Meet Hilary – a translator and former teacher who is now a Barefoot Books Ambassador! Read on to get her full story.

“Starting a new career in my 50s has been an exciting ride and I’m loving every minute! Combining a passion for books and storytelling with a way to earn extra income for the family and books for my soon-to-be-born grandchild is just perfect!”

Name: Hilary Brookes

Hometown: Cardiff

Family stats: Married, two grown-up daughters and soon to become a grandmother

Why Barefoot: As a translator, a former teacher of English, French and German and the mother of two bilingual daughters, languages have always played a huge role in my life. The exceptional quality of the language in our books captured me from the beginning. This was closely followed by the beauty of the illustrations. Our books create images in the mind of the reader through the richness of the illustrations and the beautifully crafted texts of the stories.

Favorite success story: I have two that are quite different. My most successful sales story was at an education conference in London: after looking at a number of our books a head teacher said she had seen enough for her to know that she would love all of our books so she asked me to send her one of every single book I had in my display. This was not only fantastic for me but a massive compliment to our editorial team who create such beautiful books for us.

Another very memorable moment for me was watching a young girl of about eight years old just completely engrossed in our Barefoot Book of Goddesses just surfacing every now and again to look up with her face wreathed in smiles. This was very touching and underscores so beautifully what Barefoot Books is all about – getting beautiful stores out there to our children.

All in the family: My daughters are no longer living at home but they provide wonderful emotional support, texting me encouragement during events and ringing afterwards to ask how it went. My husband is a true hero, carrying boxes for me and helping set up at conferences. At the end of a long day he is then never far away when it comes to packing up. We have travelled together to so many interesting places and met so many wonderful people over the past six years. It’s a fascinating job!

Top tip: When I first joined I didn’t have a circle of friends with young children so I had to carve out a niche for myself. As an ex teacher it seemed the obvious step to approach schools, nurseries and other educational establishments. The flexibility of our programme means that everyone can explore and discover what suits them best. Maybe you feel more comfortable promoting our books online or within the more intimate setting of home get-togethers or maybe like me you will discover a passion for larger scale events. I love the buzz and excitement and the opportunity to meet new people.

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