An interview with Brandi Dugal

Brandi Dugal

Welcome everyone! Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Brandi, the innovative mind behind The Fidget Game. Brandi isn't just an entrepreneur, she's a passionate educator with a remarkable journey. From classrooms in USA to rural Thailand, Brandi has witnessed firsthand the challenges kids and parents face when it comes to learning to read. But her story doesn't end there. It was this very challenge that sparked a fire within her, leading her to develop a research-backed approach that not only combats reading stress, but makes learning fun and effective. Let's dive into Brandi's incredible journey and discover the secrets behind The Fidget Game's success and her plans for the future. 

Question: Why did you create The Fidget Game? 

Brandi: Initially, I created The Fidget Game to assist my struggling third grade students and discovered the profound impact of game-based learning rooted in the science of reading. Now, my motivation has shifted towards addressing the literacy crisis in the USA by gamifying the literacy curriculum. 

Question: That's a lofty goal. How do you plan to achieve it with just board games? 

Brandi : It's a substantial goal indeed. We're now diversifying our focus towards curriculum development and will be launching a 22-week gamified literacy program. We've collaborated with top literacy experts to meticulously design a program that mirrors the progression of skills a child needs to learn to read. Think of it as constructing a solid foundation, laying one brick at a time. We're beginning with Grade 1, with plans to expand to Grade 2 and beyond. We're currently piloting our program in schools, and if successful, we aim to advocate for its implementation nationwide. 

Question: Do you have any other goals for 2024? 

Brandi : Yes, we're also developing an ESL game for children learning English. Recognizing the lack of support for ESL learners in classrooms, we're collaborating with top ESL specialists to create a game that can be integrated into classroom settings. Additionally, we're planning to launch into Asian markets. We are also launching our games in French and Spanish!  

Question: Managing all of these initiatives sounds challenging. How do you make it happen? 

Brandi: We have an incredible team which includes teachers who are deeply aligned with our goals and vision. Each member is passionate about addressing the literacy crisis, which drives our progress. Without this dedicated team, none of our achievements would be possible. 

Question:What has been the biggest challenge in your business journey so far? 

Brandi :It hasn't been easy. Throughout our growth, there were numerous moments where securing funds for our next order seemed uncertain. Additionally, facing competition from Chinese knock-offs posed significant challenges. However, staying focused on our mission and continuing our research and development efforts has been empowering. 

Question: Do you have patents or trademarks in place? 

Brandi : Yes, we're fortunate to have patents and trademarks in place. This has enabled us to protect our brand and products, and we've successfully shut down many counterfeit listings with the help of our legal team. 

Question: Where do you see The Fidget Game in 5 years? 

Brandi : I envision The Fidget Game becoming the top educational resource for schools in the USA, making a substantial impact on alleviating the literacy crisis. My hope is that our programs become mandated in states, replacing outdated literacy teaching methods with innovative, gamified approaches. Additionally, I see us expanding globally to aid literacy efforts worldwide. 

Question: What trait do you think has been most valuable on this journey? 

Brandi: Grit, without a doubt. It's been essential in overcoming challenges and persisting through difficult times. I'm grateful for having developed this quality, as it's been instrumental in our success. 

Question: What advice would you give to someone starting a business with no prior experience? 

Brandi :Recognize that your lack of experience can be an advantage. Embrace the opportunity to approach problems with fresh perspectives and innovate. Don't overthink things; sometimes, diving in and learning as you go is the best approach. 

This interview just scratched the surface of our dedication to tackling the literacy crisis. We're thrilled to be expanding The Fidget Game family with an ESL program, ensuring all children have the tools they need to thrive. As Brandi mentioned, our sights are set on becoming the gold standard for educational resources in the US, with the potential to transform classrooms nationwide. 

But our vision extends far beyond borders. We're committed to making The Fidget Game a global force for good, empowering children everywhere to unlock the joy of reading. We're incredibly grateful for our team's unwavering spirit and Brandi's relentless drive. Together, we're excited to see what the future holds for The Fidget Game and the impact we can make on young learners worldwide. 

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