Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Dear Friends

As a new parent, I had some pretty strong ideas about how I wanted to raise my kids, and reading certain kind of books was a big part of that. I wasn't a children's book expert, but I knew what I liked, and I experienced how deeply certain books touched the heart, soul, and minds of the children in my life.

How Chinaberry came to be is a long story, but here are the salient points. A friend and fellow mother convinced me to become a mail order 'bookstore,' making our favorite books available to anyone, so, with no business plan, I borrowed $2,000 from my Mom to get things off the ground. The first catalog was the world's funkiest-looking, hand-lettered-on-newsprint catalog ever. I filled orders at the kitchen table (which I still use as my desk), 2-year-old Elizabeth sneaked an occasional fork or spoon into orders, and I used grocery money to buy inventory. I sent out personal notes with every order and am still in touch with some of those customer/friends. Two years after beginning this Chinaberry adventure, we weren't even close to making ends meet, but boy, was it fun!

That was 30 years ago. And somehow, Chinaberry is still here. I marvel at our good fortune in being in the Right Place at the Right Time and beating the small-business-startup odds; at having a company that is renowned in the publishing industry and in the retail world for its integrity and discernment; at being able to hang in there despite the challenges facing all independent booksellers; at having expanded our selection to include a myriad of items that enrich families' lives; and at having an astonishingly wonderful group of employees. I am humbled by the fact that there are now 2nd generation 'Chinaberry kids' in the fold. The kids of kids who grew up on Chinaberry. The grandkids of the parents who were my customers when toddler Elizabeth was sticking spoons and forks in their orders.

Thirty years ago, I'd never have dreamed I'd be penning a 'Dear Friends Letter,' today, introducing a collection specifically designed for these new 'Chinaberry kids' and their families, a selection offering the 2012 version of what Chinaberry has become respected for over the years. The Jake&Ella Collection, which you'll find at, is chock full of very cool stuff. From books to toys made with a social conscious to items containing non-toxic and organic ingredients to gift sets for new families, new babies, and new Mamas, we've stuck to our commitment to offer the cream of the crop.

I invite you to check out the Jake&Ella Collection and tell your friends that the Chinaberry tradition of superb products and extraordinary customer service continues in a way that speaks to the new generation of Chinaberry parents.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006

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