Today I bring you a wonderful interview and giveaway from Lisabeth and David of Sparkle Stories!
Our 7 year old son Kye really enjoys listening to these beautiful audio stories. He loves to draw and often asks me to put a story on for him to listen to while he is drawing. I love that Sparkle Stories is available online and that they have many free stories on their website to for you to listen to. I’m sure many of you have already heard about this wonderful business and if you haven’t, you will be so glad to have discovered them now:)
I give you Lisabeth and David,
Lisabeth and David
Sparkle Stories produces original audio stories for families around the world. We have eight original Story Series, and a ninth that features classic tales and verses — all of which follow the seasons of the year. Families can subscribe and hear fresh stories each week, or they can try our single-purchase stories — with easy downloads right off the Sparkle site.
Tell us about the beginnings of your business and how it has developed and grown.
The idea for Sparkle seemed to drop right from the sky, in a lovely flash of realization. This was almost 3 years ago. I had been saying quiet prayers for insight into our family’s direction — for a good long time — and then one night, there it was: the idea for Sparkle!
Here’s what happened: I was online, hunting for quality audio stories for kids, and I couldn’t find much of what I was looking for. I wanted stories that reflected the kind of home I was striving to create for my family; stories that inspire and bring joy and, at the same time, offer a picture of childhood that is simple and play-filled and kind.
And I was finding places online where other families were expressing the same thing: a need for high quality audio stories for their own families.
And then I realized: I’m married to the very man who could create those stories! David has an incredible ability to spin beautiful stories at the drop of the hat. He developed his talents over the years of classroom teaching and parenting — using stories to teach as well as to manage classroom dynamics and challenges. I thought: What if I could tap his talent as a resource!
And then I got goosebumps, and promptly ran to tell him my idea. And so Sparkle was born.
It took us six months of planning, and a several years of good hard work to get it to where it is now. But as of the last year (almost!), we’ve both been working full time for Sparkle. Which, for us, is a huge success story!
Who or what is your inspiration?
David gets ideas from all sorts of places — from the experiences our family has in the world, from emails we receive from subscribers, from conversations he has or people he meets. Often the most powerful stories come from what’s going on in our own family.
A good example: one of our most recent stories, “Jack Tar’s Brave Day“, was inspired by one of our boys, who is learning to read. He is learning more slowly than his peers, which is — in the larger scheme of things — perfectly normal and fine. However, for him, it is embarrassing, and even shameful. It was something he wanted to hide. David created the story to reassure and inspire him. And it worked beautifully. And now it lives in the by Thistle by Thimble Sample Audio Book, for other families to enjoy.
What is your creative process?
David starts with the seed of an idea — whether that’s a question from a subscriber, or a conflict our kids are having, or even just a simple image. Then at bedtime, he spins a story for our two boys — allowing the story to unfold as he tells it. (He calls this “Intuitive Storytelling”.) After that, he writes it down and hands it to me.
My part in the creative process is to act as editor — as my gift is being able to craft a tight, satisfying “narrative”. I make sure that the story feels complete, and clear, and inspiring for the young listener.
And then the story hits our home-based recording studio — where David records and edits the audio version. It goes through a final “listening” by Anne, who partners with us to make sure it’s just right. And then we post it to be ready for a future Friday! (All the new stories come out on Fridays.)
What do you enjoy most about your business?
It’s beautiful to have a business that engages our talents. I’ve so enjoyed watching David be able to tap all of his incredible creativity, and then have that work support our family fully.
Are there any new exciting products you would like to tell us about?
We just launched our third “Martin & Sylvia” series – “Martin & Sylvia: More Adventures!“ We had been receiving constant email requests from families: “more more more please!“ Martin & Sylvia stories are the hands-down favorites among listeners — so it’s been fun to create a third series.
Also worth mentioning: our stories follow the Seasons — which is part of their delight. But our initial system was totally based in the Northern Hemisphere. So Australian and New Zealand subscribers would write in and say “This is nice and all, but it’s odd to listen to winter stories in summer!“ This fall we launched two separate Subscription Systems: one for families in the Southern Hemisphere, and one for families in the Northern!
So now subscribers in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa are listening to stories in the Southern Hemisphere order! Which is super exciting.
Sparkle Stories Social Media Links:
Sparkle Stories Giveaway:
We’re giving away a three-month subscription to any three Subscription Series! The winner can choose from our eight Subscription Series, and enjoy a season full of stories. (Best way to learn about the Series is to listen to the Samples on the Subscriptions page.)
For everyone, we have an easy “trial” package! It’s the Sparkle Stories $1-for-the-first-month of subscription discount. Pick from one of three Subscription Packages, and enjoy stories for a whole month! (You’ll end up with 4+ hours of stories!) If you love it, the subscription will be ongoing — you don’t have to do anything. If you want to change it, you can simply log in and try a different series, or cancel all-together. Click here to read all about it.
**How to Enter the Giveaway:** Please leave a comment. To earn extra entries, please share about this giveaway on your Facebook page, Twitter, pin on Pinterest or share on Instagram. Remember to leave a comment each time you share for extra entries. The winner will be announced on the 7th of April here in this post.
and Im pinning it!
woo hoo for me!
Thank you so much Lisabeth and David for sharing your story here with us and for this wonderful giveaway!