Organiser of the Month - Rachel Lechner
11th February 2019
We love hearing about all the creative ways that our Organisers build their businesses to not only fit around, but enhance their busy lifestyles. January's Organiser of the Month has combined two of her passions to promote Usborne's books in a truly innovative way. This creativity extends to her fantastic social media channels which, in bringing the content to life, provide a brilliant example of how understanding your market can help you carve a niche that yields wonderful results.
Rachel was nominated by her mentor, Helen McIntyre:
"Rachel is a consistent, enthusiastic member of my team, always positive and looking for new ideas to promote the books. As well as her Usborne business, Rachel runs a riding stables in Austria and has a young daughter.
Rachel is truly passionate about bilingual learning. She has recently started a 'Horses and English' workshop to help children learn English as they ride horses, using Usborne books as resources which she then encourages families to go on and purchase. Her social media accounts are also wonderful: rather than just posting pictures of books, Rachel brings the content to life by doing live baking from the Usborne cookbooks, live singing of nursery rhymes, and live storytelling as part of a whole schedule of learning activities.
On top of this, Rachel also works with local schools. Since Austrian schools are not allowed to fundraise through sponsored reads, she instead hosts successful book fairs. I'm very proud of the way that she has dealt with any challenges faced by selling in Austria - she's really established her own niche in using Usborne books to promote bilingual learning."
Rachel shares her Usborne story with us:
"I joined Usborne in 2017 after looking for some quality English books for my daughter, who we are raising bilingually. An old school friend of mine, Helen, who is now my Mentor, introduced me to the books and I was instantly hooked.
I use Usborne books to encourage families to give their children a head start in English, or even consider raising their children bilingually (regardless of whether or not they are native speakers themselves), all with the help of Usborne resources.
On my Facebook page, 'English Book World', I do 'Storytelling Sundays' where I read a short Usborne title - usually from one of the reading collections. I also do 'Baking with Rachel and Emily', where I take recipes out of Usborne cookbooks and bake them together with my now two-year-old, along with 'Teaching English Thursday', which is either a singalong or a grammar explanation. Vocabulary for these is available in both English and German.
I love working with schools, however it is a little different in Austria as we are not allowed to offer any sponsored events - schools must be free of charge so, as a result, they are not able to ask for any financial funding. This leaves only one option, and that is hosting a book fair! These work really well in two ways: either I arrange a book fair to take place on a parents' evening, where children and their parents can look through the books and I am able to offer guidance and recommendations, or I set up a 'Book Room' in a school for five days. The Book Room is locked, and children can go in and look at the books together with their English teachers. I visit the school five days later to collect all the books and order forms. I find that both of these are very successful - schools are always surprised when I say they can choose a certain amount in free books. They often ask me what the catch is!
My 2019 focus is on growing my team, which wasn't a big motivation for me at the beginning of my Usborne journey, having come out of a fantastic but sometimes stressful career. Usborne has been a great way for me to meet people. Although I can be quite shy in a room full of people that I don't know, I find that the books sell themselves once you get them into the hands of parents and their children. They're always good conversation starters!"
Congratulations Rachel! A copy of our January book of the month will be on its way to you very soon.
Nominations for Organiser of the Month...
We look forward to receiving all nominations. You may nominate yourself or any other Organiser. Please email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name and Organiser number. Good luck!