Name: Devi Raissa Rahmawati
Business: Rabbit Hole, a maker of customized books for children
Industry: Children’s Goods & Services
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Reason for starting: When I was a child, my favorite thing to do was read. Though I have forogtten many of the details of the books I read, I still remember the sensation and incredible feeling that books gave me. Reading was the foundation for my curiosity and broad imagination. I’ve since become a child psychologist, and sometimes use books as a tool to approach my clients. Almost magically, children become more aware of their feelings and thoughts while hearing a story that relates to their problems. As a result, they a more relaxed, excited, and are willing to tell me things that they never have before.
I also believe there are many benefits from a parent and a child reading together; imaginative skills, increased vocabulary, social skills etc. It can also aid the communication between a parents and child. But the sad fact (especially in Indonesia) is that many parents are too busy and don’t have time to play with their children and prefer to give them electronic games. The result is that children don’t like reading, or even come to hate it.
Because of this, I have created Rabbit Hole, where we make customized books for children. We want the children who read the books from Rabbit Hole to have a wonderful experience, like Alice when she fell into the Rabbit Hole. And as a result at the end, make the children fall in love with reading.
How do you define success? I believe that life is all about sharing; so you can tell if someone is successful if they share something that is useful to others. I also believe we are changing all the time, so success at one point doesn’t mean success at another.
Biggest Success: The biggest success for Rabbit Hole so far was when we published our interactive story on iTunes Appstore. Although Rabbit Hole mainly makes customized books, I also want to encourage more children to read, and making an application is another way to achieve this. The child can change the name of main character in our story to their name, and really personalize the experience for themselves. So, I am very proud of this application. There are many things to improve and build, but I believe we are on the right path. The goal is to make children fall in love with reading.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? The top challenge was to find a potential market and convince the clients that we offer affordable prices, since we make personalized stories and illustrations. But after a couple of months, the profit wasn’t satisfying, so we changed our strategy, which is to make a book for a group of children (one class in a school, for example). That way the book can also be paid for by a group. Another strategy is to make and sell more children stories on the Appstore.
Who is your most important role model? There are so many people that have influenced me. From, Enid Blyton, The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and many other great authors that really inspired me. From the business side, Steve Jobs always comes to mind.
Edited by The Story Exchange