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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Step out of your shoes and step inside a story



First Barefoot Books lifestyle studio in UK brings stories to life

Quick-fix consumerism is fading as more and more people choose to focus on the things that matter most to them. For many families, this means taking time out to be with loved ones and share memorable experiences. This October, a unique lifestyle centre will open in Summertown, Oxford, the perfect destination for families to have fun together.

The studio is the brainchild of founders of the well-loved children’s publisher, Barefoot Books. Stepping through the door will be like stepping into a vibrant storybook. An unprecedented mix of retail outlet, studio space, publishing office and family café, the studio will be a community hub for parents, carers, grandparents and children with an array of fun and educational events for all ages, from yoga to storytelling to African drumming to arts and crafts. Above all, it will be a place for families to meet, learn, have fun and become part of the Barefoot family.

The Barefoot Storytellers’ Café will be overseen by Vladimir Niza, who was a key chef at two Michelin-starred Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and also senior tutor at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School. A trained nutritionist, Vlad will work alongside his brother, José, also a Michelin-trained chef, fulfilling a long-held ambition for them to work together. The Storyteller’s Café will serve mouth-watering, locally sourced food for adults and children. Uniquely, the cafe will offer a bespoke baby and toddler menu – with no bad stuff! Vlad and his brother José have created age-specific fruit and vegetable baby foods, zingy, freshly-pressed juices and smoothies, and tasty early eaters’ meals, designed to match the palates and changing nutritional needs of developing children.

The studio will bring all the facets of the Barefoot Books brand under one roof. The intention is twofold: first, to create a colourful and creative meeting place for families; secondly, to let the various events become prototypes for activities which Barefoot Books Ambassadors can adapt for their own communities. An integral part of the Barefoot family, Ambassadors run their own independent businesses both on the ground and online, and represent the most rapidly expanding sector of the company’s activities Barefoot Books offers books, gifts, digital content and experiences that are an authentic alternative to the commercialisation of childhood. The products and ethos encourage children to make time for make-believe, putting playfulness and imagination at the heart of childhood. Founded almost twenty years ago by two young mothers, Barefoot has quietly become a way of life for many families around the globe.

“In a publishing world that is changing faster than we can digest the latest technological innovation, we have really had to think out-of-the-box commercially to thrive as a high quality, independent children’s publisher, while staying true to the core values on which Barefoot Books was founded nearly two decades ago. Barefoot has always been more than just a creator of beautiful and imaginative books for children. It is about a way of life, and it is about stories. The stories we make, the stories we share, the stories that are in all of us, and the stories that connect us. I am so excited about this next big step in Barefoot’s journey when we open the doors to our colourful, vibrant, and uniquely designed Studio in Oxford and our new European home. This will be a place where Barefoot’s stories come to life and where families and friends can connect, have fun and create their own special stories. ” says Co-Founder and CEO Nancy Traversy.

“Having spent close to twenty years making books which tap into the wisdom and humour of many cultures, I can’t wait to watch families living barefoot around us and sharing the stories and activities that most inspire them with their own communities” adds Tessa Strickland, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Open Weekend: 8th – 9th October, 2011

Barefoot Books will be holding its opening celebration on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October with a weekend‐long programme of events, including live music, storytelling, arts and crafts, celebrity guest readings, and much more.

Visit for a full programme of the weekend’s events.

category: Interesting Articles

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