Shop Small: Cali's Books Story
This weekend we celebrate the millions of small businesses that work hard to bring you unique products for the holiday season. In the spirit of story telling, let me tell you the story of how Cali's Books came to be!
In the USA, there are 3.7 million micro-businesses with one to nine employees; Cali's Books is one of them! I started from the garage of my home in my new home town of Los Angeles. With no previous experience in book publishing, my aim was to create beautiful sound books I could enjoy with my kids and share with other families around me! Since then, the family is growing up and so is Cali's Books. I am now proud to be part of a lovely team of nine!
Hi, I'm Cali, Cali's Books Founder! I'm a happy mother of two young kids and an all-time book lover. I built Cali's Books publishing house for my children and I hope you enjoy our interactive books created with love to inspire and cultivate a love for reading. I am French, living in California and I'd love to share with you my experiences of bringing up my family in America.
- Before Cali's Books...
- My First Book!
- The family grew up so fast!
- What the future holds
Before Cali's Books...
I was born in Paris to French parents, both of whom grew up in Paris too. On my mom's side, my grandparents are from Martinique which is a beautiful island in the Caribbean! Growing up in France, I was lucky to have parents who are avid readers. Books stores and libraries are places I hold fond memories of!
Both my parents, as well as my brother, are medics. But I decided to go against the curve and study engineering. This path led me into the world of investment banking. Through this job I was able to travel and discover many interesting parts of the world! It was in my home town of Paris, though, that I met my husband, Michael. As a newly married couple, we decided to move to the US where Michael's family are from. That's how I ended up in LA!
Initially, I continued working in banking as well as at Disney. During this time, our family grew to include two lovely little babies. Not only did they bring me joy, they also brought me inspiration! I wanted to read the musical board books that I grew up with in France with them. So I decided to start designing and making my own sound books for Margaux and Julien! The kids loved them and so did their friends and their friend's parents. I took this as a sign and threw myself into the book business full time. I created my work space in my garage and began to sell them online and in book stores, packing them and shipping them to each new customer with love and care.
Check out my first headquarters! 😍 ➞
My First Books!
My first books focused on singing, these are some of my children's favourites! Sing with me was the original book cover and included our all time favourites like Patty Cake. These copies flew off the book shelves and with the help of Cali's Books incredible illustrator, Clara Spinassi, we adapted and improved on them to create Patty Cake Nursery Rhymes. Still, our most popular book yet, Patty Cake was the first of many more nursery rhyme sound books to come.
The family grew up so fast!
Lots more titles followed including bilingual nursery rhymes in: French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Hebrew, Greek and more! My kids and the people around me inspired me to create new books with different themes and ideas. When Margaux was a baby she joined me for Yoga classes, so we created Yoga with music. Julien loves anything that relates to balls, so we made Take me out to the ball game. The collection grew with the seasons, our interests and our clients wishes!
With family spread across the world, we spend every precious moment either with them in France, Greece, Martinique or, when in LA, when they come visit. The kids were growing up fast too and I started thinking about the next books they might start reading. That's when I came up with the idea of a recordable book! Keeping to the classic fairy tales I remember reading as a child, I added the modern twist of technology that allows my friends and family who are far away to record themselves reading. My kids loved it! They can listen and begin to follow the storyline with the beautiful hand drawn illustrations Clara did, as well as begin to recognise the highlighted words in the text.
What the future holds:
- We love to personalize our products for each client as much as we can! You can now write your loved ones name on our beautiful vegan leather recordable book covers! We can also write a personalized message on our Cali's Books cards so your gift arrives ready in it's gift box to your door.
This year I hope to keep improving on and giving you more personalization options!
- Keep your eyes and ears open for our new musical sound books coming out any time soon! These include new titles such as 'Shapes' which helps little one learn while they sing!
- In the printing blocks are also lots of new fairy tales and recordable stories to add to our collection of books that bring modern technology to all time classic stories! You didn't hear it from me, but one of those might include goldilocks..
The book collection has grown, continues to grow, and so does the Cali's Books Team! With friends and family in helm, the team now includes 10 Cali's Bookers 🧡. We are a group of mainly women, with 8 women and only 2 men running everything from the design to the shipping of Cali's Books to your door! I am so proud to be part of a team of strong and confident people that help me to keep making my dreams a reality.
That's the Cali's Books Story! I hope you enjoyed it and that you enjoy the books we put so much care and love into. We look forward to hearing from you on our social networks, by e-mail or in our reviews.
Georgi Todorov (Feb. 26 2021), 73 Remarkable Small Business Statistics to Know, https://www.semrush.com/blog/small-business-stats/