Personalized gifts are precious and very hot during the holiday season, especially keepsake gifts for children and families. There’s a new one, born of an entrepreneurial idea from two moms in Illinois. They produce a book called The First Adventures of Incredible You.
There are dozens of cookie-cutter-type books in the market place. You order the book, give the child-recipient’s name and receive an out-of-register, poorly colored volume with four or five repetitions of the child’s name. Likely, if you ever try to recontact the publisher, you’ll find them out of business. This product, All About…, and the company, may surprise you. The paper quality is good – thick and glossy. The colors are true, bright and satisfying; eye-catching enough to please even small children.
The text, peppered with fun and solid story line, is created and composed by Sarah Riley Headrick, former nutritionist and personal trainer and Sarah Foreman Rivera, former attorney, both from the Western suburbs of Chicago.
How It Came About
Several years ago, they met at a weekly playgroup for their children who were quite young. Taking advantage of that opportunity to bond with and interact with other mothers, they found themselves, at a point, comparing notes on “best” Christmas, birthday and other gifts. All agreed that personalized gifts had special meaning and long-lasting import to everyone. The wheels began tot urn and the Sarahs had a brilliant idea – design a story that could be highly personalized and could also be customized to fit non-traditional families. So they did.
The book’s tale revolves around significant activities common to nearly every child’s life – going to the park, playing with grandma or grandpa, tasting favorite foods and playing with special toys. Each book is customised to represent the specifics for the child-recipient. And the Sarah’s do a credible job, relying on their “mom” experience and business acumen to provide an impressive product. Their biggest challenge, they say, is finding ways to divide their time equitably between family and publishing.
Folk-artist Jill Dryer Bartolucci, inspired by “music and all things groovy,” provides the whimsical and charming images. She has a vast portfolio of books, murals, canvas art, painted furniture and commissioned projects. Her award-winning website, The Mustard People, has been called a top 500 up-and-comer.
One of the most interesting things about this book is that it can encompass blended families with step-relationships, families with two moms or two dads and families headed by grandparents. In a world where there are as many kinds of family groups as there are types of people, it’s appropriate and about time to see a product that doesn’t discriminate or make the naïve assumption that all families are alike.
If You Decide to Buy
There are other books available. (This writer contacted about a dozen and received no reply from most.) Expect to pay between $15 and $50, plus shipping. Here are a few to take a look at: