Organiser of the Month - Jenny Skye Cameron
7th September 2020
Despite the unprecedented and unexpected challenges this year has presented, we remain inspired as ever by all of the ways our new Organisers have displayed impressive levels of innovation and creativity to make wonderful starts to their Usborne journeys.
Since joining in May, our August Organiser of the Month has channelled her love of books and natural warmth to make a real difference to everyone in her community.
Skye was nominated by her mentor, Georgia:
"When Skye decided to become an Organiser and join my team I was over the moon! She immediately blew me away with her passion and enthusiasm, making four orders before she had even received her Starter Kit. She achieved both her Kit Boost and Kit Refund in record time and, in her first month as an Organiser, sold over €750 of books.
But it was when she participated in a kids' workshop that we organised as a team that I realised she is even more special than I could have imagined. Not only does she enthuse the children with her warmth and gentleness, she is also incredibly creative and uses dance, movement and art to teach – in our workshop she used fingerpainting to create beautiful works of art with the children, all based around the idea of happiness and feeling free just as we were coming out of lockdown.
Skye is a mum, an English teacher, a dance teacher and a wonderfully warm, creative being who brings her special light to everyone she meets. I feel privileged to have her in my team; she throws herself into our projects 110%, reviewing Usborne YA books for the team and writing us all thought-provoking and inspiring messages. She really is a star!"
Skye shares her Usborne story with us:
"My name is Jenny Skye Cameron and I currently live and work in Sicily. I have had a passion for books since I learned to read and there have always been many beautiful Usborne editions on our family bookshelves.
After a lovely phone call with my (now) Mentor, Georgia Hardiman, at the end of May this year I decided to become an Independent Usborne Organiser. I was nervous at first about how I would get my business started as we were just cautiously entering the second phase of Italian lockdown, and the thought of virtual book fairs and online events scared me for many different reasons.
I initially started intuitively ordering a variety of books before my Starter Kit arrived, choosing books that appealed to me, my lifestyle choices and creative teaching methods. I think most people will remember with immense joy the moment their Starter Pack and first orders arrived. Almost like Christmas! The most difficult thing to do was not to keep all of them for myself and my son.
As soon as I started looking at some of the books I knew exactly how I would start my business. From early June we were allowed to conduct small meetings and activities outdoors, adhering to strict social guidelines, so I proposed a series of artistic and literary workshops in the local park for small groups of different age ranges.
Knowing how much the children had been affected by the pandemic, I chose books such as Looking After Your Mental Health, Helping the Planet, All About Feelings and All About Friends to help the children talk about and express their emotions, and reconnect with their surrounding environment (and of course themselves) through art. All the children took home copies of the books and, at the end of the last workshop, I had an open-air stand which attracted interest from parents and people who were in the park.
I also used some of the Creative Writing series to motivate and inspire my students virtually with great success, and recommended titles such as summer reads, along with activity packs for the younger ones. This created a wave of interest and, as by this time I had become more familiar with the Usborne catalogue, I was able to give helpful personalised advice even without seeing them face-to-face.
During July I took my son out "exploring" armed with Never Get Bored Outdoors and other Usborne titles. After this experience I was able to promote these books with even more passion thanks to this first-hand experience, which also heightened our mother-son bond. For the rest of July I conducted other open-air workshops using the Never Get Bored and Finger Painting series for younger learners. We had fun getting messy! We also created an Usborne stand to be able to show parents and the children themselves a larger range of books suitable for their interests and reading levels.
I look forward to working with schools in the near future and continuing to use books to educate, inspire, open hearts and minds, and heal (as I am also a music therapist) with more workshops and meeting people face-to-face at book events and parties. I am so lucky that in my city there is a very supportive "Usborne Independent Organiser family". It's nice to learn and grow both individually and collectively in this new adventure, especially at such a particular time in our lives."
Congratulations Skye, and thank you for sharing your story with us. A September new release of your choice will be on its way to you 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!