Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Thank you for joining us for another installment of our interview series. We were honored to speak with the team of the Mom’s Choice Award-winning Company Hooray Studios. Hooray Studios published the MCA award-winning book, “When Tonya Grows Up.” Keep reading to learn more about how “When Tonya Grows Up” came to be!
MCA: Hello! First, I would just like to congratulate you and your company, Hooray Studios, on the award-winning book, When Tonya Grows Up! This book is so unique in how it can be customized based on the personal preference of the reader. This customization gives the reader a tailored experience and allows children to really connect to the story. Thank you for allowing our readers to get a better understanding of what goes into the making of such a unique story concept. For my first question, can you tell us a little about the company behind When Tonya Grows Up?
Hooray Studios: Hooray Studios is a young company that creates personalized books for children and their parents. But more than that, we’re a team of more than one hundred enthusiastic individuals who put all their talent, passion, and love into their work to put smiles on children’s faces and bring tears of joy to parent’s eyes. Our books offer more than one billion possible variations of personalization: you choose the main characters’ names, genders, and overall appearances – from skin tone, hair color and style, eye shape and color, to freckles or glasses. You can also choose the narrator of the book, sidekicks, select the book’s content, and add a personal dedication. With every new release, we offer new possibilities of personalization.
MCA: Sounds like you have a great team with you at Hooray Studios! As I said before, you have such a great and unique concept with this story and that is in no doubt due to the amazing team you have with you. With that being said, how exactly did Hooray Studios come to be?
Hooray Studios: The company was founded 7 years ago by two friends, young entrepreneurs, who both became uncles. They were searching for the perfect gift for their nieces, something special and personal enough to demonstrate their feelings. They couldn’t find that gift, so they decided to create one. A personalized book in which their nieces would be the main character seemed like a perfect fit. A keepsake that never loses its magic, filled with emotion and unique to each child, something memorable the whole family would cherish. The idea grew into a business concept that immediately gained the interest of parents launched and grew internationally in just a few years.
MCA: That’s a great origin story! You can definitely understand the big appeal with parents, a chance for the story they’re telling to be a custom experience for them and their children. Can you tell us more about When Tonya Grows Up and how exactly it works?
Hooray Studios: “When Tonya/Theo Grows Up” is a personalized book in which a child plays the main role and appears in various poems about what he or she might become when they grow up. The president, an astronaut, a doctor, a basketball player, a chef are just a few of the possibilities. There are nearly 30 professions to choose from and 10 of them get to be included in the book. What is special about this book is that you can choose and personalize the narrator of the book. It can be either Mom or Dad who appears in the book with their name and visual appearance. All this makes it very a sentimental book, filled with emotions, especially for parents who often have a hard time fighting back tears while reading. The Daddy Edition quickly became an internet sensation as customers shared videos of fathers crying while reading this book to their children.
MCA: It’s always wonderful to see how a story can have such an impact on its readers. What was the inspiration that went behind When Tonya Grows Up?
Hooray Studios: We simply wanted to create a testament to children’s futures and parents’ love. The feelings, dreams and aspirations that evolve in their own unique way in children’s imaginations and parents’ hearts. The author, Iztok Melanšek, was inspired by his own daughter when writing the book. So too were Nastja Gosar Quinn & Ryan Quinn, the parents of two boys who translated this book into English.
MCA: Well I think it’s safe to say you created just that. There are so many aspects to When Tonya Grows Up that make it unique, what do you think is the one that stands out the most?
Hooray Studios: Emotion! The book is filled with beautiful sentiment, one that both children and adults hold on to for years to come. It’s a true keepsake for a child and the parent as well. Another reason is obviously the element of personalization. It makes this book as unique as it gets. Each book is one of a kind, with its own hero, narrator, stories, dedication. No two books have ever been the same. The ordering experience itself is also something special: a customer truly puts part of themselves into the product.
MCA: The book is certainly a keepsake. What has the response been like to When Tonya Grows Up?
Hooray Studios: The response from our customers has been amazing, and the book became our bestseller soon after its release. We receive thousands of testimonials, reviews, photos, and videos of parents sharing their intimate moments with us, crying tears of joy when reading this book with their children. It’s a true tearjerker, not only for moms, but for dads as well. Many of the videos with dads reading our book and tearing up went viral on social media. It actually started a movement called #thefeelsmovement! Such genuine feelings are the biggest reward for all the effort and love we put into our products.
MCA: Wow, talk about a positive response! That really shows just how much of an impact this story has on its readers. It seems like the future Is bright for When Tonya Grows Up, can you tell us what we can expect next?
Hooray Studios: This book is constantly evolving with our readers. We listen carefully to their wishes and create and add new content from their suggestions, like new hairstyles or possible careers. What is special about this book is that it will always grow with us as we’re already considering new story suggestions and personalization options as we speak.
MCA: Sounds like the possibilities are endless! We look forward to seeing more from Hooray Studios! Please keep us updated on all the new releases.
You can learn more about the company’s award-winning book, When Tonya Grows Up, by visiting their MCA Shop page!