Tali Lehavi, Planet Heart creator

The official bio printed in all the books:

After UC Berkeley, Tali Lehavi received her PhD in Hearts from Planet Heart University where she wrote a thesis about the geometry of the heart. In fact, she has studied its form for over 30 years. She is also the mother of three girls who have a great heart, the inventor of the hand-heart gesture called the HeartMark, in which hands create a heart, which is her registered trademark and patent, creator of Planet Heart, an owner of several US patents, a nutrition educator, and a HeartMark Yogalates, ballet, and creative dance instructor, among other things!
“The Bigger You Dream, the Bigger You Allow Others to Dream! ™” This is the motto I invented in college. It freed me to envision a world–and then a galaxy– in which …everything is ideal. The heart is the most elemental design, the basis of all that is positive and good. Therefore, I chose to express myself solely through hearts. I want all my products to be 100% positive, to teach children what works, from nutrition, to fitness, to math, to character education.”
The Planet Heart brand aims to teach children to want to be positive, and to enjoy being positive. It’s going to be cool to make good choices for oneself.
Planet Heart can teach all of us and remind us of how we should be… even when we haven’t slept enough. That’s really the goal–to be our best when we are challenged in reality.
Let’s make Planet Earth a Planet Heart! ™

Other bios…

Tali Lehavi is a prolific inventor, writer, illustrator, jewelry and room décor designer, game inventor, nutrition educator, creator of the ballet-yoga-pilates fusion class HeartMark Yogalates, ™ to name a few of her titles. She also cooks original recipes for her three daughters and then contributes these recipes to Iguana Magazine for children in Spanish. She fills up every minute of the day and night towards a productive purpose. Lehavi’s creations all come out of Planet Heart, ™ an ideal place that she hopes will educate and inspire us to live up to on Planet Earth. For that purpose, Lehavi directed her UC Berkeley education to writing TV show episodes, a movie script, creating endearing personalities, a unique Heart vocabulary, and securing several US Patents and trademarks, including the patented and trademarked hands-creating-a-heart gesture called the HeartMark. ™ Lehavi sends a loving HeartMark to everyone who’s ever inspired her, which is everybody and everything.

Want to Know More Background?

I had a very nurturing childhood. I was determined to give back. Among the inventions in my head that I noticed no one else had done was a planet made of hearts. During college, when I thought a lot about the meaning of life, all my values came together under this umbrella concept and world of Planet Heart.
My goals were
1. To create a positive product that children of every culture could have in common and that this product would teach positive concepts to create world peace. I had memories of my childhood in Israel, watching “Maya The Bee” from channels of every neighboring country. I would meet people from Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon. All had watched Maya the Bee. I thought that if we all watch the same television shows, and if the shows talk about world peace, then we could all achieve this very desired goal. At this time in college, I was incredibly dedicated to world peace.
I had to create a Planet Heart that would teach everyone how to get along and to have peace. I wanted all the characters to model positive behaviors. Different people in my life suggested that I had to have negative elements in the show. They said that you cannot tell a story without having evil. But I wanted a very utopian environment in which all mean well, even if they don’t always know the best way to do the right thing. And that is exactly how it really is on Planet Earth–everyone does mean well. They just don’t always know the best path to get to that. My show would teach and entertain.

2. I needed a product that could speak for all my beliefs. I didn’t have enough personal belief that I could go and lecture to people and inspire them on my own without Lovelle, my main character. After I created Lovelle, I felt guilty that just one character would deliver such empowering concepts to people, so I decided that there are many Lovelles, from different Heartlands. And of course, Lovelle had the wonderful best friends–right from the start. All this was still out of my college apartment.

3. I needed a product that could be about world peace and health and fitness and being nice. I didn’t want to limit my product in any way. I didn’t want to limit it to one subject, one planet, or one group of people. So I came up with the concept of “The Bigger You Dream, The Bigger You Allow Others To Dream.”tm. This freed me to put all my heart into the work. I was still sitting on the round (not heart) table at my college apartment. And I am so fortunate for that apartment. Really great work came out of having the time to reflect there.

When I first began to reflect and write about my goals, in the first days, I realized that I was somehow sometimes blocking myself. There was initial embarrassment, as well as self-criticisms and I almost judged what I could or should write. But I corrected these instantly, because it was my space where I could be free. As a result, I realized that I better let Planet Heart come out. (I was afraid to be judged for creating something that might make people think I’m immature! I had been in academics for so long. How could Planet Heart be the result of so many years of insights? Well it’s obvious now. This was a momentary thought, but if I hadn’t spent time reflecting and correcting it, I might not have proceeded.)

As soon as I drew the Heart Characters, in this college apartment, O drew them with the HeartMark. It was their immediate gesture to express hello, peace, and appreciation. All my characters did this to each other. The HeartMark also became my trademark in representing my work. There was no other option for them. I didn’t know how to draw hands. I wanted their hands to look like hearts, but to be able to bend to make a heart. I tried it and it worked. And it was the embodyment of all my wishes and values all in one gesture.

