Happy Monday everyone. I am very excited to introduce this week’s Momspirational Mom- Nili Bueckert. Nili and I are actually apart of the same Mom Group- Transplant Parents of Dallas! When I joined this group back in 2014 there were only a handful of members but two years later there is an overwhelming 386 parents in this group, as a result, Nili and I actually haven’t even met face to face. Crazy right?
However, after doing this interview with her and hearing about why she created her book Toddler Tales with her sister in law, Ruth Winkler Bueckert, I have truly been momspired. I love the idea behind this book and can definetly relate to wanting something like this as Little J gets further into toddlerhood!
One of my favorite things about this interview was her advice for other moms out there “find your passion and go for it!” Isn’t that what we all need to hear sometimes???? So, without further adieu, I introduce to you Nili Bueckert- co-creater of Toddler Tales and an absolute momspiration.
Tell me about you!
Hi! I’ve just moved to the Dallas area after 6 years of living abroad in Germany. I have two boys ages 4 and 20 months. I’m originally from Israel (but grew up on the East Coast in the USA) and my husband is German. We met in Germany 6 years ago while I was ‘visiting’ on business for auditions in the opera world (I’m a professional opera singer)- and we met, and he asked me to stay! I said yes.
We’re in the process of looking for homes to buy so please chime in at the comment section and let me know where you love to live! (We love nature, cycling, outdoors-y stuff, but also love to be within reach of art museums, music concerts, etc.)
So, what is it that you do?
Living in Germany, one is introduced to interesting customs and traditions (first example- the kids open their presents BEFORE blowing out the candles on their birthday cakes- weird!), and I noticed that in the pre-school years it was very popular for German children to fill out a “Friendship Book”. This was a book that could be passed around among friends and (with the help of adults) filled out to include what your favorite color is (at age 3, then 4..etc.) favorite foods (not so favorite foods), funny sayings, what you liked to play together with another friend, when and where you met, and more.
My sister in law, who is a graphic designer, and I both came up with the idea to transition this ‘friendship book’ to its English compatriot- and we designed and created a memory book for the “post baby book” years – just for toddlers (approximately ages 2-5)- that included special Friendship pages. Thus, Toddler Tales, My Very Special Book of Memories and Friendship was born!
What inspired you to start your blog or business?
I’m pretty proud of being a full-time mom, professional musician, and creator of something that I personally had a need for– (I definitely spent hours piecing together the baby books for my boys- but after that first birthday and first walking and first words– kind of fell off of the map!) I tried keeping email logs of ‘milestones’, and of course we have tons of pictures on the phone (that rarely get turned into albums)— so Toddler Tales was really a labor of love. My sister and I both needed a place to keep track of our ‘terrible twos’ and ‘threenager’ years for both of our boys (best friends, best first cousins)- and so we worked for about half a year on design layout, wording, color spread (so that it would be gender-neutral, of course!) and appealing to parents in the US. We also have a special place to record memories from other family members- which I think is an amazing opportunity to ask someone to write their thoughts about the child directly at such a young age- and have as a keepsake for later in life!
What, so far, have you found to be a challenge with your business?
The challenge that comes with self-publishing are the immense printing and handling costs when you don’t have the money for a start-up business. My SIL and I did this all by ourselves, as a ‘side job’ to our real jobs (opera singer/graphic designer and MOMS), so it was a slower process, but one that we were always excited about. We made sure not to skimp on anything, so even though the unit price for us was higher in the end- we chose 100% recycled paper, thick enough so that pens and marker wouldn’t run through and so that photos and glue sticks wouldn’t damage any of the memories you are creating. We chose a hardbound cover because we know how those ‘softer’ books get handled by little ones! And so we spared no expense to make this a product that both of us wanted to have in our own homes (and do!).
What, so far, have you found to be the best, more rewarding, part of doing what you do?
One of the ‘funniest’ most rewarding parts is having parents share the hilarious quotes from their toddlers that they fill in on the ‘special memories’ pages! We get tons of emails with “This went into Toddler Tales today because Noah said…”. One of the ‘heartfelt’ most rewarding parts has been the feedback, especially as we just left many of our great friends in Germany- who for the past 6 years have really been our family. As my best friend filled in the page for her son in my son’s book we couldn’t help but look back at four years (we’ve known each other since the birth of our boys at the same birthing center!) of memories— and having a place to keep it all and treasure.
