A love of turtles and a wish to ‘play our part’ in turtle conservation was the foundation of a project which, since 2012, has been fun and exciting to all involved.
Beginnings in Barbados
Sue Trew and her husband Chris live on the island of Barbados and began by selling Sue’s original book ‘Turtle Tracks’, and a plush toy of the main character Tilli, in their family retail business Best of Barbados Gift Shops. The response from their customers was fantastic!
With the introduction of the next book, Happy Hatchlings, a year later, it was clear that their customers were loving the stories, the interesting facts included in them and the toys of the main characters Sue had designed. With over 30 years of experience in the family business and with her customers in mind, Sue also designed the books’ matching merchandise to suit every pocket.
The ‘Family’ part of Turtle Tracks began to grow and the Turtle Tracks Family was born.
Into the USA
Joy Carter and her late husband Skip Moss in Florida had been friends and business associates of the Trews for years when, in 2012, Sue excitedly shared with them details of her new Turtle Tracks project. They immediately said, “We think we could sell them up here!” Soon books and toys were boxed up and on their way to Florida where they were an instant success!
Since Skip’s sad passing in January 2023, Joy has continued to be the main USA distributor, working directly with retail accounts to ensure shelves are fully stocked and sales staff know all the extra and fun features of the line. She is now ably assisted by Annette and together they make a great team. All the toys are safety tested and are manufactured in a socially-audited factory, while the glossy, high quality books they sell are printed in the USA with an environmentally-friendly protective coating rather than a plastic laminate.
The Family has grown to include books and toys about other endangered, threatened or just plain intriguing species, complemented by a variety of flora and fauna from the Caribbean and Florida regions. Each book presents scientifically-accurate information about the creatures and their natural habitats woven into an engaging story, while encouraging children and their families to care about and respect the environment around them. The books are researched by Sue both on the internet and in person as she travels to the location of the featured animals to observe them in their natural habitat – except for Monkey Mischief because Hug and his family and Chips the rescue dog live in Sue’s garden!
Exhibiting several times a year at large trade shows such as Surf Expo Orlando and Grand Strand Myrtle Beach (enquire which ones at Buy For Your Store), gives Joy, Sue, Annette and also Sue’s daughter Holly, an opportunity to connect with existing retailers and meet new ones. Sue offers a sneak preview of her next book and character collectibles at these events because, as a retailer, she knows the importance of offering new additions to a series. She also has to be ready for the most frequently asked question …. “What will the next book be about?”
The Turtle Tracks Family can be found throughout the Caribbean, The Bahamas and the USA in resorts and gift shops as well as zoos, aquariums and ‘Not-for-profits’, where their sales help support the important programs these organizations offer.