Lori Lynn: I'm an Early Childhood Passionista
Lori Lynn is a national early childhood specialist and international speaker and an award-winning children's singer/songwriter. She's the creator of Overall Buddies a series of original songs and videos for young children and the grownups who care for them and love them recently. She expanded her business to create her first children's book.
We spoke with Lori about marrying her passions for early childhood education and music to create Overall Buddies. Here’s an excerpt from our interview.
Passionistas: What's the one thing you're most passionate about?
Lori: I am most passionate about early childhood. So, everything and anybody that has to do with early childhood, that's my number one passion. And that includes teachers or, of course, young children — zero to five is my expertise. So, anything having to do with that teachers and librarians and families and quality programs that serve early childhood children.
And then second to that, in a very close second, is my music. So right now, in this last act of my life, as I've heard — you hit a certain age you're in your last act — it was my mother's last wish that I follow this dream finally.
Passionistas: How are you combining those two passions?
Lori: I combine those two things with the brand that I created, the business that I've created is Overall Buddies. And I create quality content for children and the people who love them. That's the biggest part of my mission is that it's going to be quality content and number one, is the social, emotional connection that music can have for young children and those around them, their families, their classmates, their teachers, just feeling connected through the music.
Passionistas: Tell us more about Overall Buddies. How can people see the content and hear the music?
Lori: Well, I knew I wanted to make a CD. So I signed up for independent musician class with Rick Barker. And, I just learned about the business side of it and how musicians nowadays we have to have, they say, seven different ways to make money because basically our music's free.
So I thought, how can I do this? I thought let's create a brand and make some videos and have some storylines maybe going, and that's coming and maybe get a book series going. I had this big picture in mind. And I just started with the little steps.
I think I'm the type of person, not everybody has to be this way, I have to know what the big pictures. So, it looked like I was stalled, but I knew that in my brain, I had to know where am I going with this? I knew what steps and I knew I needed to come up with a name and I was trying to find a name that nobody had on the internet.
So I had other names that I tried and I'm like, darn somebody got the.com and I wanted the.com. You want to own that SEO. And so I, I just knew overalls have a meaning for me because my dad, we grew up on the farm and there was a time in the spring and fall, there were these big jobs to do in the farms and the neighbors would help each other.
Whether you were bailing hay, for instance, that's a big job and you need other hands, or shelling corn, that kind of stuff. Well, the neighbors would show up and help and I'd see this big neighbor guys in their overalls come and they were ready to work. It's like overalls meant friendship, and we're here to work and cooperate and get things done.
So, I just, overall it's kind of silly that I have such a deep meaning for overalls, but it was just such a visual for me as a little girl to see these neighbors coming together. And, and then my dad and my brothers would have their turn to help the neighbors and put on your overalls and go help your neighbors, so I loved the whole idea of overalls.
I was doing Overall Friends and I was trying different things and buddies came up and I'm like, oh gosh, that's fun to say. And there was nobody that I owned everything. There was nothing, nobody had .com, .net, .org. And I bought them. And it's cheap if nobody has them, it doesn't cost much to get them.
And so now if people just search Overall Buddies, you're going to come up with my stuff and that's really nice to have. So that's kind of how that name came about, Overall Buddies. And I love the whole double meaning of overall, after all, an overall, we're all overall buddies.
So I had three missions really when I started Overall Buddies because you gotta really figure out what is your, why, what is your purpose? And so my, why was, why do you want to do this?
And it's really pretty easy when I get caught up in. Can I make money at this all my goodness. Was I crazy to quit my job early and take lists? And I just have to go back to why are you doing this? And it's those days, like my lullabies, when I sat with my children, on those wee hours of the morning, and there's no light except that little nightlight and you're feeding your child and you make up this lullaby and you sing to them.
And it's like nothing else exists. And it's so marvelous. And I just, that is my why for my lullabies is, when I picture mothers singing that to their children. Or a friend of mine sent me a picture of her three-year-old daughter singing one of my lullabies to their new baby. And I just started crying. I'm like, if I never make a cent, that is so worth my time, to know that she's sharing that love like that.
And then my funny songs, the same thing when I would write I'm a pig, for instance, which seems to be a favorite. And that's the book I'm going to be writing. My boys would help me with ideas because pig shows up at this little girl's in her town at different places. And we lived in a small town at that time. They're like, mom, the pig needs to show up at the library and the pig needs to show up here. And I said, well, the song can't be an hour long, but these are great ideas. Let's choose four places. And so, but we would sing it, how you sing in the van with the windows down and then their friends get in the van and you're like, you want to sing my mom's song? And we would laugh.
And so when I can picture my mom's doing that and our family's doing that, I don't care if they know it's me. I don't care. I told my boys, someday, I think it'd be so cool if I was at an airport somewhere in a different state or different country. And I hear somebody singing my song and they have no idea it's me that wrote it. You know what I mean? Just saying, oh, my songs in the world. And it's making somebody happy. So, when I get lost in all the other stuff, I'm like, okay, you're leaving something behind and that's good.