October 25, 2014

Smarty Mom: Catherine Farley


This wonder woman has more passions than Oprah.   This past summer, she added “published author” to her long list of creative endeavors with the publication of “Mischievous Mimi Explores Seabrook Island“!

Mischievous Mimi Explores Seabrook Island” highlights the adventures of a newborn fawn, Mimi, who decides to follow some children horseback riding on a sandy trail.   Mimi meets lots of amazing animal friends while exploring the trails, marshland, and beaches of Seabrook Island.

The purpose of the book and website blog (explorewithmimi.com) is to provide children and families with a unique perspective for learning about barrier island nature, conservation, teamwork, and most importantly, to appreciate the simple beauty of God’s work that surrounds us each and every day in nature. 


The Farley family’s “Gathering Table”, designed by Catherine and built by Trey with reclaimed railroad ties

Some other fun facts about Catherine…

Catherine’s business is aptly named Creative Sole, LLC.  It encompasses all of her endeavors….physical therapy practice, revitalizing interior spaces, and children’s book writing and publishing.  The business name is founded upon the principle of being firmly rooted to share her strengths in various dimensions…creating from the ground up. 

Additionally, she is an amazing party planner and hostess!  

A few years ago, she hosted a dynamite Oyster Roast Party at her house for 120 people and it was truly like a wedding reception – simply the best! 

This summer, she hosted a book launch party at her house.  Every detail was cared for and themed around the book. The food, decor, tablescapes, and crafting stations for the kids were thoughtfully planned to highlight the Farley family’s beloved Seabrook Island.

She is absolutely tireless and exhibits grace in all aspects of her life.  It is inspirational to see someone take an idea or a dream, such as publishing a book, and turn it into reality. 

Married to: Trey for 15 years
Mom to: James (6 years old), Mary Catherine (8 years old) and Madeline (11 years old)
Occupation: Wife and Mom/CEO of the Farley Household, Practicing Physical Therapist, Creative Sole with a passion for revitalizing interior spaces, children’s book author
‘Hood: Park Crossing
Hometown: Salisbury, NC

1. From idea-in-your-head-to-published-book, how long did it take to bring “Mischevious Mimi Explores Seabrook Island” to life? The “ahha” moment for writing a book is actually one that I must attribute to our daughters, Madeline and Mary Catherine.  We have had a family tradition of collecting keepsake children’s books when we visit places.  They noticed that there was not a children’s book about Seabrook Island and thought there needed to be one.  Little windows began to open and we knew that we were supposed to bring this book to life.  It took about 15 months from conception to placing the first book on the book shelf. 

2. How do those who want to write or have written a book get started with the publishing process? There are so many options for writers to publish in the market today.  First, you would need to decide whether you would like to work with a traditional publishing company or self publish.  There are three main self publishing companies, Smashwords, CreateSpace, and Lulu.  These three companies bring about 75 percent of all self published works to the market.

I decided to self-publish for several reasons.  I knew we had a regional market that would have interest in the book and I truly loved putting together a unique team to bring the book to life.  We met a fabulous artist/illustrator, Susan Leggett who lives on Seabrook Island, a local book editor, Nicole Ayers of Ayers Edits, and an amazingly talented freelance graphic designer working in Charleston, SC, Marshall Hudson.  Marshall also handled the book printing through his contacts.  These individuals, among countless others provided input into the story, illustrations, design, and layout of Mischievous Mimi Explores Seabrook Island. I have enjoyed the book marketing aspect as well.  We have had such a kind and humbling response from readers, retailers, and the press since the book released on July 1, 2014.

Although I don’t have personal experience in working with a traditional publishing company, I have several friends who have published through publishing companies and had wonderful experiences.  As I understand, you find a publisher that publishes the specific genre of book that you are writing and work through their manuscript submission process.  Either way, you will potentially be holding your words in print to share with others at the end of the process.

