'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Friday, 1 March 2013

Guest Post: Story Mama

KBR is delighted to welcome Debbie Hatswell with this glorious and inspiring story behind her new online picture book store - and the making of a stay-at-home business. We simply adore booksellers with a kids' book focus. Debbie, thank you for leaving your day job.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved books. She read lots and lots, and could often be found at night, way after bed-time, under the covers of her bed with a torch, finishing off a novel that had spirited her away to a land of adventure and intrigue.

That little girl grew up, travelled the world, got married, had a baby and became a senior manager at a Bank.

After maternity leave, the baby went to long day care, the girl went back to her demanding job and the world felt like a giant treadmill or a tug of war for a while. She bought books to read for her baby but they always seemed to be the wrong ones – too long, too old, too complex, too much paper engineering.

The girl began to dream of a business where she could work from home, where she could build a brand, where she could read lots of books and discover the best ones. She could find out from other mums which books their children loved, and she could catalogue each book so people could easily shop by the age of their child. She could even suss out the best books to be reading to your kid when you were approaching a difficult milestone or transition, be it going to hospital, having a sibling or toilet training. She could be reading stories to my baby and calling it research! How good!

And so Story Mama was born.

Business plans were written, courses were undertaken, a website was built, distributors were contacted and research was done. Mums were surveyed for ideas, and shelves were constructed in the shed. Stock was ordered, logos designed, business cards were ordered and the girl started calling herself a CEO. Social Media was explored and strategies were designed.

This didn’t feel like work any more! Child care days were fewer and shorter and life was good.

The Story Mama website was launched just in time for Christmas and word started to spread on Facebook, Pinterest and by old fashioned word of mouth. Orders came in and were packed and sent. Feedback arrived and was positive and the girl sighed with relief.

It's early days, but so far the dream is a success. The risk was worthwhile and it just may be possible to have a flexible career from home.


Story Mama is an online children’s bookstore specialising in picture books for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. We stock just our favourite titles, many of them award winners. You can find us at www.storymama.com.au




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