Language has always been an integral part of Sophia Torjesen’s life, connecting her family to their roots. She grew up in the Philippines with her Chinese family, and had the opportunity to learn Filipino, Hokkien (the language of southern China from which her family was from), Mandarin Chinese and English. Each language encapsulates parts of her family and personal history that she has carried with her as she moved from the Philippines to China and eventually to the United States with her husband.
Upon graduating from the University of Santo Tomas, Sophia began teaching early childhood education, which equipped her with the skills to help children grow to their full potential. She learned that education and childhood development is “filled with learning opportunities disguised through play. Children don't just play to have fun. They are exploring and experiencing the world through all their senses. It is our job as adults to provide them with a variety of experiences to maximize their learning.”
In addition, Sophia knew from her own history that it is the best to learn languages when you are young. Sophia shared that “there is a window during early childhood where language learning is at its peak, and we need to take advantage of that window if we want to help our children learn a second language, if not more.”
When Sophia’s daughter was born, she wanted to raise her with the same pride and knowledge in her heritage that her own mother had instilled in her. But the lack of multilingual educational toys was strikingly evident. So with the love for her culture, nearly fifteen years as an early childhood educator, and passion for crafting, Sophia decided to fill the gap in the market and create toys that empowered children to learn their culture. Sophia's business, Fil Chi Mom, sells handmade bilingual fabric blocks that expose English and Mandarin Chinese to young children.
Ultimately, Sophia hopes to create a community space where multilingual families can raise the next generation of global citizens. Filled with passion, Sophia Torjesen has set out to make the world more connected, starting with the youngest members of society and the knowledge that they will be the building blocks of the future.
Click below to visit Sophia's TheWMarketplace storefront: