I spent one of the most inspiring weekends of my life with one of the founders of Barefoot Books, Nancy Traversy. She told us the most incredible story of how she started the children's publisher 20 years ago with her business partner, Tessa. They were the first publisher to use 4-colour end notes, ensuring that each page in their books was as gorgeous as the next. Their books are stunningly illustrated. They really are works of art that are meant to be treasured. Their company started out simply enough and then all of a sudden "everything that could go wrong, went wrong."
Nancy moved to the USA to look after that side of their business. For her 40th birthday, her husband and her and their 4 young kids were on a British Airways flight that was hijacked on its way to Africa. The plane fell out of the air and upside down and they were only a few seconds away from crashing when a basketball player wrestled the hijacker out of the cockpit. Nancy returned home only to find out that their UK warehouse had gone bankrupt with over 1 million pounds of books inside and owing them a lot of money. They managed to get back the books, but not the money. They proceeded to mail 100,000 copies of their first catalogue during the anthrax scare. She showed us the other side of business, the hard side. The side that takes so much persistence and a belief in the books because it is the books and the relationships they build, and the stories they teach, that matter. She said there were so many periods during the last 20 years that were hard, but they kept going because of an overwhelming belief in the books. She said "the audience, the community is out there. There are just walls in the middle, but we can get there." Her words reminded me of my favourite quote I heard from a farmer. "Nothing is impossible, the impossible just takes longer."
I certainly haven't had the same struggles with my business that Nancy has had, but I found her story so reassuring as I definitely can relate. It often feels easier to give up on my dream, that keep pushing it forward, but in time, persistence will pay off. Believing in my passions and sticking to my values and building relationships will build Giving Gifts, just as it has done for Barefoot Books.
The most amazing part about Barefoot Books is how easy it is to become part of this beautiful business. The ambassador program is really simple and easy to join. It is such a inclusive and supportive community and I couldn't be prouder to be selling these lovely books. The Ambassador kits that get you started are $50 off right now (only $89.99 for over $300 worth of books!) and I'd love to have some new team members to work with. If you are thinking about joining me in selling the most beautiful children's books. Now is the time! Click her for all the details. You'll even get a signed copy of the brand new book Little Red Hen narrated by Debra Messing.