I started ‘stallholding’ with Barefoot Books in September 2005, around the time I started running Tatty Bumpkin sessions. I came to it to try to escape Thomas the Tank Engine which I have succeeded in doing! At first I was dabbling, then gave it all I had over Christmas and since then have worked at it steadily, giving myself time off when other pressures got too much!
Barefoot Books is all about beautiful timeless stories which help parents and children to enjoy ‘proper’ stories with important values, a chance to use their imaginations but that are also bright and fun! They are full of stories from other cultures and are such a brilliant alternative to some of the other rubbish you find for kids in the ‘information age’! The company is very grassroots-y and has pulled out of some of the US chains and gone for a more community-based approach because retail at that level is so soul-destroying.
I now have a team of over 40 people who sell the books, run storytelling sessions and all sorts of other ventures around the country. I love it and feel so proud when I’m by my stand at a fair in a multi-cultural area and have brilliant books with stories from many countries for people to look at and buy. Their philosophy of ‘not dumbing down’ to children by using bright and thoughtful artwork and strong age-old (and modern!) stories really appeals to me and my customers here in Bristol!
There’s more on this at www.mybarefootbooks.com/PaulaBrown