Mo's Nose… Behind the scenes with Author Margaret Hyde

Nov 10, 2009 at 11:15 am |

HMC had the pleasure to get a few moments to speak with Author Margaret Hyde.

Let’s start with your career. You are an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, publisher, writer, photographer and you have three children! How do you juggle everything?

There’s no question that I have to be really diligent about prioritizing. My kids absolutely come first. They inspire almost everything I do and I make every effort to include them.  When we filmed “The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306” I brought them with me to Memphis because I knew it was important for them to not only see the process of film-making and all it entailed, but also to learn firsthand about the film’s inspiring civil rights leaders and their message.  We also often make photography excursions family vacations where we can explore nature and cultures together.  And of course, my youngest is absolutely the best editor for Mo’s Nose.

How did you come up with the idea for Mo’s Nose and what advice can you offer to other moms who want to turn their great idea into a successful business?

The idea for Mo’s Nose literally came to me in a dream.  Mo leapt into my imagination in the middle of the night and I knew that I had to create a story and world for this character.  Amanda is my best friend of more than 20 years and the illustrator, Amanda Giacomini’s own rescued dog and he has such a gentle, inquisitive spirit.  I saw so many possibilities.  Many believe that dogs are color blind and I was intrigued by how dogs discover the world with their nose.

My advice to other moms is to find the inspiration in the little things. Let yourself see things simply and with childlike wonder.  No idea is insignificant if it makes you happy and that’s the key.  I really believe
success comes from enthusiasm about your idea.

Mo Smells Green features Press-2-Smell technology and aromatherapy. What exactly is Press2Smell technology and what benefits does aromatherapy offer to children?

As a child, I loved scratch-n-sniff stickers and because Mo discovers the world through his nose, it seemed a perfect fit to make the Mo’s Nose series interactive by adding a Press-2-Smell feature that works with the story and leads you by the nose.  The Press-2-Smell feature is possible via scent-dispensing packets embedded within the books and the great thing is that unlike the stickers of yore, the scents last for thousands of sniffs.

We were thrilled to partner with Aura Cacia Pure Aromatherapy on the second book in the series, Mo Smells Green. The scents were created using only 100 percent pure essential oils.  I think many parents will find the book a soothing addition to naptime and bedtime rituals because of the combination of lemongrass, sweet basil, mint, lime, cedarwood and bergamot essential oils and the fresh, grassy and citrus aromas.  They actually provide cleansing and revitalizing aromatherapy benefits that both children and grown-ups alike will find uplifting, cheering, cooling and balancing. It’s a great way for parents to introduce aromatherapy to their children.  The sense of smell imparts such strong memories and the combination of these soothing scents plus the togetherness of storytime make reading something to look forward to.

In Mo Smells the Holidays, we offer tips for families to come together and start thinking about service work.  Our Mo’s Nose mantra is “Be. Do. Give.” Being present, creating hands-on service experiences and making your children a part of the decisions of where, why and what you give to or what service project you participate in is key.  Charity is an action and not just a thought and the littlest friends can make the biggest impact.  A hug is about the feeling you get and not just about the physical act of putting your arms around someone.  Teaching your kids that giving starts with a special feeling and that everyone involved receives joy is so important.

What will kids learn from Mo?

The entire Mo’ Nose series is about exploring and discovering the world in a creative way and connecting kids with philanthropy and fun.  Mo is based on a real life rescued dog and a percentage from the books benefit children’s and animal charities such as Best Friends Animal Society, Junior Blind of America and Healthy Child Healthy World.  Explaining to your children what rescued dogs are and why they need our love and help is a great way to teach compassion, as well.  It’s my hope that what everyone takes with them after meeting Mo is the sense of wonder and the closeness that reading together brings.

HMC goes behind the scenes with Author Margaret Hyde