Alumni Profiles

Abbie Schiller ’90

“I was especially excited about having the chance to question everything.”
Abbie Schiller loved the “human side of learning” at Crossroads. “I was especially excited about having the chance to question everything,” she says.

Abbie, who is a Crossroads lifer—she attended St. Augustine by-the-Sea before it became Crossroads—also appreciated how difference was “embraced, not teased.” So it’s no wonder she went on to become founder and CEO of the Mother Company, which upends conventional entertainment for kids with a mission to help parents “raise good people.” The company’s children’s videos, books, music and parent resource site have won kudos from parenting and media organizations.

Its multiplatform focus crystallizes several of Abbie’s interests. She graduated from Wheaton College with a bachelor’s in anthropology, then spent 18 months exploring various career options. She interned on the White House communications staff, co-wrote a screenplay and worked in a test kitchen developing recipes for Martha Stewart.

Her varied skills won her a post with a PR company specializing in luxury brands, which led to being vice president of global PR for Kiehl’s skin care. But after she and husband Marc had their first child, daughter Ona, Abbie lost interest in living out of a suitcase. Back in Los Angeles and eager for more media experience, she became vice president of media relations for ABC Daytime. She was already formulating her big idea: independent programming that addresses children’s emotional literacy and social development. Armed with a business plan and a script for “Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show,” she joined forces with Crossroads classmate and fimmaker Samantha Kurtzman-Counter ’90, now president of the Mother Company. Today, they have produced four shows—following “The Feelings Show” with offerings on safety, siblings and friendship—along with 10 children’s books. The shows will air on PBS and can be seen on iTunes and Amazon as well. Abbie and Marc have since had son, Charlie.

Abbie says the School’s “eclectic creativity” helped feed her own. A wearer of many hats, she wrote the music for the series and has been able to hear kids all over sing her songs, something she calls “an insanely wonderful experience.”