During this time (and always!) it is so important to support local and small businesses in our communities, and it’s great for the economy too!
We are constantly inspired by the ambition and resilience of small business founders and feel that the risks that they take lead to innovation and help in moving the world forward.
Inspired by these entrepreneurs and their stories, we spoke to Isabel Domenech – owner of I’m A Hero Books about being an entrepreneur, running a a business while also running a family, and how she has adapted to the changes that Covid-19 had brought to her business.
What is your business about and why did you start it?
I’m a hero books is a business which is passionate about reading. We have created personalized children’s books which aim to get children interested in reading. At the same time they are being taught about key values such as tolerance, teamwork and compromise. The books are available in different languages and the packaging is made from 100% recyclable material.
Nowadays lots of children prefer spending time on their devices and we want children to reengage with reading. We want them to enjoy having a physical book in their hand again and by having themselves appear in the book, these stories capture their interest.
The idea for our business started when we moved to Dubai and my brother handmade a memory book for my daughter. She absolutely loved it! She wouldn’t put it down because she had photos of herself and her family in the book, as well as a story and key things for her to learn, such as numbers, colors, countries etc. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to create a personalized book where children could see themselves on every page and be the main character of a story. And so I’m a hero books was born!
Every book has a personalized dedication, so it is the perfect gift and the perfect momento for children. The values which appear in the books are inspired by our mother, who was a teacher. As well as her academic teaching, she strived to teach her students about how to be a good person and to respect others, so the values she taught us as her own children and those same values she taught her pupils are also integral to our books and to our ethos as a company.
What do you love about your business?
What I love the most is seeing the faces of children as they open their books and see themselves on the front cover! They’re amazed and can’t believe they are a character in a book. It’s also lovely to receive such positive feedback from parents. I love that we have created a gift which children can enjoy and how the initial idea of creating a book has developed into a business and a brand. After we designed and published the first book, it was amazing to see it in real life. All of the hard work and hours spent were totally worth it. We have a developed a unique book which we are very proud of. And after the success of the first book, we have gone on to create more.
How do you manage your time between running a business and a family?
It is very difficult to balance family life and to run a business. Our families are very understanding and supportive but of course, at times it can be stressful to manage everything. It is very tiring as I have to work when my children go to bed, so it means a lot of late nights. There is so much hard work and effort which go in to creating each book. My brother and I spend hours discussing ideas, choosing themes, planning and writing the story. We do draft after draft and it is very time consuming, but we are very passionate about our product and it is great when we start to see our creations come to life.
How has COVID-19 affected your business and how have you adapted?
The current situation dramatically affected our business. We were just in the process of launching our new I’m a hero at School Book; a story which includes all class mates in one book! We had teamed up with a few schools and nurseries and were planning on promoting our book to parents and hosting events to showcase our new product. Of course, all of these events got cancelled. So, we decided to still go ahead with the launch, but we just had to adapt our strategy. We have now redeveloped the website so that everyone can place their orders easily online. On reflection, this has been a positive step for us as it has made the ordering process more efficient and parents can now choose which photo they want of their child to appear in the book.
Due to the current situation we are offering home delivery. Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the lovely comments from parents who have purchased the book. Now more than ever, is a perfect moment for children to remember their teacher and their class mates as they won’t have the opportunity to have any leaving parties or to say goodbye to their friends. The School Book allows children to have a keepsake of their class, which they can treasure forever.
Any piece of advice to other small business owners or anyone wanting to start their own business?
My advice to other small businesses is that they need to re-adapt to the current situation. Take advantage of the increased usage of online technology, promote your business on social media, spend time on advertising and growing your company. Also use this time to learn and research. I have recently completed an online course on digital marketing and I learnt so much. It has also motivated me and given me lots of new ideas on how to promote and grow the business.
For people wanting to start their own business, they need to be prepared to work hard, but most importantly they need to be passionate about their product and be committed. It can be tough at times and there are many ups and downs, but it’s important to remain positive and keep going. If you’re confident in your product and you have the determination, it will be successful!
Find out more about I’m A Hero Books here!
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