How do you stay organized? Do you feel like you have a good work/life balance?
My husband will say that my way of being ‘organized’ is having too many piles. Well, I’m a libra- EVENTUALLY I find balance in things, but it’s true— I have piles and piles of ‘stuff’. I mostly know where everything is. Since the move and having to catalog 139 boxed items of stuff that got shipped in our container, I’m better about labeling. For school/work/business/social events, I’m usually a mix between the phone calendar and my mac book calendar (which I rarely sync, but do check both everyday!)
Do you have any tips for the mommas out there wanting to start a new venture?
Find your passion and go for it! Whether it becomes profitable or not, there are so many of us with creative ideas, and the world would be a better place if we all were able to share our thoughts openly! Take the chance. Raise that bit of money if you need it to get started (or just skip buying those two or three big ticket items that you thought you need next time you’re out shopping!), and go for it.
If you could work from anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’ve loved living in Europe. I’ve loved living in the US. And I’ve also loved living in Israel. There are still many places in the world that I would love to travel to and see the sights, learn about the culture, and enjoy the occasional glass of wine or dessert! Working for me takes me all over the world. As a freelance singer I usually travel for 6 weeks at a time, arriving at an opera house anywhere from Leipzig to Liege, Seattle to Saarbruecken — and so I do get a chance to explore new cities while I’m in rehearsals and have free time around the performance schedule.
What does your work space look it?
Currently, I’m sitting at our kitchen table (because we haven’t set up my office yet)- but in Germany I shared an office with my husband who was able to work from home at least once a week. I worked on an antique postman’s desk, in not the neatest space, surrounded most likely by need-to-be-sent tax forms, announcement from my children’s schools about upcoming events, a LOT of loose change (both Euro and dollar) and the occasional Ritter Sport chocolate wrapper (empty, obviously).
When you aren’t working or chasing your littles, what can we find you doing?
Learning new music, playing the piano for fun, finding out about the Dallas music scene (I love jazz concerts as well as musicals), and mostly spending weekends finding new parks to check out with the kids.
Who is your biggest support?
My husband and my family. We’re spread out across the US and internationally, but we always are there for each other, as editors, as feedback-providers, as ‘the most critical but best critics’ that you’ll find.
What are your three favorite places in the world?
Artik Beach, Havazelet Hasharon, Israel – where we were married in a tiny but beautiful beach ceremony
Vik, Iceland (well, all of Iceland that we saw, actually) for the incredible natural formations that took our breath away at one of the stormiest seas I’ve ever seen.
Venice, Italy— because, well, it’s VENICE. And beautiful. (well, not really in the high tourist season in summer, but go in October- it’s amazing).
Being a mom is tiring in itself, how do you relax and unwind?
I mostly DON’T, but when I do, it’s usually just having a nice and relaxed conversation about something other than the kids and our ‘day’ with my husband. Sometimes catching some Netflix (which I’m woefully behind on since Germany doesn’t allow you to watch most of the series that come out in the US until years later), and for a bit of rejuvenation we did have a great Thai massage place in Germany (still have to find that here in Dallas!)
Do you have a favorite show you are currently obsessed with?
Not obsessed, but I have looked forward to binge-watching House of Cards every time it came out with a new season all-at-once.
Anything else you can tell us about Toddler Tales or yourself?
Since Toddler Tales is now officially in the US (and I don’t have to ship books from Germany) we’re really excited about being able to participate in local book fairs, meetups, children’s bazaars, etc- so if your school might be interested or you know of an event where we could show up and meet IRL (in real life) PLEASE be in touch and let us know!
Additionally, I’m always up for a coffee or tea somewhere and I love to meet new people, so if you’re willing to travel to the White Rock Lake area, your SHIPPING AND HANDLING will be FREE if you want to meet up and pick up your Toddler Tales book in person and hang out!
(Just send us a message via our website: www.toddlertalesbook.com) before you order and we’ll take off the shipping and handling!
Isn’t she awesome? Thank you to Nili for participating in the Momspirational Mom Series. I encourage you all to check out her website and reach out to her if you have leads on events where she can market her book!
Are you interested in being featured in the Momspirational Monday Series? Leave your email in the comment section below!
DSBG was not compensated for this review.