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Cindy Roy: An Acadian entrepreneur and author involved in her community

Posted on Wednesday November 10, 2021

Cindy Roy: An Acadian entrepreneur and author involved in her community

In a brand-new series of profiles, we introduce you to exceptional female Acadian entrepreneurs who are engaged in the community and who, through their business, have made a positive impact on people. Enjoy this spotlight on their inspiring stories!

Behind Féeli, the little fairy with red boots, is Cindy Roy, author, presenter, educational consultant, teacher and literature enthusiast. For the past few years, she has been carrying her bags all over the country, reaching out to francophone children and children in immersion to share her love of books. Meet an extraordinary entrepreneur whose childlike heart is still very much alive!

From teacher to author: A big leap of faith

After having taught kindergarten for 13 years, Cindy felt the need to take on new challenges. An outstanding storyteller, she was already well known in the school system for her talents as a presenter and for the magic she created in her groups. In 2011, the teacher even received the prestigious New Brunswick Excellence in Education Award, Francophone Sector. "Books have always been a part of my classroom. I felt that something was happening, that what I was doing was greatly appreciated and that I was having a great impact on young people. I thought that in addition to telling stories, I could also write them! So I decided to take an unpaid leave of absence, or rather a creative leave, in 2011."

During this leave, Cindy increased her involvement with young people by telling stories at book fairs, events and schools, but she did not write one single line. "The starting point for my work was presenting. I was allowed to dress up to share my favourite stories, and I could even get paid for it. It was pure bliss!" One thing led to another, and Féeli Tout was born. It was not long before word spread that a book fairy lived in a marsh near the Chocolate River, in the Dieppe area, and that she worked magic! It did not take much for her career to take off in a completely unexpected way. Today, the teacher devotes herself full time to her tours, which take her from Whitehorse to Sudbury, and even Cape Breton.

Daring to dream by taking pen to paper

Cindy finally ventured into writing the following year. "My mission is to give people a taste for reading, and also to give them the desire to think big. No matter who you are or where you come from, you're capable of achieving great things. If that's what I want to show the kids, I have to do it, too! So I sat down and wrote. And while I was dreaming, I sent my manuscript to my favourite publisher, Boomerang Jeunesse, and they accepted it right away!"

With two new books published per year, the Féeli Tout collection now includes 14 titles. A brand new collection for children learning to read was also launched in 2019 by Éditions de la Bagnole, this time featuring the character Clochat, a cat who wishes he had nine lives.

Becoming an entrepreneur... by accident!

It was while talking to a mother at an event that Cindy realized that she was wearing an entrepreneur's hat. "When she heard my story, she told me that I was an entrepreneur, even though I'd never realized it! So I became one by accident, unbeknownst to me." Cindy is, in fact, the one who controls her projects: schedules, tour itineraries, contacts with schools, contract management, finances, etc. Although she knew nothing about the business world before starting her own company, she quickly felt that she belonged there. "I'm not afraid to knock on doors. If someone says, 'You can't do that,' I say, 'Why not?' I go for it, and so far, it's working!"

Shared values and common mission: A collaboration between UNI and Féeli Tout

UNI and Féeli Tout have been working hand in hand since 2015. How does this partnership work? Each year, UNI and the author sit down to assess her needs. "My association with UNI has, among other things, allowed me to make my website and props more professional. UNI has also sponsored tours, events and books. One year, one of my books was given free to all students starting kindergarten, and the concept was repeated with another of my books the following year." The co-op's contribution also allows all children to receive a visit from Féeli Tout, regardless of their social status. "I can go to small daycare centres that would not have the means to bring in presentations. My goal is to democratize reading, so it's important for me to reach out to all backgrounds."

Sharing the same values and mission within their community, UNI and Cindy are a perfect fit and support each other. "I'm so grateful. This is the best partnership possible!"

Entrepreneurship and financial literacy explained to children

To thank UNI for its help and to support her in her educational mission, the author decided to write a book to educate young people about the value of money. "Oscargot et sa licorne à sous" is a book that conveys some financial concepts in children's words, such as how to save and open an account. It's so important to introduce kids to these things early! UNI gives me so much advice in my entrepreneurial journey, and this is my own way of saying thank you to them."

And why not introduce the little ones to how entrepreneurship works? There is no book on the subject for children, so Cindy is taking the plunge. “In ‘Le rêve chocolaté’, I talk about starting a business. All the steps are included in a story adapted to children: market research, business plan, promotion, etc. This is knowledge that I didn't get when I was younger and that would have been very useful to me!"

The future of Féeli Tout looks bright. A cartoon will be released in 2022 on TFO, a project that fills the author, who has become a scriptwriter for the occasion, with happiness. A more theatrical show is also planned, in addition to the other stories that are simmering in Cindy's creative mind. "The goal has never been for it to get big. I want to go where the opportunities are and to where I feel called. My mission comes with the connection and intimacy I create with people. It's important to keep it local and personal. For me, success is doing what I love!"

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