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Meet Leat Regwan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leat Regwan.

Leat, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After leaving an over decade career in the corporate banking world to raise my children, I quickly realized being a stay at home mom was one of the toughest jobs on the planet! No paycheck, lunch breaks, sick days, paid vacations, adult conversations, recognition, nada! With three kids under five years old at home and a 24-7 work shift, I would often question my decision to leave “the working world” which seemed like the “vacation world” at the time.

But, what I did gain were and still are the greatest gifts in the world: being able to spend time and raise my children, to me no amount of money could replace that. I also gained a whole new passion for reading to my children and the importance of having that bonding time with them at bedtime. My husband and I would have a ritual to read to our kids every night and it was something we all looked forward to. I knew that not all children were that lucky. When Sol’s (my husband) love for children’s books ignited him to actually write his first book and then another and working on it every moment he had to self publish those books; we realized that marketing and letting people know about the books was a whole different ballgame.

Self published books were kind of all over the place and it was all on the author to market the book and promote it. It was a full time job in itself. We figured he must not be the only one. Just like there is a niche market for people who support Indie movies then there had to be one for those who support Indie books and authors. But to our knowledge, there wasn’t, especially one for “children’s books”.

We wanted to create a home for those children’s books that were self published and give them a purpose as well. To help those children that didn’t have anyone read to them at night because they didn’t have any books at home. We wanted to create a bookstore with a mission, to support Independence and books that are more diverse and “outside the box”. Books that children can relate to while at the same time supporting under served children and encouraging them to read by providing them with new books. And that’s how MagicBeans Bookstore was born…

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I believe that nothing worthwhile and important is ever an easy road, it just isn’t. Every success story you hear about took years in the making, yet what we “see” on social media or what we “think” is that it was an “overnight success”… There is no such thing! In my case the main challenge was trying to just find the time to actually start this business and learn everything about it, it was like learning a new language.

By the time my kids would go to bed and after a crazy exhausting day although I was drained, I knew that was the only time I could work without interruption. I would dedicate those few hours every night to working on something that would progress my business. It’s very different having a boss over your head versus being self disciplined enough to make yourself do things when you’re tired or overwhelmed or distracted or simply have no clue what you’re supposed to do. But what kept me going was the passion I had and looking at the bigger picture. I face obstacles and challenges almost every day but I am learning that everything is usually figure-outable and when something is important you find a way, when it’s not, you find an excuse.

Please tell us about your business.
We are an online children’s bookstore that supports Indie authors and self publishing. We believe in independence, literacy and giving back. Most bookstores typically carry mostly traditionally published books, popular books or books written by celebrities. We believe that self published Indie books can be more diverse because they are not restricted by the publisher. We’re constantly on the hunt for those diverse books that speak to children dealing with important topics in today’s world topics such as divorce, modern day families with two moms or two dads, being disabled or having a learning difference, bullying, anxiety, kindness, etc. When kids can see themselves in a book they are more likely to read it and open up, and more importantly, know that they are not alone. We need more of those books for children to let them know…we see you.

The other aspect that we are most proud of is that we donate new books and “signed by the author” (an added perk) books to under served children to encourage them to read at home. We are big on literacy and have recently partnered with Reading is Fundamental Southern California (www.rifsocal.org) one of the biggest non-profit literacy organizations in the US. They have been around for over 50 years and they have done so much for children and reading. We are honored to have partnered with them in Southern California.

The literacy statistics in this country are mind boggling and should in no way be that high. Illiteracy is linked to everything from falling behind, unemployment, living in poverty and incarceration. And 60% of kindergarteners in low-income families do not have a single age-appropriate book in their home? Such a simple fix, right? If we can even make a small difference that will hopefully lead to a bigger one, then it’s all worth it.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
The way I think of success now as a 40 year old mom, wife and business owner is different than I viewed it in my twenties and even early thirties. I used to think that success was defined by the numbers in your bank account or by buying your dream home or taking lavish vacations, having status and accolades, all of those things that society wants us to believe defines success. Today, I look at success as progress not perfection and as a journey not a destination. Having a good and healthy marriage, being able to understand my children, being present with them, and having the patience that they deserve daily, to me is success. Being able to look in the mirror and know that I am doing everything I can to be a better version of myself today than yesterday is success. Growing every year and learning new things where it requires getting out of my comfort zone and doing things I never thought I could do is success. Making better choices every day and keeping myself and my family healthy is success. Learning to fill my cup so that it can overflow to those I love is success. Not taking a moment for granted and waking up with gratitude that you get another day above ground and not under it, is success. Following your passion and being authentic and true to yourself is success. Those types of things I view as having a “successful life,” being content in all areas not just financially. Does that mean I”m 100% there at all times? Of course not but it’s progress and whom you are becoming along the journey. Money doesn’t make you happy, you make you happy and whether you are rich or poor, you are right.

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