Your child can be the star character in a fairy tale with a personalized book just for him or her. The developers of the I See Me Books, Maia and Allan Haag joined us on the show.
Web site: www.iseeme.com
About Maia and Allen Haag:
Husband and wife team, Maia and Allan Haag, own the I See Me!, Inc. They create beautifully illustrated and highly educational books that make each child the star of their own story. Its books, My Very Own Name and My Very Own Fair Tale have become fast favorites of several A-list celebrities including Courtney Cox and Brooke Shields.
Maia and Allan met in 1990 while designing cereal boxes for General Mills. Maia was a marketing manager at the time and Allan a graphic designer. Both, however, had dreams of one day starting their own business. A year later Allan started Haag Design, Inc. But it wasn't until 1998, after the birth of their first child, they found the perfect opportunity to utilize both their skills in one entrepreneurial effort.
"We received a personalized book for our son that caught both of our attention", said Allan, "but we noticed the copy was not very well written and the illustrations were not very high quality. We started discussing ways we could improve on the idea." Combining Allan's extensive graphic design skills and Maia's English degree and Harvard MBA, the couple got to work.
Maia spent her maternity leave developing a business plan and a storyline for her first book, My Very Own Name. The premise consisted of entertaining animals bringing letters one by one to spell out the perfect name for a new baby. Once Maia completed the initial draft, Allan got to work bringing the characters to life, giving each their own unique personalities and characteristics. He created rough pencil sketches of each that were later turned over to an illustrator to flesh-out the conceptual drawings. Once they were complete, Allan's firm designed the book and prepared the personalized books for printing. The result... a beautifully illustrated and touching story for each child.
I See Me! Inc. has sold over 1/2 million copies since its inception in 2000, solidifying the success of both the company and the couple's entrepreneurial dreams. Maia and Allan released their second book My Very Own Fairy Tale in July of 2006 to great reviews. Their newest title, My Very Own ABC's is a personalized board book and is scheduled to launch in early 2008.
"I feel like we are living the fairy tale," says Maia. "Creating a successful company with my husband has allowed us great fulfillment in not only our careers, but our family and personal lives as well." The flexibility of running their own business has allowed Maia and Allan more time with their two young sons and a newly adopted daughter. The family loves camping, fishing and spending time in the great outdoors. Maia even finds time to volunteer with a local charity serving the homeless and for her alma mater, Princeton.
I See Me, Inc. now offers other parents the chance to share in their entrepreneurial dream. Allan conceived a sales representative program in which agents are awarded a commission on each book sold. The program has attracted more than 1000 representatives so far, many of whom are parents looking for the same flexibility in their own family lives.