Christmas traditions are usually welcomed with joy, but for Jannie Tharp, there’s one Christmas tradition that could be less of a pain. Thanks to her sister’s goodwill, Jannie became intertwined with the tradition of buying 25 random Christmas books for two sets of grandkids. After finding out that each book costs on average $5 (not too mention how much time it took to find each book), Jannie had the idea to create The Clausen Family Countdown to Christmas bookset—a complete collection of 25 books to coordinate with every day leading up to December 25.
Read more from Jannie below:
The spark that inspired the birth of your concept: My whining sister! She started a tradition of buying 25 random Christmas books for two sets of grandkids. It was very time consuming and expensive to purchase 50 children’s Christmas books. Even used books could cost up to $5 each. After looking online, I discovered that this tradition was really growing in popularity.
The books are wrapped individually and one is read each day starting on December 1. I loved the idea of reading a book each night to countdown to Christmas, although I did not like the time involved or the cost. So I decided to write, and publish a complete set of 25 advent Christmas books so that families could enjoy a great new tradition at an affordable cost.
The problem it solves: The Clausen Family Countdown to Christmas is a complete collection of 25 advent books, so you don’t have to go out and hunt for random books. It’s also very affordable at less than $2.40 each! If you love wrapping, the books can be wrapped and opened individually each day OR you can take one from the beautifully designed slipcase. The books are numbered, so you start reading book 24 on December 1, and there is a book for each day including Christmas.
How you came up with the name: Clausen is an implied relationship to Santa Clause, and the Countdown to Christmas is just that.
How are you better than your competition: My collection brings family’s together for 25 days of advent fun, encouraging family reading time. The set is actually one story in 25 books, each one ending in “To be continued” building excitement for the next day’s adventure. There are also great lessons about manners, kindness, and helping others. The high-quality product ensures that the set will last year after year, to become a favorite family tradition.
How you make money: Online sales and attending holiday bazaars.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur: Discovering that I have more creativity than I thought. And my grandkids telling me that I’m famous, even though I’m not (yet).
The biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience: Learning how difficult it is to rise above all the noise on social media, and getting national exposure.
A failure story and what you learned: I attended a Shark Tank casting call and made it to the second round of interviews. After several attempts to resubmit, I have not been contacted. I learned that I needed help to improve the way I pitch my product, which I have not perfected although still working on it. I also learned that there are many other programs to apply for, and I have a lot of tenacity.
What keeps you up at night? Not having the resources to make my product successful so that I can support my family, one being disabled.
Your #1 piece of advice: Expect to put a lot of time and effort into your product, and don’t take rejection personally.
What wild success looks like: Millions of families enjoying a new Christmas tradition. Adding more product to the tradition such as a Christmas village and figurines, a box of 24 chocolates shaped like the figurines, plush toys, even an animated series. Who knows, maybe a balloon in the Macy Day Parade! The financial resources will allow me to secure a future for my family and to help others in need.
Is Oregon is a good place to start a business? There are some very good resources in Oregon (OEN), although I have had challenges living in a somewhat remote area of the state. I love Oregon for many reasons!
Fun Fact: If you have driven to Lincoln City on Hwy 18, you have passed by my house. You can’t miss it with the car in the tree!
Clausen Family Christmas: https://www.clausenfamilychristmas.net/