We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristy Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristy, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in New Jersey, but we moved to Georgia when I was five because my dad was relocated by the company he worked for. When I was in 8th grade, he decided to take a risk and leave the company he was with for 21 years and buy his own company. He now had the flexibility to spend much more time with my two younger sisters and I. It was really life changing for all of us, including my mom. He was able to attend all of our school events and field trips, and even coached several of our sports. Growing up, my parents always supported us in whatever endeavor we sought out. I was always a little entrepreneur; from having car washes and lemonade stands to repairing skateboards and pet sitting. Being in charge and seeing my efforts come through, gave me the confidence to keep trying new things. Experiencing first hand, the difference it made when my father worked for himself, really inspired me to one day have my own business. While in high school, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. After graduating from college and working as a teacher for seven years, I found a lack of engaging activities to teach content. I was determined to create resources the students would enjoy while learning and having fun! Thinking about how I was raised and the support my parents always gave me, pushed me to build a business combining the two things I had a passion for -teaching and creating.
What should our readers know about your business?
At Teaching Mini People, we create engaging resources for upper elementary math students. Resources where teachers know their students will not only learn the content at hand, but will also enjoy it. Growing up, I struggled with math. Therefore, I want the students who are working with my materials to enjoy the concepts and actually learn them for the future, not just to pass a test.
I do not think my experience starting a company was easy; however, the time I spent as a teacher and working hard at figuring out what engaged my own students has helped me create resources for students all around the world. Being a teacher and trying to grow my business was very time consuming and many “fun” things were put on the back burner. Without the support of my family, I would not have made it this far. Their support has pushed me to want to keep growing and building, and believing in myself and my business.
The biggest lesson I have learned along the way, sadly, is not everyone is on your side. Some would like to see you fail and will even steal your work. Always try to protect yourself and your content. Don’t trust everyone, and remember, your time and talent creating your content is too important to give away for free.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many wonderful places in and around Atlanta. If a friend came for a week and we could travel all over, there are several places we would go. First, the Beltline is my absolute favorite place to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. It offers amazing places to eat, shops to visit, and it’s great exercise!! Whether you are riding your bike, walking, or hanging with your pups the Beltline is the place to go on a nice day. Ponce City and Krog Street Market are two more awesome places to hang out, eat, and drink. There are also several historical sites to see. One is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. museum. It is full of lessons about the Civil Rights Movement with a tour of his actual childhood home. The Georgia Aquarium is another fun place to see and learn everything about ocean animals.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents and my husband deserve major credit for my success. As I stated previously, my parents have always supported me, and they still do! My mom helps me with editing content (she was also a teacher) and my dad is all about the numbers. My husband supports me in any crazy ideas or changes I want to make with my business. On stressful days, he always reminds me, “If it were easy, everybody would do it”.