Monday, November 14, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy–Tania Elfersy and Andrea Katzman, Creators of Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal and Toolkit


Purple Leaves, Red Cherries reveals how motherhood impacts women’s lives - their relationships, bodies, work, sanity and more.



This week, I want to introduce you to Tania Elfersy and Andrea Katman, creators of the Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal and Toolkit.  If you are mom (new or even a grandmother) you will surely love this book of short stories.  This past Thursday, I gave birth to our second daughter, Arabella Sofia, and brought along this book to read while I was being induced, and for the recovery period afterwards.  Having read it a few weeks before, I thought it would be perfect to read again after welcoming our second child.  Each of the short stories in this book are heartfelt and will touch any mom – making you laugh, blush, tear up or just cherish the sweet moments you have while watching your little ones grow up and as you enjoy your journey as a mom.

I can’t wait to share more of my thoughts in my Feature Friday section this week, so head back to read more.  In addition, I will be offering a coupon code just for Inspired by Savannah readers, so you can pick up this book for yourself, your mother, a friend, or as a baby shower gift.  And, with the holidays right around the corner, this would make for a great gift giving idea for a mom.

But, in the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Tania and Andrea. 


Name: Tania Elfersy and Andrea Katzman

Company Name/Product/Service: Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal and Toolkit

Company Location: Providence, RI

Company Website:

Facebook URL:

Twitter Handle: @PurpleLeavesRed

Age of Company: 1 year

Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “Mothering is perhaps the greatest story never written. The journey to motherhood is an odyssey of epic proportions, and every woman who undertakes it a hero.” Susan Maushart

“And eventually being perfect became like carrying a backpack filled with bricks every single day. . . . What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” Anna Quindlen

Favorite Book: Hard to pick out my favorite book, but here are a few that come to mind: In my field: "The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Our Lives and Why We Never Talk About It" – Susan Maushart For young kids: "The Carrot Seed" by Ruth Krauss Fiction: "Fugitive Pieces" by Anne Michaels

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Andrea Katzman (mother of 2) and I (Tania Elfersy, mother of 3) first became friends fifteen years ago. At the time, Andrea had recently completed her MA in American Studies from the University of Kansas and I, with a BA in Economics and Social Science from the University of Manchester (UK), had recently returned from teaching English in south-east Asia. When, in 2009, we started working on our book Purple Leaves, Red Cherries, I was a stay-at-home mom (having left my career in corporate marketing) and Andrea was a pre-school teacher (having spent a number of years as a stay-at-home mom). Seeking a mother-friendly return to the workforce, I established Flower Cap Press and self-published our book.

Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?

The book all started when I had an idea of creating a gift for moms that could inspire them and ease their journey through motherhood. I shared this idea with Andrea and together we created Purple Leaves, Red Cherries. Today I lead the way in marketing and selling Purple Leaves, Red Cherries through my publishing company, Flower Cap Press.

What is a typical work day like?

I get my three kids ready for their day and as soon as they leave with my husband in the morning, I sit down at my computer. I normally work through to midday (yes, in my jammies!) and then I start running around doing a few chores and make a dash for the shower. I need to pick up my youngest child by 1pm. I give the kids lunch, do some more chores and then jump in between being with the kids, running off to ballet classes, etc., and finding time to do a bit more work. After the kids' supper and bedtime routine, I settle down back at the computer attempting to complete my to-do list for the day and updating my social media channels. I normally go to bed very late.

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?

I am in the first year of my business and I'm still learning to balance time as a mompreneur. I have so much that I could be doing in terms of marketing, but the challenge is finding the time to fit everything in without working ALL night!

What did you do in your past work life?

I worked in corporate marketing in hi-tech (although I left my career to become a SAHM before the era of social media).

What have been some of your major successes?

Bringing such a beautiful book to market – it is much more complicated than a regular paperback book, which can be printed POD (Print-on-Demand).

What have been some of your major challenges?

Bringing such a beautiful book to market . . . .!

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?

Knowing that so many moms LOVE the book and that the book has already inspired and comforted so many women. Also, when I need to, I open the book, reread some stories and absorb the stunning illustrations. That helps remind me that I have a great product!

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

I am still searching for it! I think that no matter what business you establish, the first few years will be the toughest. Every mompreneur success story that I have read has said that first few years were rather short on sleep.

What is next for your business?

To keep on selling and to reach baby boutiques in many English-speaking markets.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?

1. Take your product or even idea to a focus group (or a few if you can) to receive honest feedback from potential customers. 2. Connect with moms in your area who are also mompreneurs – don't forget the power of local support. 3. Believe in your dream! Your passion will be contagious!

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