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Posts Tagged ‘childrens books’

Blog post by Stephanie, a Kindness Investor from Mt. Laurel, NJ.

I created an intention this morning ~ Today, I appreciate a kind heart!

Meet Tom, who not only has a very kind heart but also sells something very sweet and tasty, namely ice cream.  Tom and his wife Shari, opened The Zebra Striped-Whale in Newtown, PA several years after his wife self published her first book, which shares the same name. When I encountered Tom he was busy at work behind the counter but was still open to share his story before I even presented him the ten dollars.  I learned he used to work for years in my town (small world) and that he is the father of two daughters, Maxine (Max) and Ariele, one of which who was having her first day of work at a law firm in Philly.

When I asked Tom what was the greatest thing about his job, he answered that, “People come in excited.  They know it’s going to be a happy experience, not like going to the dentist, but when they come here they know they are going to get something good to eat.”

He says the shop was designed to delight all five senses from attracting your nose with the smell of the crepes and waffles,to the taste of his delicious ice cream.  Tom shared that his favorite flavor was the, “Sweet Cream because you can mix it with anything.”

The Zebra-Striped Whale is known for whirlwinds.  A whirlwind invites you to choose your ice cream flavor and the toppings are blended into the ice cream by hand with a flat paddle.

Tom with Colleen.

Tom was a psych major in college and worked in sales for most of his life.  He shared his dream of opening an ice cream shop with his wife and the two took it to the next level.  Tom is a creative spirit both on and off the job.  He created the artwork for The Zebra Striped Whale Alphabet Book, which is soon to be published. Tom’s motto is create a nice life, live well, and share good fortune and happiness with others.

Before we left, Tom surprised my friend Colleen and I by giving the $10 to her.  She used it to buy “The Zebra-Striped Whale” and Tom also gave both of us a book called “Cop Buddy” that was created to honor a fallen officer.  Tom and Shari not only own an ice cream shop and publish children’s books, but they also created The Zebra Striped Whale Foundation which serves the community through the art of children’s picture book publishing.  He truly has a kind heart and I enjoyed meeting him.

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Name:  

Stephanie

Age?

35
Where do you live?

Mt. Laurel, NJ

Where were you born?

Voorhees, NJ

What’s the highest level of education you have completed?

B.S. in Elementary Ed and Special Ed.
Do you have a family?

I have an AWESOME FAMILY, GREAT FRIENDS who are like family to me and a WONDERFUL Boyfriend, Greg. His kids, Gregory & Grace are a ton of FUN too.  To tell the truth,  I feel connected to a greater global family as well!
How did you hear about the Year of Giving?

Facebook last Spring 🙂
How long have you been unemployed?

The beginning of Jan.
What happened?

What happened was honestly an unexpected story I could tell.  I didn’t expect to lost my job,  but in the bigger picture I believe the ending occurred in my life for something new to begin.  I valued the experience and loved working with kids, but I feel the change occurred in my life to empower me to create something more!

Do you currently volunteer?

I did volunteer the last two months to help co-create a character education curriculum for BUNNY HULL of DREAM A WORLD.   She wrote a series of awesome books called “The Young Masters Little Wisodom” series. I am now looking for a Montessori School to pilot the program at.  I have also recently volunteered to put together 15 raffle baskets for a friend’s mom who lost her home do to a house fire.

Who have been your biggest influences?

Wow, many people have influenced me throughout my life. I am inspired by my mom’s kind and giving spirit, the teachers who recognized something greater within me and helped pull it out,  and I am often influenced and inspired by children.  Since I was young I have been positively influenced by Walt Disney’s spirit because he had a vision and dream and made it come true.  I’d like to create something for kids based on my own visions and dreams.
What is your favorite food?

I ate at Planet Raw Organic Food restaurant in California once and not only did the food look like a beautiful work of art, but it felt like heaven.  By far it was the most satisfying food I have ever eaten in my life!

What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received?

I have received lots from friends in family in forms or loving supportive energy, but I also love receiving “gifts” from nature, like finding heart rocks while I am on a walk or finding a tree smiling at me. (See pic)  I find these “gifts” from nature are soooo much FUN!

I also feel it’s a “great gift from the universe” when I am driving and I find a license plate that speaks to me, like

WITHLUV, PEACEINU, LUVNLYF, HV F8TH, B-THEONE, BSTRONG, LVLIFE

(These are all license plates I have seen and when I safely can, I snap a pic)

The best one was HOPE ANN because that is the “pen name” I gave to myself for the two children’s books I wrote.  Whenever I see a license plate it’s like the perfect words for the day that often lifts my spirits!

Describe your ideal job:

Wow, I have begun to think I don’t want just another job. What I wish to do in my life would require lots of work, but I would rather be known as a creator as well as a published author who also designed products that positively influence children.  More than anything I would eventually love to be the creator of a children’s discovery play center called A MAGIC NATION!  It would be a place that brings a child’s imagination to life by focuses on the mind, body, spirit. This great space for kids would also feature a place called HEART KIDS PLAY SHOP, a creative gift shop where the products have a great value and purpose!

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