We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Farzam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, how does your business help the community?
Bilingual Birdies is a bilingual education program where we teach Spanish, French, Mandarin, and English to young children through music, movement, and puppetry. We train and certify bilingual educators who want to share their language and culture with kids by teaching online and earn money from home. Bilingual Birdies is so much more than just language classes for little ones. The real intention behind this work is to encourage cross-cultural awareness in our youngest learners so that they can grow up to be even more open-minded adults. Right now we’re living in unprecedented times where there are millions of children at home with parents struggling to homeschool them. Likewise, millions of people have lost their jobs, many of which are bilingual. Bilingual Birdies strives to help communities across the globe by offering a pathway towards entrepreneurship with our licensing opportunity where people anywhere can apply to get trained online and receive all of the marketing materials needed to launch their own Bilingual Birdies business. Each certified licensee has the chance to ignite a bilingual education movement in their own local community.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Bilingual Birdies classes are an experience where children celebrate diversity and have a positive introduction to a love of language learning and embracing differences. We are different from other language programs for kids in that every single song, game, dance, and movement in each lesson was carefully crafted with the intention of raising the vibration of all children to have increased cross-cultural awareness. When kids learn languages with Bilingual Birdies, they have fun, they feel empowered, and they build compassion for others. It was not easy to create and develop a curriculum that delivers these outcomes in every class, but through trial and error in launching and growing in New York City, we’ve perfected our methodology. Along the way I’ve learned that everything matters, even if no one sees it and no one grams about it, each and every intention you place into your work, does matter. I’ve also learned that in business everything is temporary. The ebb and flow of entrepreneurship and your ability to sustain success over time has everything to do with your commitment to excellence. Anyone can get up and sing 10 songs for kids in Spanish and sort of just get by. What we do is transform children’s lives to ensure they become more open-minded adults. This work is too important for our human race for us to deliver it in any way less than 100%.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If you’re coming to LA, your first stop is Venice Beach where I live. We’ll go for a walk on the Venice Canals and see how easily the ducks flow in a line without any worries. I’ll loan you a bike and we’ll ride to the beach (with our masks on) and go for a swim. I’ll split a pizza with you at GTA and chill on the bench while we people watch from a distance. Then I’ll drive you to the East Side where we’ll go to Elysian Park and walk up to Angel’s Point so you can watch the sunset and see all the pretty LA lights start shinning. You will buy ice cream from the paletero man, and tip him 5 extra dollars because you can, and you should. You will eat tacos from any taqueria or taco truck, and love them and tip them 5 extra dollars because you can and you should. We would do this for a week switching beaches: Matador, Sycamore, Malibu, Santa Monica, and switching pizza and taco joints along with other hikes: Malibu Creek State Park, Runyon, Topanga Canyon, Paseo Miramar Trailhead, etc. Hug some trees, ride some bikes, and swim in the ocean.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My success as an entrepreneur has been as a result of a small “LOVE army” of folx who’ve guided me over the last 13 years on how to launch and grow Bilingual Birdies from a 3 student class (2 of which were my twin nieces) to a 22 city operation teaching thousands of children across the US, Canada, and Australia. My shoutout of deep gratitude goes to: Ben Farzam (brother and first customer), Debbie (cousin/sister emotional consultant), Margaret Whitehair (first teacher I hired and believed in me more than I believed in myself), Kat Zacharia (first entrepreneurship teacher who made me believe in myself), Sarah Blackburn (employee of 11 years who went through nearly every stage of growth of start-up life with me and showed me what is joyful effort), Indra Paloma (intern turned into Program Manager and one of the most hard working and multi-talented humans I’ve met who is the definition of Latina POWER), Kirsti Tcherkoyan (business coach who taught me that true wealth is in being able to give to others), Mori Taheripour (my negotiations teacher who taught me “how to harness the power of connection to negotiate fearlessly” which you can learn too in her book: “Bring Yourself,” Shabnam Rezai (mentor who modeled for me what a badass you can continue to be in your business even when you have young kids), and a large group of bilingual immigrant outstanding musicians who’ve showed up to staff meetings, ran up and down subway stairs, and rise to the occasion to share their languages and cultures with kids whole-heartedly, and of course my Mexican mom and Iranian dad who met in an ESL class in the 60s and now look what I’ve turned their legacy into.