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Ideas can come from anywhere — and often when we least expect them. This is exactly what happened with Lauren Fairchild and the spark of an idea that grew to become what is now a big-time e-Commerce brand.

Reading is the means to provide a source of never ending learning to the one doing the reading. Studies have shown that parents who read to their babies and young children have a stronger bond than those to whom books seem like a waste of time.

By reading to their children parents instill in them the habit of listening as they need to pay attention if they want to understand what is happening in the story. This is a necessary skill for children to develop because it paves the way to them being able to read to themselves when they get a bit older. Reading also helps children to expand their vocabulary and stimulates their imagination early on in life.

Knowing how important reading was to a child’s development, Lauren wanted to make sure that she created a positive reading experience for her kindergarten daughter. So she started a book club that included her daughter’s kindergarten class as well as the daughter of her long time friend, Cecilia Gottman — another of the founders of Lit League.

How Lit League Came Into Being

As the club got underway, Lauren became aware that it was necessary to keep the children occupied with activities whilst they discussed the book. She would put together a craft activity relating to the main character’s experience in the book, or a scavenger hunt relating to the content in the book. Lauren found that this helped the children to stay attentive as well as helping them to grasp what the book was all about.

As it progressed, Lauren and Cecilia found that not only were the children enjoying every moment of the club meetings, but the parents were also voicing approval and thankfulness, as well as expressing doubt that they could ever organize something like that book club. This is what sparked the initial idea for Lit League.

After talking about it to Cecilia, Lauren then discussed her idea with the third member of this dynamic “mompreneur” group, Christina Corriveau. Lauren and Christina used to teach high school English together and so collaborating with each other came easily to them both.

Knowing that it was quite possible for anyone to fall in love with reading (even those who professed a dislike for the activity), they put their heads together and came up with the idea of making activity boxes built around books.

The aim was to make the boxes both educational and fun, not to mention that they also needed to be easy to use so that any parent, care giver or grandparent would be able to use them as tools, or for young readers to read and do the activities on their own. For those who wished to start their own book club, the boxes were ideal.

Inside the Box

Each box has been carefully thought out in order to bring the most to every reading experience. Within every Lit League box there is a book, a vocabulary bookmark and also discussion questions and answer, as well as an activity relating to the book which helps the children to connect to the book discussion whilst keeping their hands busy.

Each and every book that is chosen to appear in the box has been selected after much careful thought. Not only are the books carefully selected, even the activities that are included in the boxes are there to enrich and aid in every child’s development. Lauren Fairchild, being the artistic of the three mompreneurs, is the one in charge of putting the boxes together.

Each book is turned into an adventure and awakens the desire to read within those who receive a Lit League box. From learning to crochet and make dresses to music lessons and cooking pasta, each activity is something that is guaranteed to ignite a spark of enthusiasm and adventure within children.

In addition to the regular subscription boxes, Lit League also offers specialty boxes which are based on specific interests or themes such as pioneer life, being sick, birthdays, and the relationship with family members, space, horses etc. The website has an interest inventory sheet where a parent or reader can submit their interest on who or what they would like to read about. Boxes are then created around these interests.

The Process From Design to Launch (and Beyond)

The initial design and development of the first boxes took around a year to complete, during which time they also created their very first website to market their product. Using a combination of their own created tools as well as outsourcing to local artisans, craftsmen and wholesalers, the moms put together the first three picture book boxes as well as three early chapter book boxes.

With at least half of their customer base being homeschool families, the trio wanted to make sure that they had enough learning enrichment within the boxes to be an adequate support. They also wanted families to be wowed when opening each box, which would lend to the excitement of the readers.

After building up a substantial supply of completed boxes for each category, they did an audit on their product to refine and make adjustments where necessary, clarifying goals and the criteria for each. During this initial first setup of their business they learned some valuable lessons regarding startup costs and the legalities of running a business.

Christina’s advice to anyone starting a new business — don’t cut corners on the legal journey or setting up smooth business operations, it will come back to bite you if you do.

Throughout the initial process of setting up their business, all three friends remained open to suggestions, criticism and feedback from their friends and family. Then came a six month soft launch period, during which time they noticed a need for a chapter book series that catered for families with children of varying ages.

During the first two years of business since their official launch, Lit League has broken even and all costs were covered by income generated from sales. Added to this the company is now able to reinvest profits in order to grow the business. With a growing customer base and a band of excited readers awaiting their reading boxes, Lit League now also has an online book club in the making.

The future is certainly looking bright for this trio of mompreneurs who took an idea and turned it into a reading adventure for the whole family. After three and a half years, the three friends look forward to expanding the business online and reaching an even wider audience.

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