When author Chaundra Scott was growing up in the 1980s, she rarely saw children’s books like the ones she penned called “Curls and Coils,” “Beautiful Shades,” “The All-Star,” and “Sweet Dreams.”
Decades later the Hanover, Maryland resident embarked on a journey to offer diverse literature to children and their parents. Scott took a leap of faith by founding a company called Curls and Coils.
Through her company, she retails her published books and ethnic merchandise, she hosts special events and initiates community outreach.
In celebration of three years in business, a Curls and Coils tour kicked-off at Ladybugs Kids Glam Spa in Crofton on August 11, 2018 and concludes on August 29 in Launch Trampoline Park in Columbia. The fun-filled tour with various play date type of activities, a touch of glamour, a dash of sports and story time will make stops in Odenton, Annapolis and Baltimore City.
In Baltimore City, the Curls and Coils Tour will stop at the African Griot Book Fair for Children on Sunday, August 19, 2018 in Druid Hill Park at the Lakeside Pavilion from noon to 6 p.m.
Scott’s venture to publish “Curls and Coils,” began in 2015. Her love of books started when her late mother instilled an interest in reading at home. She often purchased Scott’s favorite books to add to her home library.
As a child, Scott wrote short stories, poems and song lyrics for fun. Today he topics of her books are inspired by her seven-year-old daughter, Aubrey Scott; and her 11-year old nephew, Ciandre Smith. Her books are vividly illustrated for both girls and boys who are young readers.
“Once I became a mother, my daughter, Aubrey inspired me to write “Curls and Coils” based on our real-life home experience,” Scott said. “One day Aubrey was preparing for school picture day. She was fascinated with the hair from the usual Disney princesses. We had to discuss that everyone is unique in their own way, and that her natural hair can also be styled in beautiful ways.”
Additionally, the author feels that self-empowerment and family engagement are important topics that are not always publicized in the African-American community.
“To date, we often hear of and see images of brutality and injustice; while hearted literature such as mine are also necessary positive images for youth to embrace,” Scott said. “My book’s themes are self-empowerment and positive family engagement. All four stories have a home setting around a family discussion, between a mother and child.”
Scott earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMB), served as a case manager for over 10 years. She has recently worked as a conditional special education teacher. The author makes time to mentor girls at Van Bokkelen Elementary School in Severn through her program, Little Curls and Coils.
Aubrey has also learned important life lessons from her mother’s books. She has even given her mother ideas about products to sell and new books.
“Curls and Coils is my favorite book because I'm one of the characters. I like the illustrations too,” Aubrey said. “I learned that it's important to love yourself. It's also good to love your own hair and not what is on TV.”
Scott says her books have inspired Ciandre and Aubrey to value family more and build their confidence.
“The All-Star has really helped to build Ciandre’s confidence. He is overjoyed to know that he is a main character in a published book. The story itself also helped him to be more of a team player when he played football, and currently as he plays basketball,” Scott said.
Scott also sells kid-friendly accessories such as hair bows, teddy bear reading pals, water bottles and drawstring bags. Theresa Morgan-Elam is a customer who agrees that Scott’s natural hair inspired merchandise, including t-shirts, bags, and custom earrings for fashionistas of all ages, compliment the Curls and Coils brand.
"I truly believe it’s important for children of color to see themselves represented positively across the spectrum of advertising. Coils and Curls products support this mission beautifully. The books not only grow self-esteem, but also self-identify and support the socio-emotional development of youth,” Morgan-Elam said. “The clothes are funky and fun but add the right touch to represent the African American culture and complete your outfit.”
Complete tour details may be found via www.facebook.com/CurlsCoilsMD.