LA Time: Shop Lets Children Create Story
Sun Nov 15 2015 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)
As a a child, Payal Kindiger loved writing her own stories.To her, writing was an escape from everyday life to a place found only by the sheer power of her imagination. But reality got in the way, and the oncebudding writer ended up choosing a profession in the steadier technology industry. "Writing was actually something I thought I would major in, but oftentimes you're told certain professions may not be practical, so I went down economics and thee world of high tech," said the 39 year old San Clemente resident. "But writing was something I always wanted to come back to."
The hobby didn't fully return to her life until her 8-year old daughter asked her for guidance a few
"She loves creative writing and would just go to the computer and wanted to make her own
stories," Kindiger said. "She asked me, 'Mommy, how do I make a book out of this?'"
A light bulb went off, and Kindger began developing the concept for Storymakery, which helps
children write and design their own storybooks.
The store's first location is scheduled to open Saturday at the Irvine Spectrum Center, near Target
and the Ferris wheel.
"As we get older, a lot of adults get away from writing," Kindiger said. "We realized that some of
that imagination that was so vivid and so clear when we were younger is hard to come back to as
adults. I'm hoping this experience is something the children will continue to grow with."
At Storymakery, which is geared toward children from preschool age to 10 years old, participants
have an hour to go around to different stations to create their 10-page books.
First they stop at the character studio, where they can design their protagonists, selecting from
hundreds of variations, and are introduced to basic elements of character development, like
moods and challenges.
"The idea is not just about creating a story but starting with the character and finding out all
about them," Kindiger said. "Imagination inspires character. That's our positioning statement."
Next, the children visit the writing studio, where they work one on one with creative writing
professionals for half an hour, typing and developing their story lines. The writing is combined with
illustrations in a separate publishing studio.
Finally, the books are printed onsite in paperback versions. Additional copies can be printed for
$16 each, with different dedications — to mom, grandma and so on. Other merchandise, like T-shirts,
mugs and posters bearing likenesses of the unique characters, are available for purchase.
Prices range from $20 to $55, depending on the type of package selected. The story tale package,
which includes the paperback book, poster and entire station to station experience, is $55, while
just creating a character and poster is $23.
All the writing and designing is done through an online computer program, which Kindiger designed and then developed with a team over the last year.
She said she envisions great potential for Storymakery, which is why she chose to open the flagship store at Irvine Spectrum.
"I think my motto is go big or go home," she said. "Irvine Spectrum is a great location with great
traffic. I figured if I was going to prove the concept, I should do it here."
Kindiger hopes Storymakery will develop into a national brand with multiple stores in key
"I want this concept to evolve," she said. "I think storytelling is something that is timeless, and
there are different types of media for it. Whether it's something interactive we can do online,
hardcover books, comic books, I think there's a lot that can be done in terms of evolving the
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