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spanish children's books

Vic Sanchez, founder of Libro Magico Amarillo, shares pandemic lessons learned and exciting future plans

Maria Victoria “Vic” Sanchez is the creator and founder of Libro Magico Amarillo, a publishing company that creates personalized Spanish children’s books that offer a mix of adventures and educational content that keep children engaged and reading longer, all while playing and having fun. Her books also serve as a tool for parents raising bilingual children, helping them foster a love and appreciation of Hispanic language and culture in their children. 

Libro Magico Amarillo, spanish children's books

Maria Victoria “Vic” Sanchez, creator and founder of Libro Magico Amarillo.

We shared Vic’s story last September and we were so inspired by her love for books and her commitment to child education. Vic began her business last June, in the thick of the pandemic–talk about a challenge! But she rose to that challenge and persevered because she believed in her vision and was ready to make her childhood dreams of telling stories a reality. 

Now, nearly a year after launching her business, Vic shares with us some lessons learned and her plans for the future, because yes, it is only just the beginning! 

Running a business during a pandemic: Lessons Learned

As many of you know first hand, running a business this past year has not been easy. Many business owners and entrepreneurs have struggled to stay afloat and adapt to the “new normal” that the COVID-19 pandemic brought upon us all. Latina business owners were disproportionately affected according to the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report.

Despite these odds, many Latina-owned businesses found new, creative ways to THRIVE and regain their power, such as turning to Instagram to advertise and grow their businesses

You might be interested: THRIVE! What to expect from deep-dive workshops at 2021 WEES

As an entrepreneur who launched her business in the thick of the pandemic, Vic experienced her share of challenges but shares with us now her lessons learned and advice to other women entrepreneurs and minority business owners. 

Be patient and think outside the box 

“Things take time,” she says, “and we need to be patient, thinking positively, while we continue working on what we believe in.” (Photo courtesy Maria Victoria Sanchez).

One key lesson Vic learned this past year was to be patient. Worrying and stressing will not help in the long run and only lead to more anxiety. Instead, Vic learned to let go, and this has helped her manage her anxiety better and overall feel better. 

“Things take time,” she says, “and we need to be patient, thinking positively, while we continue working on what we believe in.” 

Working on a long-term project or business is not something that always yields quick results. Instead of treating it like a sprint, we must look at each project as a marathon. As the old saying goes: “Slow and steady wins the race.” If we are constantly worrying and rushing we will surely burn out quickly. But by practicing patience and continuing our work at a steady pace, we will soon see those results and feel better too. 

In conjunction with this idea of taking the slow path is another lesson learned: take a different path too! Or, think outside the box. 

When things are not working one way, “sometimes you need to reshuffle,” says Vic. If you feel stuck, consider a new perspective. There is never just one way to do something, just as there can be multiple paths to get to the same place. 

“Things will work out for the best in the end.” 

Do all things with love and collaborate

The third lesson Vic learned during the pandemic is the power of collaboration and that when you do things with love, you bring together that same positive energy to others. Vic always brings that love to everything she does and has been working to help others during the pandemic. 

“I have been dedicating a lot of my efforts to doing pro bono work for fellow entrepreneurs,” Vic shares. “Some weeks ago I participated in a conference for entrepreneurs in Patagonia, where I am originally from. I am happy to help in any way.” 

To other women and minority entrepreneurs, Vic says to join in by collaborating with others and seek help when you need it. 

“This pandemic has been especially hard for women, for caregivers, and for minority women. There are amazing organizations, like Latinas in Business, bringing mentoring and educating us. If you need help, speak up! We are all here to help one another. Nothing can stop what you set your mind to. Women are serious, focused workers. We get things done.” 

Help support El Libro Magico Amarillo!

The future is bright and a year after launching her business, Vic is ready to expand and take things to the next level, but this dream cannot be achieved alone. 

“We are working on a crowdfunding campaign to produce two new books and accelerate our digital marketing efforts,” says Vic. “We want to reach out and impact more families, connecting kids with books and loved ones. Books can always provide a refuge for kids, as we have seen during the pandemic.” 

The upcoming Kickstarter will work to accelerate the company’s growth and produce two new books. 

“My dream is to grow our inventory and with this campaign we hope to do so with two new books. One is about the myth of the minotaur and the other one is about El Dia de los Muertos, as homage to all Latinas from Mexico.” 

spanish children's books, Libro Magico Amarillo

Libro Magico Amarillo’s current Spanish children’s books.

To support Vic and her dream she asks that people subscribe to El Libro Magico Amarillo’s newsletter by registering on their site. The newsletter will keep subscribers up to date when the campaign launches. 

“The only way we can succeed is through the generous support of all you Latinas! Please subscribe to our site and follow and share our campaign with friends and contacts when we launch. This is our first crowdfunding project ever and it would be great to have your support and good energy!” 

As fellow Latinas, minority business owners, and entrepreneurs it’s so important that we support each other. So let’s all give some love and support to Vic and El Libro Magico Amarillo.

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spanish children's books

How these personalized Spanish children’s books are helping to raise bilingual children

Maria Victoria Sanchez is the creator and founder of Libro Magico Amarillo, a publishing company that creates personalized Spanish children’s books. Her books offer a mix of adventures and educational content that keep children engaged and reading longer, all while playing and having fun. Her books also serve as a tool for parents raising bilingual children, helping them foster a love and appreciation of Hispanic language and culture in their children. 

