Frustrated with a non-existent love life, Sheila Moss-Brown decided to explore the cause of the disconnects in her attempts to find a perfect mate. The result was the board game Authenticity, which she brought to market in June 2008. Here she discusses her process and her thoughts on why so many couples get stuck.
What have you found tend to be the biggest mistakes couples make in relationships?
Not communicating; not being authentic; not being open to your partner; not understanding that men and women think totally differently; and talking to your friends about your relationship.
What research did you do for actually developing a board game?
Approximately 80% came from my own experience; 10% from my friends’ experiences; and 10% from listening to TV, radio and strangers. Because the game was created from my own personal need, research was a reflection of my life and all the questions I should have been asking [she smiles]. I did, however, consult with a few close friends on questions they wish they had asked or could have asked of their mate. After I created a prototype I used a test market to play the game and give feedback. I made revisions based on their feedback. The [best] feedback was having more open-ended questions.
How did you find the manufacturer?
The manufacturer of the game is Delano Service out of Allegan, Michigan, [which] I found at the Chicago Toy and Game Convention in Chicago in 2007.
How many games have you sold?
Approximately 600 [in] two years. Majority of sales have been in the Chicago area. We have sold and shipped games via the website to Washington D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, North Carolina, Virginia, Houston and other cities in the United States. We have also sold a game to a soldier in Kuwait.
Aside from your website, how else do you sell the game?
220 Communications, Inc. (responsible for the branding and promotion of the game) hosted Authenticity’s anniversary party last year in July as well as several other events throughout the Chicago area that has generated exposure and sales of the game (ABC news footage is available on the website as well as the anniversary party on You Tube). We also participate vending events and conferences. The games are also sold at Azizi’s bookstore in Matteson, IL.