First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Felix Brandon Lloyd: We’re doing well, just taking things day by day. My wife, and co-founder, Jordan, and I have been grateful to have extra time with our kids during the day, so we’re trying to look at the positives. Our team was already distributed before this, so, fortunately, that hasn’t been a huge shift.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Zoobean.
Felix Brandon Lloyd: I was previously Washington DC’s Teacher of the Year, and Jordan was Google’s first head of K-12 outreach. Zoobean began as a tool to help parents and kids discover books that reflected their own unique narratives, such as having an interracial family like ours. Over the years, it evolved into software for libraries and schools to facilitate and run reading challenges throughout the year.
How does Zoobean innovate?
Felix Brandon Lloyd: We have a small, scrappy, and passionate team of creators. From designers and technicians to former teachers and librarians, we value everyone’s input, creativity, and drive. Our customers are of the highest priority to us, so many of our ideas and solutions come directly from what they need. Our company’s care and responsiveness to our clients has allowed us to continue to grow exponentially over the years.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Felix Brandon Lloyd: When the pandemic initially took hold, we felt overwhelmed but prepared. We knew we could deliver the care and attention needed to our current clients while offering a solid, virtual solution for hundreds of libraries who were forced to close their doors. Our business, thankfully, flourished during this time.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Felix Brandon Lloyd: Our primary focus during the first few months of the pandemic was balancing the huge influx of new clients with delivering a high-quality product and the best customer service possible. Many of our difficult choices centered around responding to the rapid growth of our business while avoiding burnout. We are incredibly grateful for how everyone stepped up to the challenge and are thrilled to have expanded and diversified our already awesome team!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Zoobean in the future?
Felix Brandon Lloyd: Exercise and spending time with my family really helps. We support each other and help each other through anything, even if it means just learning new dance moves in the kitchen.