Spanish children's books

Maria and her son reading “Adventuras en Troya” (Photo courtesy Maria Victoria Sanchez)

Rediscovering the magic of stories 

Libro Magico Amarillo officially launched in June of this year, but before that it spent 30 years simply being a dream in Maria’s mind. Creating Spanish children’s books was something she always thought of doing but procrastinated for many years, never knowing when was the right time to start. As a child, her mother instilled in her a love for reading and writing. Stories were magical and they became her greatest passion as a child. However, as she grew up, the magic spark receded in her mind. She let her dreams of telling stories fall away to a small corner of her mind where she would think of the idea from time to time but never act on her dream. 

Before Maria would make her book business a reality, she first spent a good portion of her professional life having a successful career in the corporate world. Born in General Roca, Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina, Maria earned her degree in law. After graduating from law school in Argentina, she then came to the U.S. to do her Masters at Harvard Law School. 

“I worked for big names in the corporate world including Greenberg Traurig, JP Morgan, and Mastercard. I got to live in different countries and travel extensively. But with the arrival of my two children, I realized that I was no longer interested in corporate life or business trips,” says Maria. 

With her priorities shifted, Maria did some soul-searching to figure out what she wanted to do next with her career. She was searching for the magic spark. She soon found it in one of her earliest loves: stories. Maria realized that happiness for her also meant doing things that had a social impact. Libro Magico Amarillo would provide her with the platform to do just that. 

Starting from zero

Maria officially began working on making her dream a reality a year ago. At the time she had no knowledge of the industry, e-commerce, or digital marketing. It was completely new territory.

Maria in her office working on her latest projects (Photo courtesy Maria Victoria Sanchez).

“I had to start from zero,” she says, “but I decided that it was now or never and that I did not want to die without having tried to build my own business venture.”

Over the next year, Maria met with illustrators, printers, writers, and delved deep into the amazing world of book publishing. She faced some obstacles along the way, from not having access to lines of credit or a name in the industry to other entry barriers such as the high cost of marketing and having to make tough choices because of limited funds. Then of course there was the Covid-19 pandemic which threatened to halt the process and launch of Maria’s dream venture. 

“The pandemic was not going to stop me,” says Maria. “It has certainly created hiccups, but also it has proven to be an opportunity for connection.” 

Launched on June 6, 2020–what would have been the birthday of Maria’s late mother–Maria’s personalized Spanish children’s books have served as a bridge to connect family and friends during the pandemic. Family members can gather together virtually to read together and share stories, all while helping to foster a child’s bilingual education and growth. 

Sharing the magic with others 

Maria’s driving force through the struggles was her love for books and her desire to make an impact. One of the ways she’s using her platform to help others is by donating a percentage of all new profits to JAFCO, an orphanage that is doing great work for children. The other main area of impact for Maria is in education and sharing the magic of stories with others while also helping parents raise bilingual children and foster an appreciation for Hispanic language and culture. 

bilingual children

Maria Victoria Sanchez, sharing her love of stories with her daughter. (Photo courtesy Maria Victoria Sanchez).

“As a mom, immigrant, raising bilingual children, I bring a new angle to children’s books, focusing on the Spanish language, with stories thought and written in Spanish and not just translated by AI,” says Maria. 

Her books bring Hispanic values and culture to bilingual children and act as an educational tool for parents who want to instill a love and appreciation for their home culture in their children. 

Libro Magico Amarillo’s books keep children engaged and by making the children themselves the protagonists of the stories. The personalized Spanish children’s books allow parents to customize the books with their child’s names and each book is printed on demand so that each child receives a carefully designed adventure personalized just for them! 

The books also cover a variety of topics including history and geography, which allows children to learn as they play. 

Recently, one young reader shared a video with Maria of her reading experience. In the video, the 3 year-old and her mom were reading Adventuras en Troya together for the fourth time and she was so excited and engaged, asking questions about the story. 

“The little one was asking her mom, “Tell me about Menelao!!!” He was the King who was married to Elena, who was kidnapped by Paris, giving origin to the Trojan war. That just made my day,” says Maria. 

spanish children's books

Libro Magico Amarillo’s current Spanish children’s books

Most 3 year-olds are not asking about characters from ancient Greek stories, which just shows the amazing power of reading and storytelling. Libro Magico Amarillo’s books immerse children in fun, educational stories and take them on adventures all over the world–literally, since the books characters are personalized based on the child. 

You might be interested: How MiLegasi’s founder deals with resilience in children during COVID-19

Finally, Maria is also using her platform to uplift other entrepreneurs. During her journey, she had many supportive people to uplift her along the way and she wants to pay it forward. 

“I want to be an advocate for the need to provide more support to local business owners and entrepreneurs who do not have access to the same loans or health insurance as others.” 

Maria knows how beneficial it is to have a strong support system and mentors when starting out. To aspiring entrepreneurs she says, “First, count on me, give me a call! I’m happy to pay it forward. Additionally there are a lot of women networks or alliances of fantastic ladies who are doing the same or have done it before and want to help you. Second, believe in yourself. The sky is your limit. Do not let them tell you otherwise. Third, think of how you want to be remembered. I want to be remembered as someone who was not afraid of a challenge or giving a shot to impossible dreams.”