Have you ever wondered what the story and who the face is behind a brilliant business idea? And when that brilliant business idea is one that serves the needs of families and involves engaging children in literature in very personal ways – well, we want to know more. Cue ‘Story Antics‘; storybooks that reflect your children’s lives with personalised names, characters and interests – this is the brainchild of entrepreneur and author, Lara Solomon (and business partner, Kellie Marks). Let’s learn about how it all began… Thanks for sharing your story with us, Lara!
I remember when I was about 10 years old sitting in the garden with a typewriter writing a children’s story (I don’t know what happened to that story, I have a feeling that I never finished it!). However, I know that the love of reading and stories has been present throughout my life.
When my first niece was two, I wrote her two stories; one about a teddy bear (who is mine, but she loves it) and another about her stuffed cat toy visiting Granny’s house. Writing a story is not always easy, but the enjoyment the child gets from having a story that is really personalised to them is such a joy to see.
My second niece LOVES owls and for her birthday last year I wrote her a story about two of her toy owls, Lulu and Big Shiny going to the beach. They saw fish, got splashed by waves and ate ice-cream – all her favourite things! That book (even with my dodgy hand drawn owls – I am not an artist) went straight to number one in the storybook collection!
At the beginning of June, I entered a start-up program where in eight weeks you had to come up with an idea and pitch to investors for funding. I didn’t start with a storybook idea initially but with an environmental slant (that’s one of my other passions). It wasn’t until week seven that I came back to the storybooks, when I had lunch with my business partner, Kellie Marks and we got chatting about her daughter who always asks her to replace the names of the story characters with hers or her sister’s name. That was all the inspiration I needed to remember my passion for writing story books. The week after I pitched to investors we got funding and Kellie and I started Story Antics.
Story Antics is a range of personalised children’s books; personalised because we know that more engaged children learn better, and having yourself in a story is more engaging! We currently have six book titles aimed at children six and under and in those stories, you can choose the name of each character and what they look like. Additionally, four of our books include the whole family, so you really can make it personalised to reflect your child’s life.
Needless to say my passion for stories and writing means that I have written three of the books – Shark Swim, The Cheeky Owl and The Christmas Present (you might notice that my niece’s owl has been featured again!).
All of our story books are available online at www.Storyantics.com to create. You choose the story, name each character and decide what they look like. Once you are happy with your book, place your order and two weeks later your very own personalised book arrives on your doorstep!
She began her business career in 2004 with the launch ‘Mocks’, creating the market in Australia for phone socks, which saw her win various awards including twice being a finalist in the Telstra Young Businesswoman of the year and taking out the Telstra Microbusiness Award for NSW.
Over the past 15 years, she has launched several endeavours to market including social media consultancy Social Rabbit, industry marketplace Beauty Hum and LOLL poncho towels for adults.
With a lifetime love of reading and writing, Lara co-founded Story Antics in July 2019 with her business partner, Kellie Marks.
She also regularly speaks on social media, marketing and small business topics to networking groups, university students and companies.
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