I met Sarah when she bought one of our Rare Bears in an online auction, and I immediately clicked with her when she came through to collect the teddy. We sat outside and spoke for ages, and have stayed in contact ever since. Her heart is so pure, and she honestly does all she can to make the world a better, happier, and safer place. She volunteers her time at a local safe house, and helps many kiddies realise their emotions that they are battling through, as well as actually overcome any negativity that they have been carrying around unable to fully understand.
She very kindly sponsored one of the prizes for my current giveaway, and I really think her products should be in every home, as well as every school.
“It’s a lot easier to be angry at someone than it is to tell them you’re hurt.”
Your name: Sarah Allen
Business name: Sometimes I Feel; Emotional Development Resources
3 fun facts about you:
1) I’m an artist as well (I especially love doing pet portraits and wildlife drawings/paintings)
2) I’ve been told I have a memory like and elephant and I usually remember the things I’m not supposed too
3) I LOVE chocolate
Tell me a bit more about your business: Sometimes I Feel are children’s emotional development resources to help them learn about and explore different feelings. I believe that I can’t change the world but I can change the world for a child; and I believe you can too!
Where did the passion for this come from: I am firstly an OT and Play Therapist working here in Johannesburg as a volunteer in underprivileged communities and babies home. I originally come from the U.K. and when I saw how few resources we have to meet the needs of the children I was working with here, I decided to create my own. Originally for my own practice (as I’d brought some from the U.K. but the kids couldn’t connect to them here) but then it developed as more people saw the books and cards and wanted them, so I decided to start producing more. As I grew in confidence, my passion and creativity also grew to create new and innovative products to meet the needs of parents, therapists, educators and children across this country.
What makes your products different: They are specially geared towards South African children. I have spent hours working with the children and learning about issues/feelings/emotions that effect them and have created resources to meet their needs. They are also multi ethnic which many products currently in the social and emotional sector currently are not. My products are always used and tested by a range of South African kids to ensure that they work in our context.
They are South African produced and made; I work closely with a South African printer here in Johannesburg. The paper we use is Non-Tearable and Wipeable to make them long lasting.
How do you get inspired for your books: By the children I work with daily, their continually inspire me; I see the need, the passion, how they respond to my products and that’s what encourages me and drives me to create new products for them. I’ve been so inspired by the response of the people I have met who have bought, used, engaged with my products; the fact that businesses would sponsor print runs to get them to the children who need them fills me with joy and pushes me on to create more to meet peoples. Our country is lacking in high quality South African resources inspired by our diverse communities and environment; This also inspires me to also ensure that I am creating culturally relevant and diverse products.
How can people order from you: You can order directly from me, via my Facebook page (I have a shop on there) or email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Who do you think would benefit from owning these: Schools, Therapists, Parents and children
I see you have recently done a new book – please tell me more: So I’ve actually produced 2 new products that I’m excited about. I’ve created the Sometimes I Feel 2 Book set which carries on from the first one but explores different emotions, is slightly more advanced but follows the same principles as the first one.
And the second is my new Conflict Resolution game for teens and tweens; exploring different scenarios that adolescents face and how they might deal with them, I’m an interactive way.
What was your very first book/product you wrote/created:
It was the Sometimes I Feel book set; I wrote the book to help younger children learn about feelings and begin to name them. I also wrote it for the educators I was working with at the time in the townships to have a resource to use with their children in the classroom to discuss feelings like sad, happy, angry, scared.
I then added in the flashcards because the book was a great starting point but it didn’t go far enough. Teachers, therapists and parents needed something tangible to help their children identify how they were feeling at any particular point or when discussing certain topics so I made the flashcards to stick in the wall or lay them out on the floor and the child can point to how they are feeling which opens up a discussion.
Often children (and adults) don’t have to words to express how they are feeling but they can point to a picture that reflects their feelings.
If you could recommend just one thing for people to start off with from your range, what would it be: I would start with the Sometimes I Feel Book Set (You get a book and a set of flashcards for R300) it was the first product and my initial go-to. Followed on quickly by the Sometimes I Feel Board Game which the kids LOVE. It puts into action what you have learned in the book and gives you ways to manage your overwhelming feelings.
What do you do in your spare time: What spare time?! 😉 I like to take my dogs for walks, watching movies, hanging out and laughing with friends, explore this beautiful country and play the piano.
Have you always had such a big heart for others: Yes 🙂 my favourite dress up costume as a child was a nurses outfit so I think my care for people has always been there.
I knew I would probably go into a caring profession.
I love connecting with people, meeting people from all different walks of life. But I especially have always loved young children; their excitement, zest for life and their capacity for love, despite some facing so many challenges.
Quote you live by: ‘Tea helps everything’ 😉 and ‘Just do it’
Anything else you want to add: Personalised Books are now available for you children, grandchildren, kids birthdays, cousins…make your child feel extra special with this gift
They are written and illustrated by me. They rhyme for ease of reading and have proven to be very popular so far!
Follow this link to view the stories and the options (prices start from R199!
I absolutely adore all of Sarah’s creations, and I am sure that you do too! These are wonderful resources to help speak through any emotions, events, or issues that your children/family/students may be experiencing. And I remember always wanting a personalised book when I was growing up.
Thank you Sarah for allowing me to interview you, and for all you are doing to bring joy to the world. I am so lucky to know you.