Michaela is truly the definition of an ambitious and hard-working woman. As a single mother with two children she has managed to maintain a part-time job and also start up her own business, Miles & Mia.
Miles & Mia is a book series based on Michaela’s two children, designed fill a gap in the market for books featuring characters of ethnic minority. Michaela used funding from Start Up Loans to publish her first book, Miles & Mia: A To Z in April 2016.
Michaela currently doesn’t employ anyone, but uses a media company to manage her website, and hires an illustrator for her books when she needs one. She is currently working part-time to make some extra money to be able to publish her next book more efficiently which is due to be released in April 2017.
Michaela previously ran nightclubs and is well respected in the industry for her strong events and operations experience. Her children, Miles and Mia, who both have careers in the children’s modelling industry, inspired her to start writing children’s books.
Michaela noticed that there weren’t many children’s books featuring characters of ethnic minority, this encouraged her to order some books from America for her children which featured characters from different backgrounds. Her children would laugh at these books, as they were so different to the ones they read in nursery and school. Michaela was fed up of this and decided to write books that included characters of different ethnicities – with her own children as the characters.
Since publishing her first book Michaela has received orders from across the globe, with the majority of her orders coming from America. Her book is also available online from major book retailers Waterstones and Amazon.
Michaela is trying out different marketing techniques for her books and has had a few celebrities promote her book, including UK rapper, Giggs, and TV personality and author, Katie Piper. Micheala continues to encourage celebrities with children to endorse her books, and spread the word about them through their social media accounts.
Michaela has faced some struggles with starting her business, such as building brand awareness and getting her book into mainstream book stores. Regardless of these challenges, Michaela has promising plans for the future of the Miles & Mia books. She aims to secure further funding and is interested in working with investors. She would also like to create a brand based around her books, with plans to create dolls of the book’s characters and, eventually, clothes and accessories.
Michaela found the whole process of receiving her funding from Start Up Loans to be a smooth process, with the advice she received on writing a business plan proving invaluable. She couldn’t speak more highly of her London Small Business Centre mentor, Jeff Gilbert. He was a key source of motivation for her during the process of setting up of her business and getting her first book published.