Books & Nooks believes in strong community ties and supporting local business and entrepreneurs. Local Spotlight! is a series we run on our MishMash blog. Please message me if you would like to be featured.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sara Ballantyne 😊, creator of Unstoppable Mama 💪. Sara is a wife, mama, author, lifestyle blogger and creator of beautiful custom prints. She is on a mission to share her experiences and creativity with all you mothers out there.
Q: What is one of the hardest things that comes with being an Unstoppable Mama?
Finding time to do it all! As a mom with two young kids I often am working either in the morning or evenings. Some days I feel as if I am working 24/7 🕑. I am so passionate about it all that I genuinely get excited with every order. I have a few side businesses I run while also working and being a mom! I think its important to know not everything needs to be done right away ad small steps to a big goal truly makes all the difference.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always loved to be creative and knew I wanted to do something to showcase that side. I always loved to draw but writing was a later passion of mine. After I had my first child reading became an integral part of our days. We read books in the morning and night 📖. Seeing the joy in my children’s eyes every time we picked up a book I felt a connection like never before. I knew I wanted to create my own story to read to my children, but also to have other families read to theirs. 👨👩👧👦
Q: Tell us about the book?
Unstoppable Mamas is a touching story that highlights the unique attributes and passions of mothers. It encompasses a positive message while reminding readers that no two mothers are like. Unstoppable Mamas is a book celebrating mothers as they all have one commonality, their unconditional love for their children. It is a heartfelt story with beautiful illustrations for all families to enjoy 💕.
Q: What inspired you to write Unstoppable Mamas?
This one is easy, my children are my biggest inspiration. I wanted to show them they truly can do anything they put their mind too. I want my children and all children to know they can make a positive impact his world and they can make a difference. No matter how big or small, every once of positivity in this world can make a difference. $1 of every books sold is donated to helping mothers and their children in our community. Giving back is truly a core value and important aspect with everything I do.
Q: How did you select your illustrator? Was it difficult to find an illustrator?
Interviewing illustrators was one of the most challenging parts. I love to draw and illustrate myself so I knew I wanted top talent to work with for my illustrations and to bring my ideas to life. There are so many talented illustrators out there, however a lot of them have their unique styles to their work. I not only wanted someone who was talented but I needed someone who had similar taste and style to myself. This made it extra challenging as I was introduced to many incredible illustrators along the way. It wasn’t until I was going through my self-publishing journey where I was introduced to an illustrator that just felt right. I must have gone through dozens of portfolios before I found Steph. I instantly felt a connection and was confident with their work. She took every detail of mine and made the illustrations come to life. There was a few rounds of revisions where we would go back and fourth on the details but it was a fun process and I am thankful for my self-publishing company to make the introduction.
Q: What did you learn from the experience of writing this book?
I learnt that you truly can make a difference. Seeing women and mothers come together to celebrate is truly inspiring. I could not have done this alone. The amount of support from local mothers to book shop owners is truly incredible and together we can all work together to build each other up and give back to our community.
Q: What advice would you give for anyone wanting to write their first book?
It is a marathon not a race. Self-publishing your own children’s book takes time and it is a process you do not want to rush. It took me 1.5 years to complete and while part of me was eager to share with the world what I have been working on, I didn’t want to skip over the small important details. Every day I had one goal for the book, maybe it was selecting colours for the illustrations, maybe it was editing the bio, maybe it was researching illustrators etc. Every day I took small steps and day by day things got done.