We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffany Obeng and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiffany, what is the most important factor behind your success?
As the multi-published children’s book author of Andrew Learns about Actors (released 2020) and Andrew Learns about Teachers (released 2021), the most important factor behind my success is that I DEFINE my success. I am in control of what success looks like to me. For me, success is not only measured by money. For me, success is measured by the bigger picture.
I created the book publishing imprint, Sugar Cookie Books, to provide fun, rhyming educational books that will be enjoyed time and time again by young readers, ages 2 to 8. The mission of Sugar Cookie Books is to make career day any day or every day by using books to introduce our children to various careers in an easy and entertaining format; and to inspire kids to aspire to be anything they want to be. I also wanted to publish books that had diverse character images as the industry is lacking children’s books that include people of color, especially in the genre of “what do I want to be when I grow up.”
Based on the very positive customer reviews (which can be found in full on Amazon.com), I can confidently say that I have succeeded and that my brand is a success. Readers are reading Andrew Learns about Actors and Andrew Learns about Teachers over and over again. Readers are anxiously anticipating the next career in the series. Readers are seeing themselves in Andrew and the other images. Readers are seeing a normal family unit having normal conversations. Readers are assured that their curiosity is nothing to be ashamed of, but celebrated. This is MY success!
Additionally, I really enjoy books that have activities or thoughts at the end. So, I wanted to include with each book “extension activities” or resources to keep the conversation going after the book. Currently, Andrew Learns about Actors and Andrew Learns about Teachers comes with a free coloring sheet and a literacy lesson. The coloring sheet and literacy lesson are included in the book, but are also free to download from my website, www.SugarCookieBooks.com.
I will continue publishing books as long as the readers enjoy them and look forward to them. The next book to be released in the series is Andrew Learns about Lawyers (release date TBD).
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a lawyer by trade, but I have what some call, “an alternative legal career” or a “legal adjacent career.” I work at a large institution advising managers, employees, and other personnel on equal opportunity matters. I investigate claims of equal opportunity violations, so claims of unlawful discrimination or harassment. While I am really good at what I do, I will admit that it took me a while to be comfortable in my career because law school promotes working at a large law firm or opening your solo practice as “success.” Going into an alternative legal career does not come with the same “excitement” or “bragging rights.” So, I had to come to the point where I did not care what others thought of my career path. I like what I do, I do it well, and every day I use my legal education, which is a significant asset to my employer and sets me apart from other people in my similar position.
I believe my career path and journey is what made me realize that success does not have to look like what others say it should look like; success comes in many forms. Most importantly, success is whatever you want it to be. So, if those who read this article do not takeaway anything else, I hope they takeaway that I define me, my success, my story; and so should they.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some places that come to mind is Turkey Leg Hut. We would share one of their huge turkey legs and probably partake in one of their giant libations. Of course, The Breakfast Klub would be on the list, as it is a Houston staple and has very delicious food and warm customer service. The Candy Shack would be a must-stop spot because their candy topped daiquiris are potent and delicious! While in that area, we would go over to Chick’nCone because why not? I would also track down some of my favorite mobile eateries, like Cookie Dust Bakery for some tasty cookie treats, and Cat Daddy’s Fried Fish!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have shouted these people out in my books, on my blog (The True T.E.A.) and in various interviews, and I will continue to shout them out always.
Shout out to my mom, who always knew I would be a published author. She constantly reminded me, even to my chagrin, that I would be an author from very young of age until I published my first children’s book (Andrew Learns about Actors) in 2020. My mom has always championed this notion, and I am grateful that she never gave up on it or me.
Shout out to my husband. He, like my mom, consistently encouraged me to write and publish. When I finally decided to move forward with writing a children’s book, he was there supporting me. He had an “about time” attitude about it.
Shout out to my big brothers who as I embarked on and continue on my journey, they root for me and “look up” to me. Making my big brothers proud has been very endearing to me.
And, shout out to my mentor/friend/fellow children’s book author, Ashley Dedmon, who has always been available to me throughout my journey. Seeing her become an author gave me the nudge I desperately needed.
Finally, shout out to my sisters, my family at large, my friends and all my supporters: those who have bought the books, those who have left reviews, and those who cheer me on from a distance.
Photos taken in yellow dress were taken by Shoott Photography