I wanted the HeartMark to represent everything that I cared about. This was the same year that everyone talked about the guy who earned a lot of money from the “Wazzup” commercials. I wanted to license my HeartMark like him. I tried to strategize immediately. I knew that it was something that helped make Planet Heart and all its characters and related products unique. I knew that the HeartMark was the one ingredient that kept the Disney company from copying Planet Heart. They could steal a lot from me, but they couldn’t make their characters HeartMark. But I also really wanted it to belong to other characters. I wanted Robocop to HeartMark Barbie. (This is before there was Dora and before the comeback of Strawberry Shortcake.) I decided that the best strategy would be to make Planet Heart famous first. Then after everyone will want to imitate the HeartMark heart hand gesture, I could license the gesture to other cartoon characters. This way, I could help promote world peace, by having unlikely characters heartmarking and symbolically reflecting that we are all connecting through love, even if we are different.

As the years went by, I pitched the concept for the television show to Fox, and I exhibited my huge body of work at the 2003 Licensing Show. I also pitched separately to various agents, manufacturers, and invention companies. I consulted with several PR companies about how to promote the HeartMark. Everyone wanted to charge a lot, and no one wanted to manufacture a product on their own. All the agents either had no idea how to represent such a large body of work, or wanted to charge me as well.

It took only a year and a half to finish the drawings that HeartMark, the poems about HeartMarking, the books, portfolios, brochures, games in which HeartMarking Flowers and products HeartMark, tons of related inventions, mock books, legal submissions,… I took a course on Licnesing. I studied graphic design. The entire rest of the years since have been spent trying to MARKET the HeartMark and Lovelle’s Garden and Planet Heart, and the inventions that HeartMark, such as the jewerly line and room decor. (When one product pitch doesn’t work, I try another angle and pitch the same concept in a new way.)

(The years went by with me working full time on trying to market the HeartMark, the characters from Planet Heart, and the many, many products that went along with this body of work. It didn’t cost $ to come up with great ideas. But I didn’t earn in the meantime. I had a lot of tempting offers to join the “real” work force. But I stayed focused on my work. I have been leaving out the financial difficulties that this put on the family. I was trying to bring up my children. Every decision of not earning so that I could pitch meant that I had less for the children. Every decision to spend to put the HeartMark in use in commerce was another class that I couldn’t sign the children for. The expenses to invest in branding Planet Heart were coming out of the family’s monthly paycheck from one man that was earning, as long as he could earn. This part has been very difficult on everyone.)

I had a few ideas on how to control this project on my own. First, I had experience teaching ballet. So it wasn’t a big stretch to invent a yoga lesson with the HeartMark. I had already invented it in theory. I had named every yoga pose but with a HeartMark. This was a book that I put together and exhibited in 2003. It was also in the Library of Congress. But it began as 2d yoga–an activity that was originally limited to my cartoon characters. Then, in 2004, I realized that it was the only activity I could do on my own without waiting for someone else to license it.

( I am skipping the technical frustrations that went along with not having a staff, computer technology, and enough resources to achieve all these goals.)

In 2004, I pitched the HeartMark Yogalates to a dance instructor that was interested in learning how to invent. I helped her form her own dance company. Then I helped her book teaching gigs. We signed the first licensing contract. She received the teaching materials with all the HeartMark Poses for Yoga. She received the routines for the classes. I even helped her with flyers. While she taught the HeartMark Yogalates in several locations, I began to teach it as well. I taught the HeartMark Yogalates regularly at Shape Express, the Jewish Commmunity Center, and at local schools.

In 2005, Shape Express asked me to represent the entire gym at the Women’s Expo. I got a stage for 3 days. I had an audience. I also got to use a back room to teach. And of course, I worked at the Shape Express booth. I had huge posters that showed my HeartMark in different poses, explanations of the benefits of the HeartMark Yogalates, the images of the Empowerment Symbols for Peace, and flyers galore. I had t-shirts. I handed out t-shirts on stage to the people who came on stage to perform the HeartMark Yogalates. And two DJ’s from a local radio station dejayed the HeartMark performance.

Shortly after The Women’s Expo, I got to exhibit the HeartMark Yogalates on Channel 3 television. And then I began to teach it regularly at Gold’s Gym. I continued to spread the HeartMark vibes at local schools.

I continued to design, pitch, and explore other options, while I used my HeartMark in commerce. In every pitch and at every meeting, I always did the HeartMark with all the people that I pitched my work to. It was always my trademark gesture. I explained this to everyone at every meeting. I also asked them to keep it a secret until the product would be manufactured. Sometimes, I had to pitch products over the phone. I still described the HeartMark heart hand gesture over the phone, and I was very specific that it is my trademark. (For the animation, jewelry, and all other product /performance pitches.)

A few years later, after a few meetings with several PR companies about how to promote the HeartMark and license it to commercials and famous performers, I began to fear that it might be stolen unless I put the HeartMark on a tag on a product that I could manufacture. I felt that even though it is my trademark and even though I protected it with a US Patent, which a top examining attorney at the Patent Office approved, that this HeartMark could still be copied before I would have the resources to be known for it first.

Late at night, I had a great idea–I could make a product that is protected by my patent, such as room decor that connects to make a heart, and then put the HeartMark hands on the product. This way, people would associate the product with my trademark HeartMark. And then I could use the momentum and resources from this to finally make Lovelle’s Garden and Planet Heart famous. Then all the Heartlings would HeartMark. And after that, I would license the heart hand gesture to famous artists.

…I’ve been nursing all night writing this. The baby needs the bed now, so I’ll pause.