Today I would like to introduce you to Susan, a team mate of mine on Etsy. Susan runs We HIVE Personalized Story Books. I am so impressed with her lovely books and wanted to know more about her motivation and background. Here is the interview we did:
Susan, what motivated you to start your business?
Well, as many Mothers can relate, I desperately wanted to be home with my family, and I understood that it would definitely be a financial sacrifice. I didn’t know if it was possible but I wanted to try to make it work, so to help out financially I started We HIVE in 2007.
Tell us the reasoning behind your personalized story books business
I have learned to love reading but it was not always that way. I struggled to learn when I was young. I didn’t understand the connection between letters, sounds and words. After struggling for some time, I was given a book that someone, I can’t remember who, thought would help me. (They will never understand what a gift they had given me.) The book title and story had my name in it: “Susan’s Secret Garden”. I will never forget it. It was explained to me that the story was about me and that it actually had my name printed in it. I was so excited. I knew what my name looked like in print and went through all the pages looking for it. The story was so much fun as I could imagine myself in the story. I had the book read to me over and over and over! Soon, I was looking through the book by myself after having heard it so often and memorizing most of it. After that I was starting to put things together myself as far as reading went. It took some time but finally I wanted to read and was excited about it rather than afraid. I am so grateful for that book. I still have it after 38 years and will treasure it forever!
Tell us a bit about Personalized Stories and Personalized Companion Journals
Each story is personalized with a child’s full name, up to three friends can be involved in the story and also a child’s hometown. A dedication on the front page will remind the recipient of the person, occasion and date they received this wonderful gift. Depending on the story more information can be included in the story as well. Also, in each of the stories you will find a learning experience or wonderful memories. We have sport themes that deal with sportsmanship, safety, counting and rhyming, memory books and Christian books such as:
My Book of Prayers
Here are some entries from the book: __________ would be filled in with personalized information.
Sometimes, _________, you may wonder about the words to say to God. You want to thank Him for all He does for you throughout your day. This special book was written to help you talk to God.
You can pray anytime, _________, no matter what you are doing. God is always ready to listen to you. You can even make up your own prayers. Say anything and everything you want to God.
_________, it must make you very happy to know you are surrounded by people who love you so much.
Dear God, thank you for my family and friends. Please help me to say only kind works to _________, _________ and _________.
Dear God, please let me play in a loving, sharing way with __________, __________and _________today. Amen.
I do not write the stories but I do personalize, print and bind each one with love and care. My Personalized journals include your personal message to the recipient from the gift giver and can be lined or blank. I call them companion journal’s because you can choose from any of our stories and have a journal made with the same cover. So as with the story above you may choose to order a companion journal of the same cover or different for the recipient to journal their prayers in.
What do the people who buy your books say?
- Wow! Can’t say enough. First of all the order process was quick and easy. They worked with me to create a personalized book that turned out to be the highlight of our family Christmas! Shipping was very fast and the book exceeded our expectations.
- I bought this for my friend’s son who I have not been able to meet yet. She called me in tears when she received it. It’s such a great idea!
- My son LOVED this book & wants us to read it again & again. So perfect for a hockey loving 5 year old boy. Very clever concept, well done!
- This is really the coolest gift ever. This is so, so well done. My girlfriend cried when her daughter opened this. She said she could not have imagined a better gift.
Where to find We HIVE and Susan
I hope you’ll stop by for a visit. We have many themes to choose from for any occasion. Imagine your child growing up and reading a story about themselves to their own children. Your grandchildren! What a wonderful experience to look forward too.
Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/wehive
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/We-HIVE-Personalized-Gifts-Fundraising/358554087506297
Etsy facebook shop: wehive.etsythemeshop.com/