Last Friday I met with a lovely young woman by the name of Katja.
Even her name is lovely.
Katja had contacted me before Christmas wondering if I would be interested in having her carry Leaf in her on-line store.
For a self-published author, a question like that is a no-brainer.
Promote my book for me? Where do I sign?
December being the busy time it is, however, we had to put off meeting until the new year and when we finally connected she warned me that she might have to bring along her three year old daughter.
I was surprised at my own disappointment when I arrived at the cafe and found Katja sitting alone at the table. (Note to self: Maxine, you need to figure out how you can spend some time with wee ones again.)
Children bring many gifts, some of them a complete surprise. Katja’s daughters (she also has a five year old) gifted her with the rediscovery of her favorite childhood books, reminding her how much she loved children’s literature. She started selling Usborne books as way to feed that passion (as well as filling her need for creative stimulation). Over time, she found that more and more people were making requests for books that she couldn’t sell alongside the Usborne books so she decided to start her own business so she could fill that need.
And tinytales was born.
Katja specializes in children’s books (another no-brainer) by local authors – lucky me! – as well as books in foreign languages. Tiny Tales’ tagline is “for the love of books in any language.” Born in Germany and raised in Canada by parents determined that she learn her mother tongue, Katja had deep connections with the German community in Calgary while she was growing up. She even went to German school on Saturdays! These days she is busy reconnecting with those German roots as well as forging connections with other ethnic communities in the city. So far, she has books in German, French, Spanish, East and South Asian and Arabic.
Amazed by all she has accomplished while parenting two small children, I asked her when she worked on her business.
“Late into the night,” was her reply. “And Saturdays.”
Which raised my appreciation another five notches. I didn’t even consider starting Turtle Dreams until my boys were 14 and 12. There was no way I’d have the mental or physical energy to do both and here was this young woman starting a business and raising two small children. And she was still looking amazingly bright-eyed and enthusiastic.
I know, I know. People do it all the time, but it still amazes me.
Maybe the key-word here is young.
In any case, Leaf has another ‘surrogate mother’ finding him new homes and I’m nothing but happy about that!
Check out tinytales here to see all the wonderful books Katja has sourced and don’t let the word ‘tiny’ throw you. She has books for toddlers to teens, picture books to YA novels and everything in between.