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Meet Giselle Shardlow of Kids Yoga Stories

Today we’d like to introduce you to Giselle Shardlow.

Giselle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Kids Yoga Stories in 2012, but it really started back in 2005, when I had the idea of writing yoga books for kids while taking yoga teacher training. I had been an elementary teacher, and I was filled with ideas about how to integrate yoga into the classroom curriculum. In fact, I wrote a number of the yoga stories back then, but I hadn’t figured out what to do with them.

Then in 2012, when my daughter, Anamika, was nine months old, I decided that I wanted to accomplish something for myself and publish these yoga books for her. After publishing my first two yoga books, I showed friends and family my vision of integrating literacy and movement through the picture books. The positive feedback was amazing – so we created a website and started on social media. It’s been an amazing ride since then! The business has grown beyond my wildest dreams!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s mostly been a smooth road, though a very slow and steady process. My time working on the business has been very limited due to my responsibilities as a work-from-home mom. The struggle between what I want to accomplish and what I actually can accomplish in the limited time has been very challenging. I end up waking up super early to get some time on the computer before my daughter wakes up!

Another consistent challenge has been to find good children’s book illustrators. There are plenty of resources for discovering freelancers, but it’s often hard to gauge how their work will fit with our Kids Yoga Stories projects, both in terms of style and overall commitment to turning out a quality product. So that has been a constant struggle.

Figuring out the technology I need to run my business has also been a challenge. I don’t have a background in tech, e-commerce, or web development, but when you’re running your own small business, you have figure out what you need — from maintaining a website to building a membership platform to uploading digital products. Figuring out site speed and site security was another tricky rabbit hole. I have hopes of hiring a part-time tech person next year!

Kids Yoga Stories – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Besides owning the company, I also write all the Kids Yoga Stories. My yoga books and yoga cards for kids get children learning, moving, and having fun. I draw from my experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write, and you can find the stories at www.kidsyogastories.com/store or on Amazon (amazon.com/author/giselleshardlow) worldwide. The purpose of my yoga books and resources is to foster happy, healthy, and globally educated children.

Our yoga products stand out because of their educational content. We aim to produce yoga resources that integrate well into the early childhood and early primary curriculum. I also love taking readers on a journey to various places around the globe through the yoga stories.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My purpose drives me. Through Kids Yoga Stories, I get to integrate my passion for yoga, travel, people, and books. I’m driven by the difference that I see in my daughter every day as we integrate the principles of yoga into our family life. And the feedback from other families gives me the courage to keep going.

I believe the skill most important to a successful business owner is learning how to cultivate confidence. Self-confidence could lead to positive self-esteem, fruitful relationships and collaborations, authentic communication, and an ability to truly make a difference in the world. Instead of hiding out and playing small (which I’m great at!), working on building my confidence helps me get clear on my message and enables me to ask for help. It makes me feel more grounded in myself, then I’m more able to get out of my own way and spread the message about my business.

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Image Credit:
Kids Yoga Stories

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