I have always loved creative writing. I was shy during early childhood, so writing became a natural form of expression and way of standing out as a student. As I progressed throughout my professional career, I have no doubt continued to rely on writing, whether I am creating or preparing for presentations or other work projects, to clearly articulate ideas and thought leadership.
I was raised with the notion that writing was a great outlet and I was encouraged to do so, but as a career, I needed to do something that was "more practical." It was then that I found myself entering the technology industry, where I spent a majority of my career. After five years in IT management consulting, I later co-founded and grew an IT Services/Software business with other partners.
It was more recently, in 2013, where I decided to revisit my enthusiasm for creativity and writing. I developed the business concept behind Storymakery after watching my daughter, who loved to write and draw like so many other kids, try to figure out how to bind the stories she created at home. This made me think – While there were so many different digital storytelling sites, there wasn't a platform, or experience, available for kids to self-publish. I took a leap of faith and ran with the idea to design a self-publishing platform from the ground up.
Storymakery is the culmination of both my passion and my experience: creative writing, technology and kids. I utilized my high-tech background to design kid-friendly technology, allowing them to be involved in every part of publishing process. Every child that walks into our Storymakery store navigates through three stations (Character Studio, Writing Studio and Publishing Studio) to create their self-published book, with or without the help of one of our imaginative in-store writers. Ultimately, I wanted to create a fun and innovative new experience that provided an outlet for all children to have their voices and stories heard.
Since its launch in 2015 in Irvine, California, Storymakery has become an imagination playground for children of all ages and backgrounds. Storymakery provides children the inspiration and creative tools for self-expression. Our goal has always been to elevate the experience of reading and writing through our in-store experience where kids work with staff to create their own stories and illustrations from start to finish. We have evolved our product and concept to include hardcover books, field trip programs, birthday parties, scout events and even writing classes and workshops.
Storymakery is made up of a team of hardworking young people who are passionate about what they do and manage multiple responsibilities – imaginative thinking, story building, writing, printing, binding, sales and providing an entertaining and memorable experience for all. We feel fortunate to have worked with children from diverse backgrounds – including international visitors and special needs – who have found Storymakery to be an outlet for self-expression and sharing their stories.
About the author: Before the start of Storymakery in 2015, Payal Kindiger and her husband were partial owners of a software company. They sold the company and it wasn't long before Payal began to get antsy. With her expertise in the technology space, Payal was driven to create a proprietary children's program that gave them the chance to explore their imaginations through creative writing. Storymakery was inspired by the creativity and imagination of her daughter who also loves to write and draw. As her daughter was trying to figure out a way to bind together the story she created, Payal took notice to the lack of self-publishing opportunities for kids. This led to the inception of the Flagship story in Irvine, California and the subsequent online personalization experience. Storymakery is a safe and fun place where children can explore their imaginations, and build cognitive skills.