Lowey Bundy Sichol (her last name rhymes with pickle) is an author, speaker, MBA, and leading expert in teaching business and entrepreneurship to kids. Her nonfiction series, From an Idea to…, takes young readers (age 8-12) into the world of entrepreneurship through the true stories of how our favorite companies came to be. Lowey’s new book series includes From an Idea to Nike, From an Idea to Disney, From an Idea to Google, and From an Idea to LEGO. (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019)
Each year Lowey visits schools across the country and speaks to thousands of students, teaching them about entrepreneurship and inspiring them to think about how their ideas could one day change the world. Her books and presentations have received rave reviews from educators, parents, and kids.
Lowey is also the creator and host of IDEA Tank for Kids, a “Shark Tank” inspired event just for kids. The inaugural IDEA Tank for Kids took place in Winnetka, IL in July 2019 with over 50 kids (age 8-14) competing for $1,000 by pitching their business ideas to a panel of Judges that included well-known Chicago-based entrepreneurs, founders, and executives. IDEA Tank for Kids drew national attention and will return to Chicago in July 2020 and begin to expand to new markets. (www.IdeaTankForKids.com)
Lowey’s passion for writing about business began in 2004 when she founded Case Marketing, a specialized writing firm that composes MBA case studies for business schools. Her MBA case studies have been read by business school students across the globe and are included in the internationally best-selling marketing book, Marketing Management, by Kotler & Keller (New York: Pearson, 2016). Prior to that, Lowey worked in brand management, marketing, and sales.
Lowey received an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BA from Hamilton College where she played varsity softball and women’s rugby. An avid athlete, Lowey’s spends her free time playing sports, coaching youth basketball and softball, and along the shores of Lake Michigan with husband, three children, and two big dogs.
This is the most common question I receive! Lowey is pronounced Low-E. "Low" rhymes with Go (not cow), then just add an "e." Bundy is easy. Sichol rhymes with pickle.
Well, I never thought I would be a writer! In fact, when I was a kid, my favorite subjects were math and science and I wanted to be either the first professional female baseball player (and I really wanted to play for the Chicago Cubs) or someone who “carries a briefcase and takes the train into the city.” You’ll have to hear my school presentation to learn what the latter comment means.
I worked in business for several years (at a radio station, at General Mills, at Gorton’s Seafood, and at two different Internet companies during the dot com boom). After my twins were born in 2004, I needed a job with more flexibility so I started a company that writes MBA case studies for business schools. Turns out it was the perfect job for me. After several years, I had written hundreds of MBA case studies on companies like Apple, Google, and Nike. When my kids entered elementary school, an idea kept popping up in the back of my mind – these stories about how Nike, Disney, and Apple came to be would make for an awesome book series for kids! I finally sat down and wrote the first book and that’s how From an Idea to… was born.
It takes me about two months to write each book but it takes an entire year to edit it with the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. During that year, the illustrator, C.S. Jennings (who is so talented!), works on the illustrations.
LEGO. The reason is that I had previously written MBA case studies on Nike, Disney, and Google so I already knew a lot about these companies and their founders but I didn’t know anything about LEGO except that my son has too many LEGO bricks in our house. The story of how LEGO came to be is a fascinating and inspirational. It’s a story everyone should read (even adults!).
My hope is that the From an Idea to… series grows to include hundreds of companies. I think it is very important for me to tell the story of so many different entrepreneurs and how their companies came to be, including entrepreneurs who are female, minorities, and immigrants.
Creating something that inspires kids to think about their own ideas. I love that I’m teaching an entire generation what entrepreneurship is and how they can change the world through entrepreneurship.
I do my research and writing in a library with my headphones on listening to music. It keeps me from getting distracted. Fun Fact: I only listen to music without words (jazz, classical, etc.) so other people’s words don’t get into my head when I’m writing. I do most of my editing from my home office.
Patience. It takes a loooooong time from when I write the first draft of a book to when the book is actually in my hand.
I don’t know if I get “writer’s block” but there certainly are days when the words don’t flow as well. On those days I do research. Because I write non-fiction, there’s always more information I can learn about the people and companies I write about.
Yes. My mom. (!)
A softball coach for high school or college. I played in college and coach youth softball and basketball in my spare time. I love sports.
Surprise… softball! I played softball and basketball in high school and college so those are my two favorites. I also ran cross-country in high school and played rugby in college (but I don't like those nearly as much). I’m a decent golfer (7 handicap) and love pretty much every sport from baseball to waterskiing. Just don’t take me downhill skiing - I'm terrible on snow or ice.
The Harry Potter series.
I enjoy reading YA books and nonfiction books about entrepreneurs.
Love it! Recently, I’ve been to the Galapagos Islands and Tanzania – both incredible places.
Two dogs who are awesome. They climb trees, ride on my paddle board, and fetch rocks under water. You can follow them on Instagram. @CaptainCommo
Three kids. They are awesome, too! I have twin girls who were born on either side of midnight so they have different birthdays. I have a son who plays basketball nonstop. Fortunately, I’m still taller than him so I can usually beat him.
Chicago. I have lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York and spent a semester abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The ones who don’t give up. Entrepreneurs are my inspiration.
My husband once said to me, “Failing at something is just a lesson towards ultimately succeeding.” I love that advice and have shared it with students at my school visits. It’s very important to be okay with failing. I mess up all the time and think to myself, “Oops! That didn’t work. Let’s try something else.” Not being afraid to fail or make mistakes is the key to success.
My hope is that my books and school visits inspire the next great entrepreneur and the next great idea.
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