We are running a new blog series featuring small business owners in multiple niches and industries. It is our aim to help facilitate connections and raise the visibility of small business owners around the globe. COVID-19 caused many small businesses to pivot and retool to sustain a profitable business. Sharing lessons learned will strengthen us all! Today we’re excited to introduce you to small-business owner, Sarah Beliza Tucker. Sarah is an Award-Winning Best Selling Children's Book Author and Character Development Specialist. She is the CEO of Ocean Aire Productions, Inc., which develops, produces, and markets programs and products to help parents and mentors teach children life skills and character development through books, animations, and interactive character classes in their schools and martial arts academies. She has also co-owned a martial arts studio in Flordia since 1999, with her husband of 22 plus years.
What is the WHY behind your business? What motivated you to get started?
I know this might sound corny, but children are my "WHY." I have been working with children since I was a teenager and found I had a talent for communicating with them and holding their attention. I chose to use that talent to help improve the world. I started at Fox Television, where I was the first On-Screen Kids Club Hostess; I learned how to keep kids engaged and entertained; I left and toured the country with a theater group that performed morality plays.
I started my journey to become a character development specialist in 1999; When I saw a NEED and a WANT from parents, teachers, coaches, and school counselors alike. I feel when it comes to making a difference in a child's habits and choices, the earlier you can help create those good habits, the more likely those children will retain those life skills as teenagers and adults.
The big challenge with teaching young children (3 to 8 year-olds) is holding their attention; they learn better visually, through demonstrations and example instead of verbally through lectures and speeches.
Our character development curriculum and our children's books are presented in a very different visual style than traditional children's books.
They are fully illustrated and read more like a cartoon; the visuals help tell the story with facial expressions and how the characters interact in the book. This combination of visual and verbal is powerful in that it holds their attention and helps them develop stronger comprehension.
There are a lot of tools and products on the market, but kids are not getting what they need to help them become successful functioning adults. Today too many, "EVERYONE is a winner, and everyone gets a trophy attitude," is hurting our kids and their future. I'm motivated to help kids become real WINNERS. I want them to become inspirations to others through their accomplishments, no matter how big or small, because they worked for them.
Did COVID impact your business? If yes, how did you pivot and overcome the challenges?
Yes, Covid most definitely impacted my business. Every day, I received messages from my clients (Martial Arts Schools and Coaches) to cancel or pause my character development program because they had to shut down or close completely due to the government making it illegal to be open, but they were still liable for all the bills coming in.
I will admit I almost lost my motivation to keep my mission going. After a few days...Okay weeks of brooding, I stepped back and said, "NO! No, I will not let this Covid affect my mission; my calling it's too important." So I pivoted. I took the first part of that year to develop our now Award-Winning Children's Book Series, which has helped children worldwide.
Now that things are slowly getting back to normal, I am re-focusing on helping teachers, counselors, coaches, and school owners with character development.
What lessons did you learn that made your business more resilient and sustainable?
I learned that it's okay to lose almost everything. It allowed me to step back, rethink and create new strategies. I learned that some things are out of our control, like the world shutting down. But I also learned that the way I responded to it was more important than anything else.
I chose to branch out. I started publishing children's books on top of my character development program. Creating this change has opened up my company to a much larger market.
Who do you serve and how do you help them? (what problem do you solve?)
Our programs and products serve many outlets: public schools, private schools, daycares, pre-schools, martial arts schools, churches, book stores, and homeschooling parents.
We provide mentors and parents with the tools they need to teach their young children/students life skills and character development in a way they can understand while having fun. Our goal, like their mentors and parents, is for them to one day become influential and successful adults.
Why/How did you select this niche?
To be honest, it selected me.
What types of programs do you offer?
We offer children's books retail and wholesale that teach perseverance, courage, integrity, focus, self-control, confidence, responsibility, manners, and anger management.
Our curriculum helps martial arts schools, teachers, and counselors better serve their students.
We also offer teachers and parents guides with our books to help the children comprehend the messages and life skills from each story.
What kind of results can people expect from working with you?
Kids absolutely love our award-winning children's book series. We have received hundreds of 5 Star reviews and testimonies from parents, teachers, parenting coaches, and child therapists all are raving about the change in their children's lives and positive behavior.
Martial Art school owners and coaches worldwide have had great success using our curriculum, helping them teach character development and increase student retention.
How can readers connect with you and learn more about or support you? (share website, email, social links)
For our books and author visits: adventuresofharryandfriends.com
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahbelizatucker/
For Coaches/Martial Arts Schools: blackbeltprinciples.com
Links to buy books paperback
BK1: The Day I Met My Best Friend
BK2: Harry's First Martial Arts Lesson
BK3: Harry Gets Into the Swing of Things
BK4: Harry and The Broken Toy
BK5: I'm Not Afraid!
BK6: I Quit!
BK7: What Should I Do?
Bk8 Holiday activity book
Thomas The Tiger