worries, all he thought about was missing his dad and fear of Covid-19.”
“One night, it was so bad and nothing I did helped to calm him, I took him to the children's hospital where we were finally referred to a child psychologist. I will forever be grateful for that, my son and I learned so much about emotional coaching and it really has helped.”
"When Mike showed me a demo of Snorble® I saw so much potential,” she says. “I thought of all the families who must be experiencing the same difficulties as us, with little to no access to mental health services, and I was excited.”
Seeing the Potential of Snorble
While Snorble might have been conceived as a nighttime resource to help children sleep through the night, the development of Mike Rizkalla’s vision has quickly identified multiple additional areas, including those in the mental health sphere, that could be aided by Snorble’s potential capabilities. Snorble could and will do so much more. So, when Mike was looking to bring a Senior Product Manager on board for Team Snorble, Dee, who had worked previously at his Brave New World company, emerged as the perfect choice. And very quickly, she has had an impact on the company’s organization and productivity.
"When Mike showed me a demo of Snorble I saw so much potential,” she says. “I thought of all the families who must be experiencing the same difficulties as us, with little to no access to mental health services, and I was excited.”
“I like that Snorble is this wonderful character who can engage kids, but I also love the coaching aspect for parents through the mobile app – it's wonderful that Snorble can engage the whole family, there is a lot we can do.”
"You know, during the worst of the pandemic, the kids were all on devices a lot more, there were no school classes and I was on Zoom calls in my bedroom all day. Up until that point, my kids really hadn't used them much. Seeing Snorble and what they can do now, and the potential they have to provide educational, wellness, and entertainment content gets me really excited! I would much rather the kids interact with that kind of programming than playing games with headphones on by themselves.”
Bringing Her Work Home
While combating the family-related challenges she faces, Dee has also reinvented herself on the career front. Product management was not always her gig.
“I was a graphic designer and Art Director for 15 years,” Dee explains. “I loved it but found it hard to find permanent work when I moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I have always just thought of myself as a design thinker, and making the change to a Product Management role made sense because you can take the principles of design thinking and apply them to a consumer problem.”
“I believe that design is a tool that we can use to enhance our humanity. Snorble is an interesting product to apply that thinking to. We are building a system that helps children and families and also brings them joy. I love working in collaborative environments, and Snorble is the most collaborative place I've ever worked, so I get to apply my skill set to different problems that come up in a startup environment.”
So… that leads us nicely back to that point we made at the beginning of Dee herself being positively impacted by Snorble and seeing the benefits of implementing our philosophy, even before we send our interactive little buddy out into the world.
“I think the thing I like the most about my job is that I get to take everything I learn and apply it all to my personal life, whether a process or something else,” Dee explains. “The great thing about working on Snorble is that I get to spend all day thinking about helping families and solving interesting problems. I get to take what I've learned and try the ideas out at home, and that's a really great benefit.”
“Personally, I’m actually sleeping better because I’ve learned the value of a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis through the research I’ve done. And we now have rules in our house about screen time, which we’ve never had before, because I appreciate the importance of that, again through my research. And my kids haven’t even met Snorble yet!”