Guest Blog By Maxine Stinton
Contest Courtesy of Magic Belles
In 2010, along with my art director sidekick (who’s also my close friend), we took a gamble and left our secure jobs in publishing to set up in business together. After years of developing new children’s magazines and products, it was time to do what we had both wanted to do since we were kids – create our own cute characters. No more doodling and dreaming, it was time to make it happen.
We wanted to create a character range for little girls, aged 3 to 7, which was wholesome and awesome, colourful and fun. We wanted it to have good values and a fabulous website with no forums, no safety issues… just great content for parents to share and enjoy with their children.
Somewhere along the way, we also decided we wanted it to be musical – with characters that sound as good as they look, because… why not?
With a lot of help from my 5-year-old daughter, we came up with the Magic Belles – six ‘flutterly lovely’ fairy-like characters, who each look after one of life’s special wonders.
The Magic Belles wear bell-shaped dresses and they each have unique, signature jingles. When a few Magic Belles get together, they jingle in harmony; when all six are together, they create a magical, musical symphony.
After a lot of work and a whole lot of fun, we launched the website in April this year.
The site has information about the characters and the special wonders they look after, a magic music making game, colouring in, animated ecards and a complete party kit to download. We also have a lovely blog, where girls can send in their art or photos of themselves to get mini Magic Belles makeovers.
We’re adding new content all the time and actively listening to what parents and our little fans want – next up, we have interactive stories and make-and-do activities.
With the music teacher friend who helped us make the music for the site, we’re also about to start working on a mini album of Magic Belles music – which we hope to launch this autumn. Something we didn’t dare dream of a year ago.
Working on Magic Belles has been a big learning curve, and is a labour of love that is crammed in around everything else we do.
The great thing is, it doesn’t feel like work, and seeing little girls using the site and getting so excited and enthralled by the characters we’ve created – well, nothing beats that.
To any moms who are considering doing something similar – whether writing a children’s book, creating a range of soft toys or starting an online business retailing kid’s products – I’d highly recommend it and recommend getting your child involved, too. It has been a fantastic way to connect with my daughter and she’s very proud of her role as our ‘consultant’.
It has also been a great way to connect with other moms, who have been especially generous with their feedback – positive, supportive and constructive all the way.
We are deeply grateful and very excited about where Magic Belles might be in a year’s time. It’s turning out to be a fantastic journey.
We hope you’ll come and visit the site and we’d love to hear what you think.
Byline: Maxine Stinton created the Magic Belles along with her friend and business partner, Luciana Mazzocco. She is mom to a 5-year-old daughter who closely resembles Cupcake Belle.
Win a personalised Magic Belles print for your daughter’s bedroom wall.
Contest is open Internationally to anyone over the age of 18. If you are under the age of 18, then a big hello to you, but please go ask your parent or guardian to enter the contest for you. Contest Closes on September 16th, 2011 at 9:00 pm Pacific Time.
HOW TO ENTER:
1. Simply tell us in a comment here, who your daughter’s favourite Magic Belle is and why.
We’ll randomly draw with “And The Winner Is” 3 winners to get one of the first ever Magic Belles’ personalised prints for your daughter’s bedroom wall. We’ll design it with her choice of Magic Belle, her initial and her name on it and post it directly to you to say a flutterly lovely thank you!
Winners will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond from the sent time on the winning email in order to claim the prize. If a response is not received on time, that person will be disqualified and a new winner will be randomly drawn. The same rules apply to any re-draws. If you want to ensure that you receive emails from me, then pleas add my email address to your safe senders list.