2005 Overview

With the story of their family Scout Elf complete, Chanda and Carol found themselves with no money or know-how to get their family tradition into print. Chanda pored over self-publishing information, designed packaging and prototypes, developed a website and continued to work alongside Carol to perfect their manuscript. Meanwhile, Bob provided some initial office space in his small engineering and fabrication firm to the project. Chanda’s sister, Christa Pitts, left her job at QVC to lend marketing and operational expertise to the business, and the trio set out to share their story with the world. However, the women would have to take enormous risk to fund the endeavor. Chanda maxed out personal credit cards, Christa put forth the proceeds from the sale of her house and Bob and Carol cleaned out a small retirement account. With the money, 5,000 units of The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition were made by the women’s newly created publishing house, Creatively Classic Activities and Books, LLC. In their first attempt to market and sell the book, Carol, Christa and Chanda held a book signing for their family and friends at the Marietta Museum of History. Then, they branched out and sold books one by one at local shows and markets: the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta’s Mistletoe Market and The 12 Days of Christmas trade show in Charlotte, North Carolina. Through website sales, impromptu book signings and the help of 18 stores that were now selling the book, all 5,000 copies of The Elf on the Shelf had been sold by the end of the year.