The social and environmental issues we are facing these days can feel incredibly overwhelming, big and unchangeable, despite our continued work to affect positive change in our own lives. This feature highlights individuals and organizations who are working for positive change...taking small (and large) steps to create positive change for our environment and in our communities. I firmly believe that passion and action are priceless and that one person can inspire countless others...just like the expanding ripples in a pond are caused by a single disturbance.
I am very excited to introduce Astra of
The Itty Bitty Book Company!
The Itty Bitty Book Company!
Tell us a little about yourself...
I'm 25, my name is Astra :) I grew up with a sort of modern nomadic lifestyle, my family moved countries every few years, not for work, just in search of a new adventure. We didn't have conventional luxuries like fancy toys or pocket money but I thrived on planning the next big trip and imagining what opportunities the future held.
I've lived in South Africa, Australia, England, America, The Caribbean and Scotland, which is where I was born. I have incredible memories from each of these places but none stole my heart quite like Ireland. When my lovely Irish man Al brought me here something settled in my soul and I knew I'd found home. I couldn't and still can't imagine being anywhere else. 6 years on Al and I are happily married, we live with our crazy cat Cara and we are delighted to be expecting our first baby any day now! We work full time, well I'm on maternity now for a year (yay!), we keep hens and grow lots of vegetables. I also run The Itty Bitty Book Company Etsy shop and my journey to a dream blog.
The Itty Bitty Book Company is all about spreading positivity and happiness. Positive quotes have a way of connecting with people, empowering them and can instantly lift your mood. The little quote books can be kept in your handbag, on your desk at work or on your bedside table - just about anywhere you think you'd like some extra positivity in your life. I just want to make as many people as I can smile :)
The Itty Bitty Book Company really is a brand new business, I only started up this January after making some little quote books for family and friends at Christmas. I've always loved quotes and wanted to give something handmade, itty bitty size (because my family live all over the world and itty bitty is always cute!) also importantly, something that expressed a part of me. That's how the positivity book was born :)
What do you love about what you do?
The response I got from friends and family was amazing and I had really loved the process of choosing the quotes that resonated with me, putting them together and decorating them. It felt like I was sharing a piece of my personality, the happy positive part that so many people say is what they love most about me. I feel very lucky to have found a business idea that so suits me and is so expressive and positive - I just love everything about it!
Well this year is a big year for our family - our first baby is due any day now (so unbelievably exciting!!!). I would love for this business to be able to help us save up for our dream small-holding and enable me to spend more time with our son and less time working for someone else.
I would love for my books to be all over the world, in every continent would be awesome! I will always make each book myself and have them printed locally, I believe in supporting our local economy here in Ireland and would never outsource to a big printers overseas. I would like to develop a few variations on the Positivity Book. One idea I have is for an Itty Bitty Book of Strength, with supportive and encouraging quotes for people going through hard times. All profits from this book will go to a childrens hospital charity close to my family's heart. I'd also like to make an Itty Bitty Motivation Book filled with energetic and 'get up and go' type quotes, perfect for people getting fit or loosing weight. I have a few other ideas up my sleeve but you'll have to wait and see!
What have you learned through your life experiences and how have you applied them to your new business?
The most powerful thing I think I've learned in my life is that you really do create your own reality through your thoughts. People who focus on the negative, who belittle themselves and expect bad things to happen really do end up with lives full of hardship. Whereas people who choose to look on the bright side, focus on finding the good in each situation (and it's not always easy) and think positively about themselves are happier, more content and often more successful people.
The Itty Bitty Book Company is all about helping people to stay on the side of positivity, to see the good and let go of the negatives in life.
I believe in the butterfly effect, that one smile can send a chain reaction round the world and end up having a huge and profoundly positive effect. If you choose to try and be more positive in your day to day life, smile more and look on the bright side you will not only make yourself happier but your positive energy is highly contagious, the people around you will be touched by it, your family, your colleagues and even strangers on the street!
"we shall never know all the good
a simple smile can do"
a simple smile can do"
What have been your greatest challenges in spreading the word about positivity?
There hasn't really been a challenge in promoting positivity, I think everyone likes the idea and in theory most people agree that positivity is better than negativity! In saying that though Rita Schiano puts it well -
"Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the Habit. Talk about your joys."
So many people really are in the habit of discussing their problems, and it's not an easy one to break but it is so important. If you want to break a negative thought pattern having positive affirmations and quotes around can really help you stay on track :)
Be more positive!!! Smile at a stranger, find something good in a bad situation, let go of something that's been bothering you and think of something that is making you happy :)
Everyone says it's about the little things you do, that one change can make a difference and I totally agree. One small thing that we do is NEVER buy non-free range chicken or eggs, EVER. It may not seem like a lot but whatever you do will make a difference and you should be proud you're doing something.
I love this story -
A freak wave washed up thousands of starfish on a beach, as the sun was rising they were drying out and dying. A boy was walking along picking one up at a time and throwing them back into the ocean. An old man approached the boy and said "you're wasting your time, there's too many of them, you'll never make a difference" the boy threw another starfish back, smiled and said "I made a difference to that one"
Is there anything else you'd like people to know?
My itty bitty facebook page is a place where I share inspirational quotes and pictures and let people know about new books, offers and just keep in touch really :) Also since valentines day is approaching I'm going to share the positive love and give away positivity books to 3 of my facebook followers. The draw will be on valentines day and I will post to anywhere in the world so come and click 'like' you might be lucky!
My journey to a dream blog is where I blog about my life, family and literally how we enjoy the journey to our dream.
And finally if you'd like to buy a positivity book they are for sale on my Etsy Shop - The Itty Bitty Book Company.
Do you know of an individual, small business or small organization that you think deserves to be featured for the change they are affecting on the world around them? Would you like to be featured? If so, please email me at trinityvision3(at)gmail(dot)com or comment below with any ideas or suggestions!