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Sol Book Box

Airdate: March 23, 2017
Sol Book Box is a subscription box service that provides books and other items to children in bilingual families. Vanessa Nielsen, Sol Book Box CEO, talks about the service.

Guests:
  • Vanessa Nielsen - Sol Book Box CEO
Category: Education

Keywords: education, language, Sol Book Box,

View Transcript
JOSE CARDENAS: SOL BOOK BOX IS A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE FOR BILINGUAL FAMILIES. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS SERVICE IS VANESSA NIELSEN, C-E-O OF SOL BOOK BOX. WELCOME BACK. YOU HAVE BEEN ON THE SHOW BEFORE TALKING ABOUT YOUR ARTISTIC ADD VENTURES. THIS ALL STARTED ON AN UNI VISION SHOW SIMILAR TO SHARK TANK. WE HAVE A PICTURE OF YOU WHEN YOU APPEARED ON THE SHOW. WE WILL PUT IT ON UP ON THE SCREEN. TELL ME ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE.

VANESSA NIELSON: YEAH, SO IT IS PITCH ME YOUR DREAMS. THE AUDITIONS WERE LAST MAY AND THEY INVITE HISPANIC BUSINESS OWNERS OR PEOPLE WHO HAVE AN IDEA FOR A BUSINESS PITCH WHAT THEY WANT TO START. THERE WERE 13 SEMIFINALISTS ALL OF US LATINOS FROM AROUND THE VALLY THEN AFTER THREE ROUNDS OF JUDGING I ENDED UP WINNING THAT COMPETITION. IT WAS AMAZING.

JOSE CARDENAS: WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IS SOMETHING YOU CAME UP WITH. SOL MEANING SUN AND YOU PUT TOGETHER THESE BOXES WITH READING MATERIALS. WHAT MADE YOU THINK THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT THE PUBLIC WOULD WANT?

VANESSA NIELSON: WELL, I MEAN REALLY IT IS VERY PERSONAL. IT STARTED BECAUSE WHEN WE HAD OUR BABY, OUR OLDEST SHE IS TWO NOW, WE WANTED HER TO BE BILINGUAL AND TRIED TO BUY BOOKS FOR HER AND IT WAS HARD TO FIND THEM HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. I KEPT SEEING THE SAME ONE OR I DIDN’T LOVE THE TRANSLATIONS

JOSE CARDENAS: IS THAT A PICTURE OF YOUR LITTLE GIRL?

VANESSA NIELSON: THAT IS HER. I JUST WISHED SOMEBODY WOULD HAND ME A BUNCH OF BOOKS IN SPANISH I COULD READ HER AND THERE WAS NOTHING LIKE THAT SO I THOUGHT I SHOULD START A SERVICE LIKE THAT AND INCLUDED IN THE BOX BESIDES BOOK IS TOYS AND OTHER THINGS THAT RELATE.

JOSE CARDENAS: WE JUST HAD A PICTURE OF THEM ON THE SCREEN FEATURING A FAMOUS DRUMMER AND TOYS AS YOU SAID. YOU HAVE TWO CATEGORIES AS I UNDERSTAND IT OF KIDS AGES YOU ARE PITCHING TO. LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT.

VANESSA NIELSON: THE FIRST ONE IS FOR BABIES ,0-2, SO BOARD BOOKS AND SMALLER TOYS. THE OTHER IS 3-7 SO PICTURE BOOK AND THE ACTIVITIES ARE MORE INVOLVED DEPENDING ON THE AGE OF THE KID. INSTEAD OF READING BEING A CHORE, I WANT IT TO BE SOMETHING THEY ARE EXCITED ABOUT AND ESPECIALLY ABOUT READING IN SPANISH WHICH MAY NOT BE THE LANGUAGE THEY HEAR EVERY DAY EVERYWHERE.

JOSE CARDENAS: HOW DOES THE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE WORK?

VANESSA NIELSON: THERE ARE DIFFERENT PLANS. YOU CAN CHOSE A MONTHLY BASES OR PREPAY FOR THREE MONTHS, SIX MONTHS OR A YEAR. IT JUST DEPEND ONS WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO COMMIT TO. WE HAVE OPTIONS AND IF THERE ARE EVER LEFTOVER BOXES WE WILL LEAVE THEM IN THE SHOP AND THEY CAN BE PURCHASED AS A ONE-TIME GIFT LIKE A BABY SHOWER. IT JUST DEPENDS ON WHAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR. WE HAVE LOTS OF OPTIONS.

JOSE CARDENAS: I HAVE BEEN ON YOUR WEBSITE AND ONE OF THE THINGS YOU STRESS IS THE SELECTION OF THE MATERIALS SO IT IS CAREFULLY VETTED BECAUSE THERE IS NOT MUCH AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT THAT PROCESS?

VANESSA NIELSON: THAT IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE BUSINESS. I WENT TO THE BIGGEST BOOK FAIR IN LATIN AMERICA AND THERE WERE PUBLISHERS AND DISTRIBUTORS AND I MET WITH A LOT OF THEM AND TRIED TO FIND THE ONES THAT I THOUGHT WOULD BEST HELP PARENTS READ IN SPANISH TO THEIR KIDS AND HAVE KIDS BE EXCITED ABOUT THE BOOKS AND NOT HAVE WEIRD STORY LINES OR PICTURES THAT WERE NOT ENGAGING. THAT IS MY FAVORITE PART; RESEARCHING THE BOOKS.

JOSE CARDENAS: SPEAKING OF FINDING STUFF, HOW TO PEOPLE GET AHOLD OF YOU, HOW DO PEOPLE ORDER THE BOOKS?

VANESSA NIELSON: THE WEBSITE IS SOLBOOKBOX.COM AND ALL THE INFORMATION IS THERE. WE HAVE A Q&A SESSION. OR THEY CAN E-MAIL US IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS AND I CAN ANSWER THEM.

JOSE CARDENAS: SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT PROGRAM. I UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE HAD A LOT OF INTEREST IN CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, AS WELL AS ARIZONA AND YOU ARE LOOKING FOR BIGGER THINGS

VANESSA NIELSON: YEAH, YEAH!

JOSE CARDENAS: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON "HORIZONTE" TO TALK ABOUT IT.
JOSE CARDENAS: THAT'S OUR SHOW FOR THIS EVENING. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING. FROM ALL OF US HERE AT HORIZONTE AND YOUR ARIZONA P-B-S STATION. I'M JOSE CARDENAS, HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.