Anna was born in Gweru, Zimbabwe, and raised in London, along with her older sister. Her father is Zimbabwean and her mother, Scottish. Growing up, Anna had always dreamed of owning her own business. She started her career as an Accountant but soon realised it was time to go after her dreams. Anna now has her own fitness business. In her spare time, you will find her spending time with family and friends or chasing after her two very energetic children!
Sharmane was born and raised in London, along with her five sisters. Her father is Jamaican and mother, Trinidadian-English. Growing up, Sharmane was encouraged to pursue a career as a Lawyer but after completing her legal studies, she soon realised that law was not for her. She began working in legal recruitment, which gave her an opportunity to live in Singapore for almost four years. Sharmane’s passions are travelling and boxing; although these days there is a lot less travelling to exotic destinations, and a lot more time in the gym.
Natàlia was born in Barcelona, where she grew up with her older brother, father and mother. From a young age she loved drawing, and very often was found creating and daydreaming. Pursuing her dream of working in a creative job, she studied to become a fashion designer but very quickly realised her real passion was to illustrate, especially children's books. She moved to the UK many years ago and now lives in a small countryside village. She loves nature, and she's happiest when taking long hikes with her partner and little doggy!
In Anna’s words…
Being of Zimbabwean and Scottish heritage, I always remember being really proud of my mixed background, the way I saw it was the best of both worlds. However, growing up in London did mean I didn’t feel as connected to my roots as I would have, if I had grown up in either Scotland or Zimbabwe. In 2015 after my husband (Jamaican-Montserratian heritage) and I had our first child; I had a burning desire to ensure she knew about and felt more connected to her rich heritage than I had done. When looking for books, I noticed that there was a distinct lack of children's non-fiction books written about specific countries that educate and celebrate individual cultures and traditions. This is when the idea to write a series of books that are aimed at inspiring children to want to learn more about the countries they are from, to celebrate their heritage and to build a sense of pride in their roots, was born.
Juggling life as a mum with a job as an Accountant whilst running my own business on the side meant I didn’t have the time to start this project. Fast forward to 2020 and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement during the Coronavirus pandemic, I felt the urgent importance of bringing these books to life, now more than ever.
In Sharmane’s words...
When Anna shared her idea with me back in 2015, I felt that it really resonated. Being of mixed Caribbean-English heritage, born and raised in London had given me a similar feeling of a lack of connection to my roots. I appreciate the importance of feeling more connected, and how this plays in having a strong sense of self and building confidence. I knew that if I was feeling this way, it is highly likely that my nieces and nephews would also eventually begin to feel this too. This was the main reason why I decided to join Anna on this journey.
We both feel that it is our responsibility to teach the little people in our lives; and through these books, hopefully many others to have a stronger appreciation of the richness of their country of heritage; culture, language and traditions. Most importantly, it is our hope that this will help them with embracing their own differences as well as seeing the beauty in others.