This week, Abi interviewed Simone Greenwood from Burst, an independent children’s publishing company. This is their start-up story:
What did you want to do when you grew up?
There was a lot I wanted to do when I grew up, there was never one thing! I wanted to be a fashion designer, a florist, I wanted to have my own shop, I wanted to be an author and a writer.
Does your business reflect you as a person?
Yes! I think you’ve got to do something your passionate about and something that your interested in. It does reflect me and my interests but you’ve got to make sure that you don’t make it too much about you. Rather something bigger than you.
What inspired you to start Burst?
I’d been a primary school teacher for years and I felt that although I loved being in the school community and working with children I never really felt like it was what I was meant to be doing and I had a thing where I felt I need to start doing what I wanted to do in life so a friend told me about ICE and I came in to see Gareth about self publishing and it’s just evolved in to something bigger than just me.
Where do you see Burst in 5-10 years time?
I want it to be a successful viable children’s publishing company and that we will have this great catalogue of books, e-books and some apps I would like to produce for children. Another thing I’d like to develop is a community project where we have some space that is a creative hub where children can come in and work with illustrators and writers to create publish
What have you found most rewarding about Burst?
Just seeing it evolve in different ways. Its becoming something bigger than I had first planned and coming to places like ICE and sharing ideas. Working on projects and ideas that I couldn’t have imagined would come in to creation. When we did our first book launch we did it in a primary school and just seeing the children really excited to see the author and reading the book and all the positive comments is what is all about really.
What have you found most challenging about Burst?
It was a complete carer change, so the whole learning curve that I’ve been on. Finding out about the publishing industry, finding out about running a business and just going on this massive learning curve which has been interesting and exciting but daunting at times, feeling like I’m out of my depth. But that’s why being somewhere like ICE is great because you’re a community and you can ask questions and talk to people your not sure on.
Why do you what you do?
I’m this great believer that everyone is creative in one way or another and not just the things we think of, as creative but a plumber or engineer is creative. We all have the potential. I wanted to get in touch with what my creative potential was and what I felt like I wanted to be doing. I feel like I am doing what I’m meant to be doing, I get a buzz off that.
Do you have tips for starting a business?
Yes, come along to a community like ICE because when you’re isolated, you miss all those links. Being part of a community is great for networking, it is about meeting people and asking for advice. Just keep going and don’t be to hard on your self. Be your own cheerleader and be positive and keep motivated.
How did you find your niche?
I love children books, so for me it was a no brainer but I guess my background in teaching gave me a new idea for publishing where children are co-creators with adults and creative in their own rights. Its not just me producing content for children to consume but its children actually being creators themselves.
If you could, would you do anything differently?
I guess if I could rewind the clock I would have started this process a lot sooner!