ValTin: recognizing Canada’s diverse cultures

4 min read
Meghan Edwards

Tinisha Powell was a university student studying to become a teacher. She was working on an assignment for her Education and Social Change class where she was asked to create a book on a topic not covered in Children’s Literature. She asked her best friend Valeria Gonzalez, who loved creating art, to help her bring her colourful words to life.

Both Tinisha and Valeria felt that when they were growing up there were never any books that represented their culture. When tasked to write something on a topic that is often not covered, Tinisha knew she wanted to create something that would teach children about multiculturalism. By drawing on their own experiences, the pair created the first draft of what would become their first published work, “Colours of the Rainbow: A Multicultural Journey.” Friends, family and professors quickly encouraged them to publish the book.

Publishing a book is not an easy task. Tinisha and Valeria received many rejection letters, which is why they eventually decided to go the self-publication route. From there, ValTin Publishing was born.

Both believe that their determination and passion were key to continue to work to get the book published, even as Tinisha continued her studies in school and Valeria went on to write a thesis on Canadian diversity in literature.

Tinisha and Valeria both have jobs and families. What they value most about ValTin Publishing is the flexibility it offers for them to work at a pace that fits their lifestyle. Since publishing their first book in, the business is still running and they are still just as passionate as when they first started. They are now in the process of finishing their second book.


Pounding the pavement to get recognized

Rejection after rejection drove Tinisha and Valeria to work hard and succeed for themselves. Through community events, fundraisers, and consignment stores the two entrepreneurs were able to get the word out about their book and make sales. Many of their sales came from word-of-mouth in the community and connecting with people via social media. For years, they relied solely on a Facebook Page. But to reach more customers, they realized that they needed to get online with a website that has an online store to help grow their business.

Life-fulfilling ventures

ValTin Publishing won GoDaddy’s Life Fulfilling Ventures contest, a contest that inspired Canadian entrepreneurs and small business owners to pursue their dreams. Tinisha and Valeria started ValTin Publishing from a passion project and have grown to work on a series of books and want to help encourage others to write about diversity and multiculturalism in Canada. They were thrilled about winning the contest as it came at perfect timing with the launch of their second book.

Since winning the contest, ValTin Publishing has launched their website with the help of GoDaddy. ValTin Publishing has been working with GoDaddy’s Professional Website builder team to create a custom site that best suits their needs.

Having a website was something they always wanted for their business, but never really had the resources and help they needed to start one that best suited their needs. They were thrilled to win the contest because it meant they would finally be able to launch a successful website.

What’s next

ValTin Publishing is almost ready to release their second book. With the launch of their brand new website, they are really excited to see how they gain a stronger digital presence and become more recognized as a brand. By having a new website including an online store, with the help of GoDaddy they are looking forward to hopefully seeing sales increase and expanding the business. In the future, they hope to be the go-to resource for anyone looking for resources to help facilitate the process of self-publishing.

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