Females in Business: Kathryn Starke

I’m excited to provide some information that will hopefully empower and inspire fellow female business leaders!

I started my company (Creative Minds Publications, a global educational company) when I saw the need to provide engaging, educational, and developmentally appropriate literature for our elementary school students. I also saw a need to focus on student reading instruction first in my state, then throughout the nation.

I think everyone struggles when starting out no matter the industry. My company officially started with the publication of my first children’s book, Amy’s Travels, to fill the need I was looking for. While I knew in my mind this multicultural text would be necessary in schools, it was very difficult at first to convince educators of that notion. I wrote a lot of letters and emails to teachers, principals, and district administators. While people liked the book, I felt defeated with the amount of responses of schools that couldn’t purchase the book. It’s challenging to really convince someone of the benefits of your brand new product and service; I felt like I was talking to a new person every single day to make a sale. I spent a lot of my time researching the school and library book industry. I also spent a lot of time writing the people I needed to talk to. I had been a classroom teacher for 5 years at that point and knew what teachers wanted but learning the ropes of the purchasing aspect of school districts was foreign to me.

I was just 25 when I was started my company and at times felt that some central office based school administrators, book distributors, and stores didn’t take me seriously or value my work. Thank goodness I am a determined, very focused, and very goal oriented individual because the rejection I felt made me work harder and become more creative about getting my work in the hands of children, parents, and teachers (my target audience). I started speaking a school book fairs, presenting at reading conferences, and writing articles and blog posts for educational magazines and trade publications to show the passion I used to start my company.

Now, 8 years later, my company is thriving and continues to grow! My very first book is in its second edition, third printing, and used on over 20 countries on 6 continents. I now publish engaging and educational children’s books of fellow teachers as well as develop supplementary educational materials and educational programming. To focus more on the literacy piece of my business, we added consulting nationwide for parents, teachers, and administrators. I travel to elementary schools across the country to help create quality reading instruction for all children.

One lesson I would share with other women is to definitely not give up. As women, we are tuned into what is right, what is necessary, or what will make a positive difference. If you keep your positive mission or goal in your mind, it will motivate you to continue to do your great work. I’d also say to read about other business leaders (male and female) and determine what methods or techniques you can take away, but most importantly do what feels right for you!

Learn more about our company at http://www.creativemindspublications.com

Like us at http://www.facebook.com/creativemindspublications

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