By Erika Prafder
Four years ago, stay-at-home mom, Giselle Shardlow turned her preschooler’s naptime in to a budding self publishing business. The well-traveled school teacher-turned-yogipreneur pens yoga stories for kids, which she sells online.
With thousands already sold, her home-based operation is doubling in sales annually. Now at work on two titles for fall, the 40-something-year-old balances her mothering and business ownership duties by maintaining a weekly yoga practice and by meditating daily. We caught up with Shardlow to get the backstory behind her success.
How did you first connect with yoga?
GS: Growing up in Canada, my mom watched a female yoga instructor on television and I started practicing along with her, as a child. Today I practice vinyasa style.
You later became certified to teach yoga, too?
GS: Yes, I was an international elementary school teacher for a decade and have traveled globally. While in Sydney, Australia, my husband and I completed a yoga teacher training together and I was flooded with ideas on how to integrate it in to the classroom.
Where did inspiration for your book series come from?
GS: Ten years ago, I couldn’t find many books on yoga for kids. I started writing yoga stories and sharing them with people as a hobby. When my daughter was born four years ago, I decided to self-publish one or two books to share with her. To date, I’ve published eleven books, some of which are offered in multiple languages, including French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.
How do you derive inspiration for your yoga stories?
GS: The books are based upon my travel experiences and include yoga poses throughout. “Sophia’s Jungle Adventure,” for example, stems from an adventurous day spent walking to a Costa Rican waterfall. I include life lessons as well. There are environmental questions throughout the books, for instance. More than just stories, the books serve as discussion tools for parents and teachers to work with.
What is your goal for your storybooks?
GS: My mantra is to foster happy, healthy and globally educated children. I hope to engage kids with literature and instill reading fun through movement. I’m driven by this—it’s the best gift a human could ever have.