One can never have too many books. As a homeschooling family, we’re always on the lookout for a good book. Thanks to author, musician, and designer Jolie Della Valle, we have found a great book and brand in Ants In The Pants! Not only did Jolie write the book featuring her own creation, Georgie The Ant & friends, she also makes appearances where she hosts Storytime Dance Parties at schools and events. In addition, you will find Ants In The Pants apparel in the shop from bloomers to leggings and tees, all made in the USA by Jolie, herself. Crawl over to the website & print some free coloring pages with Georgie & his friends!
Most importantly, Jolie gives back in a big way! In addition to volunteering a live performance and donating a copy of her book to every child at the hospital, twenty percent of every book sale through July is donated to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital! This way, parents have the opportunity to purchase a special book for their child that also gives back. Her mission is to encourage the “ants” in the pants of children everywhere, and to also give back to this amazing foundation.We are in awe of Jolie’s inspirational journey and think you will be, too! The book is fun and colorful which draws the attention of all ages. All three of our children – ages 6, 5, & 3 – enjoy reading the story and acting out the pages. We love that the book is so interactive & encourages children to participate in it’s imaginative dance while speaking directly to the child with questions. There is a fun surprise at the end of the book, too! We can only imagine how much fun it would be to have Jolie singing and reading her book in person. Jolie is a tiny ball of happy energy which must be so entertaining for little ones!
As part of our new Q&A Sessions with handmade entrepreneurs, we’ve asked Jolie to answer some questions we find to be important in our lives. Here are her answers:
•What motivated you to become a handmade shop owner and when did you open/launch?
When I got the idea for making Ants in the Pants, it sparked me with so much excitement, that I had to follow through with it! For a few years I was selling my creations at craft shows only, but then I finally I launched my website in November of 2013.
•Where do you source your materials?
I order all of my fabric and trims online through various websites. I love Timeless Treasures Fabric and Spoonflower. In regards to my recently published children’s book, I used a printing company in the United States.
•What’s your favorite part about being a handmade shop owner?
My favorite part is receiving a picture of a child in a outfit that I made or reading my book! It fills me up with so much happiness to know that I created something with loving energy that is now being transferred into that child’s life!
•Who inspires you?
I am inspired by almost everyone and everything. I am always observing! However, my niece Sloane is my ultimate inspiration! She is the reason Ants in the Pants went from a hobby into a viable business. I choose to let go of my fears and follow my dreams because I want to encourage her to do that. I’m just trying to lead by example and be an amazing role model to her!
•What do you see your business becoming in the next 5/10 years?
Ants in the Pants began as baby and toddler clothing, and then last year I published my first children’s book, Georgie and the Ants in the Pants. At this time I also started writing kids music and playing the ukulele! The past few months I’ve been touring schools, stores, and libraries with my book and entertaining children, and this turned into my #1 passion and priority. I would have never imagined I would be doing this! My business has evolved so much and I know it will continue to evolve more over the next 5/10 years. I try to focus on each day as it comes- to do my best, to stay inspired and productive, to have faith, and to let life unfold!
•Favorite fellow handmade shops?
I love Little Macks @Little.Macks (media inspired shirts). So cute and funny!
•What is your favorite creation?
My favorite creation is Georgie and the Ants in the Pants! It was the most challenging one by far, but the tougher the challenge, the greater the reward!
•What’s your most important piece of wisdom you think has made you &/or your business who/what you are today?
When there is something major you want to accomplish, understand that it will not happen over night. Be patient, and just do your best to continue to move forward everyday. It is a marathon, not a race, and NEVER compare your business or progress to anyone else’s. Have a reason – something that’s bigger then you, and bigger then the products that you create, that pushes you to keep on each day! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
•What do you wish customers purchased more of?
I will usually get orders of the book alone, or the apparel alone, and I just think it’s so cute for a child to receive both the book and a t-shirt (because the characters in the book are wearing the “I have Ants in my Pants” shirts!).
•Business-wise, why do you do what you do day in & day out?
Every day is so different! Depending upon if I have a school visit or not, or what I feel inspired to do that day! Typically I am writing, brainstorming, sewing, playing the ukulele, making calls, shipping orders, working on marketing initiatives. I also run a completely different business as a personal trainer, fitness instructor. So in between all my Ants in the Pantsing’ I am training clients, or teaching classes. I find that the busier I am, the more I get done! I wake up super early, and it allows to me to get a head start on the day. I prioritize and always get the urgent things done first, knowing that tomorrow will be a bright new beautiful day to continue on this journey!
Wonderful words and advice from Jolie Della Valle! Thank you, Jolie, for sharing your imagination and a little of your world with us! We are ever-inspired by your creativity and lust for life!
NOW THROUGH 7/17/15 on @WeAreHandmade, purchase Georgie and the Ants In The Pants at a discounted price of $15 (includes shipping) & receive a FREE Logo Tee (a $23 value)!!
***And don’t forget that Jolie is donating 20% of all purchases to
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