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Best friends Kristin Gallant and Deena Margolin didn’t know it at the time, but their Instagram community for parents of toddlers launched right before millions of caregivers would need extra help. Their page, Big Little Feelings, went live on March 1, 2020—and offices and day cares began closing soon after. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallant, a parent coach with a background in maternal child education, and Margolin, a child therapist specializing in kids ages 6 and younger, had agreed there was a glaring gap in parenting content: The baby apps and books weren’t very helpful when dealing with a 1-year-old who’s throwing a tantrum. When Gallant’s first child hit the toddler stage, she found herself texting Margolin for tips on day-to-day problems like graduating from pacifiers or leaving the park. The pair, who met in high school, dreamed up a community that offered humor and practical advice, plus an online course that functions as a toddler manual. The $99 course, called Winning the Toddler Stage, consists of seven videos between two and 10 minutes long that include specific do-this, not-that takeaways. (They went with bite-size videos over a book so busy parents could watch while, say, doing dishes and added a gifting option after converts wanted to give it to friends.) Now, 18 months after launching, they have more than 2 million Instagram followers and say the Big Little Feelings community is their first priority. “We’ve found that when we focus on our audience and cultivate a village among the parents,” the cofounders said, “the product sells itself.”

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