INSPIRED BY SAVANNAH (http://www.inspiredby savannah.com)
My second Spotlight Mom for this week is Andrea Bergstein of Scribblitt. Scribblitt is a website for kids, where they can write, illustrate and publish their own books! Scribblitt provides writing tools and illustration tools to help kids achieve a professional end product. Scribblitt books are high quality, professionally printed 8x8 hardcover, perfect bound books. Each book is $24.99. In addition to Scribblitt books, kids can also create custom writing pads and note cards in Scribblitt's 'Design Itt' center. Custom Notepads are $12.99 each and a set of 12 Note Cards with envelopes are $14.99. Explore Scribblitt at http://www.scribblitt.com today.
Even though my daughters are too young to create their own books, I wanted to share this website and mom entrepreneur with you, as I love products and services that are engaging and educational for young children. Growing up, I was introduced to journaling and writing poetry. In school, we would have an hour a day to journal or write on a given subject. This was my favorite time of day, as I loved writing. And, through these writing activities, I have developed a love for writing and words, which has led me to blogging. If only Scribblitt was around back in the day. It would have been nice to publish my own books, with my favorite journal entries and poems. But, now that I know about Scribblitt and its creator, Andrea Bergstein, I can't stop talking it up amongst my mommy friends. What child wouldn't want to create their own book, and eventually hold the final product in their hands? They would think it was so cool. And, as a mother, I know how happy and proud I would be, as I watched their eyes light up as they read their books to me. I have bookmarked the Scribblitt site, and will definitely be using when Savannah and Arabella get older. These books would make for great keepsakes for years to come.
Today, I wanted to share my interview with Andrea Bergstein, creator of the Scribblitt website. But, I also wanted to let you know that I will be sharing more about her website at the end of the week, in my Feature Friday section, and offering one lucky reader a chance to win a FREE "Make-Your-Own-Book" from Scribblitt, for their child to create.
If you can't wait to enter the giveaway and want to have your child create their very own book using the Scribblitt website, make sure you use coupon code "savannah0412" at checkout to receive $2.50 off a Scribblitt "Make-Your-Own-Book" or stationery product. Note: This offer is good through April 30th, 2012.
And, now on to my interview with Andrea...
Name: Andrea Bergstein Company Name: Scribblitt Company Location: Based in Westport, CT Company Website: http://www.scribblitt.com Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/scribblitt Age of Company: Less than 1 year Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "A man's reach should exceed his grasp or what's a heaven for" by Robert Browning Favorite Book: My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult (if you have a sister, this one goes right to your very soul)
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? I currently live in Westport, CT but I am Canadian. I have 2 daughters (11 & 8) who inspired me to start up this new business venture, and a husband who always encourages us to achieve our fullest potential. I love to travel and love photography! To keep fit, I like tennis, skiing and I recently picked up spinning!
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
I mentioned that my daughters were my inspiration for Scribblitt. In fact, my older daughter wrote story after story and always asked me to help her get them published. We tried writing contests, state writing projects and writing publishers. My younger daughter draws non-stop. They began collaborating on books and I saw a need for kids to be able to create books online. So, I introduced Scribblitt.
Scribblitt offers writing tools like story starters to get the juices flowing, and a planning tool to walk kids through the stages of writing a story. Kids can upload their own illustrations or photographs or use Scribblitt's unique pick & click illustration tool. Whether it is a story book, biography, coffee table art book, or poetry anthology, each book is a high quality, professionally printed, hard cover, perfect bound 8x8 masterpiece that any child would be proud to put on the bookshelf or give as a gift. Scribblitt is a website for kids where they can write, illustrate and publish their own books.
Also on the site are celebrity author interviews with tips on writing for kids (authors to date: Gordon Korman, Elise Broach, Megan McDonald and Grace Lin). Kids can enter writing contests, play word games, share and read others' stories in the library, create personalized stationery and more!
What is a typical work day like?
I usually spend the morning working once the kids are off to school and sit down again at the computer after they go to bed. I'm still a mom and I have to squeeze in volunteer work, doctors appointments, grocery shopping, errands, cooking, etc.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
There is extensive development work for a website like Scribblitt which has been slower than I would have liked because of lack of funds.
What did you do in your past work life?
I am a Marketing Professional with a decade across 3 countries with Mattel Toys, managing such well loved brands as Barbie, Polly Pocket, Cabbage Patch Kids, Hot Wheels and Match Box. After Mattel, I ran Marketing for Nelvana Animation Studios (famous for Babar and Franklin brands) and then I did consulting for Kid-focused brands like Universal Studios Home Video, Dannon, Timex, Campbell's Soup and M&M/Mars.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
I love what I do! It's creative, it's challenging, and I'm proud of what I have created. I love that I am setting a great example for my kids in following a dream and working hard to make it a reality. I love that my kids are a part of it, supporting me, helping with the site, and using it! They love Scribblitt!
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Unfortunately, a lot of late nights. There is no secret. It is a lot of hard work.
What is next for your business?
Scribblitt's next big feature will be Make-Your-Own Comic Books.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
It is amazing what you accomplish when you set your mind to something and you have the passion to go after it. Anything is possible!