Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynelle Kerstine Woolley.
Lynelle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been creating stories since I was a kid. So, it seems fitting that the plot line of my career would have a three-act structure: first as a creative director in the entertainment industry, next as a children’s book author, and now running creative writing workshops for kids.
Like many budding starlets, my career began at MGM – as a copywriter in the home entertainment department. It was my job to write the synopses and ad copy that would make you want to watch movies like The Wizard of Oz and the James Bond series. I moved up the ladder to Editorial Director, then to Creative Director, and then to Senior Creative Advertising Executive at New Line Cinema, where I led the creative department in the development and execution of multi-million dollar marketing campaigns.
I loved my job, but then the recession hit — and this plot twist allowed me to take my story in a new direction: entrepreneurship.
Flower Girl World blossomed when my 5-year-old daughter was asked to be in three weddings as a flower girl. The anticipation and experience made her feel excited and empowered. At the time we were reading a lot of princess and fairy books that didn’t promote an empowering message. As a mom, it was important to me that she be exposed to diverse, strong, and talented characters who learn valuable lessons, build friendships and solve problems.
I decided to write the books I wanted her to read, using flower girl characters as the heroes. And, because I had experience working with designers, illustrators, and printers, I set out on this publishing adventure on my own. The Flower Girl World brand has grown into an award-winning book series, unique flower girl gifts, and an informative website that parents and brides can trust. And girls love it! At live events, the Flower Girl World booth is swarmed by girls who are immediately attracted to the vibrant characters and adventure-filled books.
It’s these enthusiastic, young fans who have led me to act three of my career: creative writing workshops. While meeting these girls at book events, many would tell me how they wanted to be a writer too. I feel so fortunate to have had wonderful mentors who helped me see the potential of my creativity. With these future scribes in mind, I have started a series of creative writing workshops to help guide these children in fulfilling their dreams.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The move from being a creative corporate executive to a creative entrepreneur has been exciting but challenging. I left behind a supportive, structured environment for a world where I had limited resources and endless questions. A few things on my daily to-do list have included book authoring, illustration and design direction, printing supervision, website development and maintenance, social media posting, marketing outreach, video production, shipping and fulfillment, event set up and appearances, customer service, sales, inventory management, and budget oversight. Whew!
I chose independent publishing because I believed in the marketing potential of Flower Girl World. I worked diligently with experienced illustrators, editors, and proofreaders to ensure a high-quality product. My efforts paid off as the books won awards, garnered great reviews, and were picked up for traditional sales channels by a national distributor and major retailers.
Please tell us about Flower Girl World.
BOOKS: At the heart of Flower Girl World is the book series, which includes one picture book and three chapter books. Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards, the series follows a diverse group of characters who learn about new cultures and experience adventures when they meet at different weddings all over the world. The goal of the series is to showcase smart, talented girls who must use their skills beyond the wedding aisle, as they band together to face new challenges and have fun.
WEBSITE AND GIFTS: Being a flower girl is cause for celebration! Brides and parents can enhance their flower girl’s experience by visiting flowergirlworld.com to get tools, tips, and tricks. They can also purchase the ultimate flower girl gifts! Featuring practice petals, an activity book, official certificate and more, the Flower Girl World kits are the perfect practice and play presents.
CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS: My goal is to empower children to explore their passion for writing. The workshops are interactive and feel more like a camp than a classroom. Girl Scouts can earn their storytelling badges with specialized sessions that perfectly align with the badge steps: Brownies “My Family Story,” Juniors “Scribe,” Cadettes “Screenwriter,” and Seniors “Novelist.”
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I spent six summers at an all-girls sleepaway camp in the Northwoods of Wisconsin where I could be as creative, goofy, and carefree as could be. The friendships that I developed and the life skills that I gained there made me the person that I am today. It’s the best place on the planet, and I’m happy to say that my daughter, now a teenager, loves being a camper there too.
- Website: https://www.flowergirlworld.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FlowerGirlWorld/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlowerGirlWorld
- Other: https://www.flowergirlworld.com/workshops; https://www.lynellecreative.com; http://bit.ly/AM_LKW
Tara Cloud Woolley, Tara Cloud Photography