Astoria family is keeping bad dreams away
by Andrew Pavia
Jul 02, 2013 | 651 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Erin Black, co-owner of Lyla Tov Monsters.
Erin Black, co-owner of Lyla Tov Monsters.
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Lyla Black.
Lyla Black.
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In 2009, when Lyla Black was just 3 years old, she drew a monster for her father as a gift. She told her mother, Erin, that it was a “good” monster and would scare the “bad” ones away and help her sleep at night.

With a background in costume design and a career working with the Muppets on Sesame Street, Erin decided to bring her drawings to life.

Once the monster was created from her daughter’s drawing, it served an interesting purpose; helping her daughter sleep more soundly with the protection of a toy.

Through word-of-mouth advertising, her friendly monster toy grew as she wasn’t the only parent on the block who needed a way to get her children to sleep at night.

That was when Lyla Tov Monsters was born.

Over the course of the next three years, the Black home in Astoria turned into a mini factory where the handmade toys were created.

Her husband Eric manages web sales, marketing and corporate matters for the company and her daughter Lyla, now 6 years old, handles the creative control side of things, picking out fabrics and deciding what parts go where on the toys.

Consequentially, Lyla Tov means good night in Hebrew, so Erin thought there was no better tagline for the company than that of her daughter’s name, especially because it was Lyla’s idea in the first place.

“They really work,” said Erin.

Relying on first hand experience and customer feedback, she said that many neighborhood parents have become repeat customers.

She believes the toys are a success because the idea came from a 3-year-old’s mind, something that resonates with children instead of a theory created by adults.

To help get the word out, Lyla Tov Monsters has attended major conventions and grew even more utilizing social media.

“Demand is a great problem to have, but we found ourselves running out of production room, manpower and funding to reach the next level,” Eric said. He urges people interested in her company to fund them on Kickstarter, look into their website or visit their pages on Facebook and Twitter.

Erin said that with the money they receive for funding will help Lyla Tov Monsters expand its reach into a full time facility outside of the family’s home.

So far, the company has been apart of the Toy Industry Association’s 2012 Toy Fair in New York City and has clients like the Jewish Museum in NYC along with a bevy of boutiques around the country.

A portion of all sales goes to the charity of their daughter Lyla’s choosing.
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