Moms of Reinvention



Hollywood Film Producer Gives Up the Fast Track and Embraces Change

Ricki Booker was living the dream life - or so it seemed. A successful film producer who worked for powerhouse studios like MGM and United Artists, Ricki was involved in a host of blockbuster films and yet, somthing was missing. When she joined Nickelodeon as an executive in charge of film development, Ricki thought she was on the right path. She'd dive in and start developing projects that she believed in, and the rest would be history. But that's not the way things work in Hollywood. "Sometimes the best scripts don't even make it because the writer is unknown and people aren't willing to take a chance," she says. And so, Ricki decided it was time to take a chance of her own.

Following the birth of her daughter, Ricki was still at Nickelodeon and found herself travelling all the time, which unfortunately for her, upset her child a great deal. "Everytime I went away on a business trip, she was sad and then when I came back she really gave me a hard time," she says. After a friend suggested she buy her child a book about what happens when a parent goes away on a business trip, Ricki visited the book store, but says she didn't see anything she liked. "All the moms were frumpy. Why can't a mom look attractive when you're trying to teach your kid a life lesson?" Ricki asked. As a result, she took matters into her own hands and created a colorfully illustrated book that told the stories the way she thought her daughter would want to hear them. From there, the Change is Strange book series was born.

Ricki wrote a book called Mommy and Daddy Are Going on a Trip, but then realized there were endless books to be written. From welcoming a new sibling into your life to the first day of school to moving away with your family, Ricki decided to build on her concept and create a personalized series of books that could include the names of the child facing a particular tough moment in their life. After releasing her books, their popularity spread like wildfire with customers ordering them online, contacting Ricki through word of mouth and retailers even had her produce special books without the personalizing option so they could offer the Change is Strange book series at their stores too.

When Ricki was pregnant with her second daughter, she decided it was time to take another chance. After she gave birth, she gave up that corner office and said goodbye to Hollywood so she could build the Change is Strange brand. Since that time, Ricki has secured a book distributor, has a sales representative on her team and will be working with a publisher in France who plans to distribute the book series as well. Each book also offers advice from an accredited child psychologist who gives tips on what you can do with your child to help them deal with change in their young lives.

With Ricki's amazing connections in the film world, Change is Strange has found it's way into the hands of celebrity and Hollywood heavyweights. Courtney Cox Arquette and David Arquette have the Change is Strange book series and baby Coco just loves them. Plus, Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor received them as gifts from MTV. And, actresses Brooke Shields and Gwyneth Paltrow received "We're Having a Baby" as part of their gift baskets from Nickelodeon.

At the suggestion of her incredibly supportive husband, Ricki decided to finally leave Hollywood behind and move with her family to a place that would truly enhance their quality of life. Colorado was the destination - partly because that's where Ricki and her husband first met and secondly, because they both love the outdoors and wanted their kids to experience living in one of the most beautiful states in the country.

Ricki and her family moved to Colorado two weeks ago and as I caught up with her while she was picking crab apples with her daughter, it's clear that she definitely made the right choice. Change is Strange - even for an adult, but sometimes in the end, change can be really good for the soul.

To order the Change is Strange book series click here.


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