I'm so excited to introduce you to a few of our fabulous sponsors! As a small-business owner myself, I am passionate about encouraging people to invest their dollars in small, independent, family-owned businesses. And as we move into the holiday season I thought this was a great time to share with you a little more about the families who sponsor Clean. I hope that you find something in this series that will inspire you to support businesses that resonate with your ideals! I know I will.
Sage, Lupine and I have been loving Sparkle Stories since our first listen. My kids' hands-down favorite series is Martin and Sylvia, a brother and sister (who happen to be homeschoolers) who the kids think are really themselves by different names. Gentle, magical, humorous, beautiful stories. Sparkle Stories are the only audio stories we listen to. Read on for the interview!
What is your company and how long have you been in business?
Sparkle Stories is a new website that offers audio stories for children ages 4 to 10. We started in December of last year: we wanted to create a trusted site where parents could go to find high-quality audio for their families.
Currently we have 4 story series: stories about fairy magic in So Many Fairies, animal adventures in Junkyard Tales, as well as tales of the day-to-day explorations of Martin & Sylvia (a subscriber favorite!). And then there’s Saturday Sparkle — which contains part original work, and part classic tales songs and verses from all over the world. In 2012 we'll expand our offerings to 2 more Story Series! You can read about all of our current story series, and listen to sample stories, here: http://www.sparklestories.com/stories/
Families can "Subscribe" to the Sparkle Story Series and then access new stories each week. Each of the Story Series has a year's worth of audio, and listeners can jump in at any point and enjoy. If you subscribe for a full year, you'll hear every story in the Series!
And for those that aren't ready to subscrive, they can purchase Sample Story packs for each of the series to get more of a tast of the quality of the stories.
What inspired you to go into this line of work?
David has an amazing ability to spin stories from the air. You can toss him a few ideas — say "a lost princess, a golden butterfly, and a thieving mouse" — and he can tell a tale that enraptures kids and adults. He's a Waldorf class teacher too — so he has lots of experience in using storytelling to instruct, inspire and heal. I love to bring words to life — I have an MFA in playwriting and a knack for editing larger works into tight little narratives. When I saw the possibility of creating a business based out of our two gifts — that met a need in the world — I just knew we had to do it!
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Historically David has been inspired by things that come up in our own life, for example: one of our boys doesn't want to go to school, or there's teasing in their classroom, or there's a loss in the community. He tells a story about it — either to our boys, or to a local class. And those stories are developed into stories for the Series.
He's been telling Martin and Sylvia stories for years. The intention has always been to help our boys meet the challenges and events of our life. When we knew we were going to move house, Martin and Sylvia moved. When our dog was going to die, Martin and Sylvia’s dog died. It helped them with the big transitions, as well as normal everyday things like bossy older brothers and picky eaters.
Now we are getting regular requests from subscribers! They ask us to tell stories to meet the needs of their children, or to address specific situations. My favorite story request of late was this: the Mom is going out of town for the first time — for a week! — and she's worried about how the Dad will manage! This request inspired an absolutely delightful Martin & Sylvia for August: "Daddycation". As you might imagine, it's immensely fun and satisfying to create stories this way!
And often the children give direct inspiration. At bedtime, David will say "Name 2 things," and they'll know exactly what he's up to. They'll say "a golden mountain" and "a band of robbers", and there's the beginning of a story. Many of the stories in our series started that way.
How do you believe you and your business are bringing good into the world?
Stories can help children meet challenge in a deep, fundamental way. They can work like magic. We've seen it over and over — in our own family, and in the Waldorf communities that we've been a part of. And stories are healing not only for children but also for adults and families! And so many of our stories have a spark of healing or discovery within them, so that they entertain AND inspire.
Another important piece: children younger than age 7 imitate what they see and hear around them. This understanding is fundamental to the way Waldorf early education is structured. We too have crafted our stories to model ways and values that see as ideal, so that our young children are left with impressions that are nourishing, strengthening, and joyful.
Lastly and simply, Sparkle offers a rich alternative to screen media. We parents often need something to occupy our children — so we can do the dishes, or get the baby down for a nap, or finish a business call. And — I hear it all the time — parents struggle with feeling good about using television or computers! Sparkle can be a trusted source for enriching entertainment, that, as audio, leaves children's imaginations free to grow and develop.
Sparkle Stories is offering a fabulous coupon code for each of you. I encourage you all to do it. You'll be hooked. Clean readers pay just $1-for-the-first-month of the Sparkle Subscription (for the full-story subscription). At checkout, use this magic code: 8D77. And then access 5+ hours of audio stories over the next month! The code will be good for one month, until December 5, 2011.
Sparkle Stories is offering a generous three-month story giveaway for one lucky reader ($50 value). Leave a comment below to enter. For extra entries, tweet or share this giveaway on Facebook, email a link to the giveaway to a friend, or become a fan of Clean and Sparkle Stories on Facebook. I will close comments next week. Good luck!
Comments are now closed. The winner is Stephy who said:
Oooooo, we would enjoy these so very much! Thanks for the special too!