Interview with Mary Roger, CEO of Abrakadoodle

In 1989 Mary Roger's future in franchising began when she co-founded ECW Corp., the franchisor of Computertots. As CEO, Mary grew Computertots into the nation's largest children's computer education company, with more than 150 franchises worldwide, including 11 international licenses. Working to educate, and to learn from, franchisees brought her such accolades as being named "Woman Entrepreneur of the Year," Washington metro area, by Ernst & Young in 1996.

After selling her interest in Computertots, Mary pursued her commitments to both franchising and education by serving as Executive Director of the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation in Washington, D.C. in 1998 and 1999. In addition to overseeing the foundation's education and research programs, she participated in the production of "The Profile of Franchising," the most comprehensive analysis of franchising to date.

Read on to learn more about Mary's latest endeavor, Abrakadoodle.

How Did Abrakadoodle Get Started?

Nothing is quite as exciting as young children fully engaged in learning new skills. That's what education is all about! Years ago, I developed a program for children called Computertots with fellow educator Karen Marshall. This was an innovative program that taught kids as young as three to begin using computers. How gratifying it was to watch our program grow into one of the nation's largest enrichment education programs and a well-respected leader in computer education for children.

In 1997, with Computertots firmly established, I moved on to other endeavors. Building upon my love of education and a passion for art, I began developing an innovative art education curriculum called Abrakadoodle.

Why Is Art Education So Important Today?

Unfortunately, many schools are being forced to cut back on art programs because of tight finances. This is sad because properly delivered art instruction is a way to stimulate young minds in important ways that go far beyond painting, designing or sculpting. Abrakadoodle combines strong proven education practices and top quality art instruction. Abrakadoodle is based upon the belief that all children are artists. With the right activities, material and guidance, the possibilities are endless! Abrakadoodle applies solid educational principles, great teaching practices, stimulating activities and high quality materials. Best of all, it's FUN for kids!

What Makes Abrakadoodle a Great Choice For Franchise Owners?

Abrakadoodle provides both a wonderful program for kids and an excellent business model! Business advantages include a comprehensive art education program that addresses the needs of schools, parents and kids, a low investment level with excellent upside potential and an experienced management team that has built one of the world's most successful educational programs. In addition, Abrakadoodle is the only art education franchise with an exclusive partnership with Crayola�®.

Tell Us More About Abrakadoodle's Partnership With Crayola?

We believe in building partnerships with organizations that have similar goals and aspirations. One such organization is Binney and Smith, the creator of Crayola products. Our partnership with Binney and Smith offers many advantages for the franchise owner including opportunities to associate our brand name with one of the most powerful and respected brand names in the world, access to high quality Crayola products, use of Crayola educational content and more. We are delighted to use quality Crayola products in all our classes because we know that they are safe, certified non-toxic, of the highest quality and attractively priced. Crayola's products include everything from the first paint a child may use to artist quality oil pastels and everything in between!

What Are You Looking For In New Franchise Owners?

We are looking for remarkable people who want to build a strong business that brings a wonderful service to children. Having experience in marketing, human resources or sales is a plus. Our owners do not need a background in education or art but they do need to possess a passion for providing top quality education programs that enrich the lives of children.

What Do You Find Most Gratifying About Abrakadoodle?

Today the Abrakadoodle curriculum has been tested and refined with the help of many talented people. Most importantly, it's endorsed by those who matter most - Kids! They just love the program because it is enjoyable, builds upon their natural curiosity and lets them explore in imaginative ways. In a world filled with uncertainty, all of us at Abrakadoodle are pleased to help children immerse themselves in creative pursuits filled with doodles and drawings, and squiggles and giggles.

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