This past January, many thousands of families across North America received a Barefoot Book in their Citrus Lane box, much to the delight of their children. Citrus Lane provides monthly boxes to help parents support their children’s learning and have fun at the same time.

In today’s interview, we’re pleased to share some insights from Mauria Finley, Founder and CEO of Citrus Lane. The synergies between our companies are many, including a commitment to sparking children’s imaginations; providing high-quality content that delights children and adults alike; and supporting an entrepreneurial, creative community that has families at its heart. Our books will be surprising Citrus Lane subscribers in the near future ­— the fun didn’t stop in January! If you’re interested in learning more or joining the Citrus Lane community, you can visit their site at www.citruslane.com.

Where did you spend your childhood?
I spent my childhood in Texas in a college town called Bryan-College Station.  My mom and dad are big Aggies!  I came out to California to go to college and never left.

What would you describe as your greatest achievement to date?
My family.  I’m lucky enough to have a loving and supportive husband and two amazing little boys.

Where and when do you most like to work?
I love working in the Citrus Lane office.  It’s incredible to be surrounded by a team of smart, motivated and creative folks every day.

Who are your role models?
My mom.  She was a single parent and worked in the school system.  We had very little money, but she was focused on giving us opportunities and making sure that we set high bars to achieve.  As a kid, I knew that she worked incredibly hard to give us opportunity. But now, as an adult with two kids of my own and much more support, I look back and I’m even more amazed that she could do it all.

Do you have a motto and if so, what is it?
I always tell my five-year-old that he can accomplish anything if he just keeps working at it. I tell myself the same thing during hard runs!

What books are you reading at the moment?
My husband and I are reading Positive Discipline for Preschoolers. Yikes! For fun, I’ve been reading the Discovery of Witches series.

What is your perfect weekend?
Camping with my family and friends. Hiking, cooking outside, s’mores, talking with friends over the fire after the kids go to bed.  Though, it’s critical that the trip involve good coffee.  I have sent my husband back into town to fetch it!

Where do you find inspiration?
My daily “meditation” is running. My inspiration comes from the people around me – my family, friends, and colleagues. They are so creative and achieve so much.

Do you have a favorite Barefoot Books story?
We recently put Over In The Meadow in a Citrus Lane box.  Zachary loves the CD, but it’s only in my husband’s car.  Zachary asked me this morning, “Daddy drive me to school. Robin song.” I was also reading the book last night and we were practicing winking and blinking with the toad.  He got so engaged in this new skill that he rolled off the bed!

If you could read a story to any child, who would it be and why?
My husband had a favorite book from his childhood called Hello Rock. We found a print of it from the 1960s on eBay.  It’s very threadbare.  We keep it in a special place and take it down when Xander and Zachary want to hear Daddy’s special book.

Why did you want to work with Barefoot Books and share our books with your fantastic customers?
At Citrus Lane, we spend a lot of time finding products that support children’s development. When we add books to our boxes, we want stories that teach age-appropriate skills and spark imagination.  Since we want to foster a life-long love of reading and learning, books are one of the product categories we add most often to our boxes.  Barefoot Books always delight us with their focus on learning wrapped in engaging and memorable stories, and the Citrus Lane community agrees. Each time we have added a Barefoot Book, it has received rave reviews.

How do you surprise and delight Citrus Lane customers?
Our number one goal with each monthly Citrus Lane box is making sure we find amazing products that work for each age and stage of the child’s life, from newborn up to age 5. We keep it fun and surprising by having different products each month, finding those innovative items that you might not have known about but couldn’t imagine living without once you find them, and sometimes throwing in a surprise for mom!

How cute is this little one? Share your own adorable photos on our Facebook page!

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