Kailan Carr

Kailan Carr is one of this year's 20 Under 40 selections for Bakersfield Life Magazine. She is the owner of Quiet Book Queen & Crafts. 

Name: Kailan Carr

Age: 37

Occupation/Business: Owner of Quiet Book Queen & Crafts in Between

Hometown: Bakersfield

Tell us how you got into your field. I was an early elementary school teacher, and then a stay-at-home mom. I always valued screen-free activities for my kids, but never dreamed of owning a business. I hosted a quiet book swap with friends, and it was such a success a friend suggested I start a business. Five years later I’ve designed more than 150 quiet book pages, led hundreds of parents and grandparents in swap groups to make their own quiet books, written four published books involving screen-free activities, and helped spread awareness about screen-time effects to parents and grandparents!

What is your "why?" (Why do you get out of bed every morning and do what you do?): I am determined to defend the early years for children. Screen time needs to be limited from age infant to 5 while their brains are developing. More importantly, little ones need loving connections and play time, and I love to create activities for that purpose.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Maya Angelou’s quote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” really resonated with me. It can apply to so many areas in life, but I found it helpful in my parenting journey.

What is the biggest challenge in the marketplace/business that you’ve overcome? Wearing all the hats while building a business from scratch! I’ve had to learn accounting, taxes, advertising, web design, social media, email marketing, Pinterest, search engine optimization and the list goes on. And then things change and you have to dive in again. This is all on top of taking care of children!

What is your proudest achievement of your career thus far? Just looking back and seeing the brand I have created from scratch is a pretty proud feeling. I also never would have thought I’d be a published author, so that is quite an achievement as well.

What’s next for you in your career? The plan is to create more themed quiet books — Nutcracker and travel size coming out next. My latest book — "Indoor Fun Preschool Activity Book," will be released soon! I also want to get back to hosting my interactive swaps where kids get to come “shop” for their felt food items. And finally, I plan to create a membership for all of my printable activities — holiday-themed treasure hunts, outdoor scavenger hunts, pretend play set-ups, busy bag activities, and so much more. Plus information on navigating screen time during the early years!

What advice would you give to other young professionals and entrepreneurs in Bakersfield? You will never know unless you try. I remember talking with my husband as we were traveling in the car about starting a new business while taking care of young kids. He was very supportive and said just try it and see how it goes! It was one of those moments of clarity that I will always remember. Also, don’t listen to the insurance agent in the beginning who thinks it won’t be worth it. My business has expanded in so many ways and opportunities just keep opening up. I’m so glad I took the chance.

How do you hope to help improve Bakersfield, or bring to the community overall? I am so happy to bring events like my Farmer’s Market Felt Food Swap that allow local young children to play pretend and have a memorable and unique experience with their caregiver. I also host a Donation Quiet Book swap every year (thank you local volunteers who help!!) and I am proud to be able to donate quiet books to children in local hospitals and foster care.

Social media contact information:

@quietbookqueen on Instagram

Quiet Book Queen on Facebook

What is one thing you wish you would have known before starting your career? A whole lot of things! I went to college to be a teacher and starting a business is very different. I wish I could have had a mentor to help me sort through it all. Ask for help!