Talk Story Bookstore
3785 Hanapepe Road
September 9 – 6-9 p.m.
Mother-Daughter Authors and Entrepreneurs
Kathy Khalsa tells us how they began their business, Wellness Reproductions and Publishing. “It all started when I had a need for reproducible activity handouts created for mental health facilitators – but actually, our real-life story has the actual beginning. Ester will tell you more . . .”
“I co-owned a typesetting business with my husband, Jay. My son, Mitchell, had a serious mental illness. He attempted suicide three times in eight years and unfortunately died by suicide on November 22nd, 1986. Before he passed away, I was his confidante … and in trying to support him, I read everything I could, to try to help him . . . and myself.
At this time, my eldest daughter, Kathy, was an occupational therapist in a skilled nursing facility. When Mitch died, she became a psychiatric occupational therapist as well as president of Wellness Reproductions and Publishing, Inc., and needed a user-friendly, reproducible activity handout workbook that was not available (Kathy was never one to adhere to the philosophy that even though something hadn’t been done before, she couldn’t do it) so, she decided to write it! Knowing of my extensive research, studying and interest, (and wisely aware that this was an excellent time for a meaningful project for me), she asked me to be a co-author! With my husband Jay’s printing knowledge, encouragement and support, we decided to self-publish. In June of ’89 we gave birth to Life Management Skills I, Reproducible Activity Handouts Created for Facilitators.
Amy, my youngest daughter who was an art education student at a University, illustrated the book, combining her artistic skills with her understanding of people’s turmoil. After teaching art for a few years, she decided to go to graduate school. As a social worker, she now assists at risk children and families. We thought we’d sell some books to occupational therapists, but to our surprise and delight (by word of mouth and newly learned marketing) educators, recreation therapists, social workers, psychologists, EAPs, nurses, counselors, school counselors, program directors, etc., began purchasing the book as well. Soon our customers were asking about ‘other products’ . . . and so our company really began. We found our niche, a way to support mental health clinicians as well as people with mental illness.”
In 2001 Kathy and Ester sold Wellness Reproductions to The Guidance Group and worked for them for 5 years. Since then. Kathy went onto becoming a rehab occupational therapist. Ester continues with her passion by helping mental health facilitators help their clients with her work at Whole Person Associates. Her daughter Amy Brodsky continues to illustrate her books.
Kathy and Ester will have several of their books for sale on Friday evening, September 9th at The Talk Story Bookstore from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.