Niina Grönholm, the founder of Alpakka Media and creator of Pearl's World (Hertan maailma) always loved stories. In her childhood home, she read a lot, dreamed more and soon started to write her own stories – firmly secured in her desk drawer.
After her data processing studies, Niina taught the subject for six years. The birth of her own children turned her world around.
“Motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m happy to see that the love for stories has been passed on to my children. Traditional storytelling, fairytales, books and movies are a part of our everyday life.”
When her toddlers started to climb towards the computer, Niina realised that there was no safe but inspiring and entertaining place online for kids to play around.
“That gave me the idea to create that place and that content myself.”
In 2007 Niina founded Alpakka Media, which produces traditional storytelling in the form of TV animations and digital pastimes.
Pearl’s World saw daylight in January 2008. It made history in Finnish children’s culture by being the first animation series in children’s magazin-style TV show Pikku Kakkonen to have its very own digital games. Pearl immediately became a favourite of both children and adults, and has remained so ever since.
Every week, Pearl’s World reaches 80% of children aged 3-6. In addition to the TV broadcasts, including the Swedish SVT channel, Pearl’s World episodes are watched on YouTube and streamed over Yle Areena. In Finland, the Pearl online and mobile games are played hundreds of thousands of times a week.
Pearl’s World has become a brand. In addition to the animations and digital games, Pearl appears in books and colouring and activity books published by Tammi Publishing Company and Alpakka Media.
Pearl’s music has been watched and listened to over two million times on YouTube and Spotify. In addition to a CD, EMI Music Finland has released two DVD collections.
Pearl can also be played with for real, with plush toys and a board game produced by AMO Oy. Health & Spa Hotel Rokua has also featured Pearl in its playground designs.
Niina, CEO of Alpakka Media, points to the sky and draws a star. She says she’s grateful for having been able to make a difference with her work, and make many dreams come true.
“It's been a long journey – still feel I’m only getting started!”
Pearl’s World product family is expanding in many ways in Finland. There are new books and digital games on the way. What’s more, Pearl is really eager to make friends with the children of the world!
So, the story has only begun. Keep yourself posted on Pearl’s new adventures on Pearl’s World Facebook pages.