I am humbled to be able to share a bit of my journey.  If there are aspiring writers who feel called to self-publish, feel free to reach out to me at creativesolecharlotte@gmail.com.  It took a “village” to bring our idea to fruition and I would be honored to be a small part of another person’s “village.”

 3.  Okay…now on to the stuff people really wanna know about you…what is the phrase you say to your kids all.of.the.time at home? Like most moms, I constantly repeat the importance of manners with my children and yes, after 11 years, I still have to keep reminding…”yes maam, no sir, please and thank you!”  This one gets old so I’ve tried a new approach…”Let your light shine!”  This comment could be taken in lots of ways, but I do feel like it starts a conversation in a positive light (no pun intended!)

4. If you wrote a parenting manual, the title would be… A parenting manual…now there’s something to tackle.  My first instinct would be to title it Letting Nature Be While Nuturing Wings to Soar.  I have always been fascinated with the concept of Nature vs Nuture.

5. Behavioral trait you hope your children don’t inherit from you? After participating in a Living Your Strengths program through church, I discovered that my five primary strengths or themes are Responsibility, Relator, Learner, Discipline, and Focus.  Of all of these, Responsibility is definitely the one that I pray my children don’t inherit from me.  Sounds a little odd, but Responsibility can sometimes ground you too much!!  In fact, I had to let go of Responsibility a bit to go out on a limb and self-publish a book.  My hope is that my children have been nutured to soar with their passions in life and can leave responsibility on the ground when necessary.  As an aside, I highly recommend the Living Your Strengths program.  There were so many ahha moments during those 6 weeks!

6. Funniest thing one of your kids has ever said to you? I wish I would have written more of our children’s precious comments down…in fact, my mom helped me remember Mary Catherine’s (2 years old at the time) comment when our 3rd child, James was born.  She said “I know I have a brother now, but is he a boy or a girl?!” 
As you can imagine, it didn’t take this second born long to figure out the answer to her own question!

7. One word that describes you? I am always working toward improving the adjectives that describe me…like patient and calm (I can’t claim those yet!), but for right now, I believe “faith-filled” is the best adjective for me.  It will get me where I need to be!

8.Who is your celebrity crush? I am a little old fashioned when it comes to celebrities.  The last “real” celebrity crush I recall having was Jack Wagner when I was 17.  A poster hung prominently in my room.  Today, I have to say that I admire Michael J. Fox for his tenacity and drive in making the public aware of Parkinson’s disease.  After you turn 40, it’s funny how your perspective changes.

9. First car you owned? I had a 1985 Pearl Colored Saab with a little black fin on the back.  My father loves to tinker with cars and I think he loved this car as much as I did because it always needed something fixed under the hood.  Great memories!

10. Who do you follow on Twitter? I do have a twitter account, but definitely need a quick tutorial as I haven’t taken the time to become savvy, so I am not really following anyone.  I enjoy a little facebook “newsfeed” every now and again.  Many of my friends post great inspirational quotes, pictures, and very interesting articles from a variety of places that can take me away.  My favorite local person to follow (aside from the Smarty Pants crew) is Caroline Simas.  She has a beautiful faith and shares her gifts through amazing artwork.

11. Pet peeve? My pet peeve is negativity.  I am a BIG BELIEVER in the POWER OF POSITIVE THOUGHT AND INTENT.  I feel truly blessed…”my cup runneth over.” Psalm 23:5.

Catherine and her crew will be sharing the gift of “Mischevious Mimi Explores Seabrook Island” at these upcoming events.   Be sure to buy a book so you can have it signed!

Saturday, November 1 – Book Signing at Alphabet Soup Gifts at Morrocroft in Charlotte from 1-3 pm
Friday, November 7 – School Presentation at Mamie Whitesides Elementary in Mt. Pleasant, SC
Tuesday, November 11 – Book Signing and Gallery Event at Gallery West in Columbia, SC from 4-7:30pm
Friday, November 28- Book Signing at Indigo Books 11am -1pm and Seabrook Shoppe 2-4pm, Seabrook Island, SC
Saturday, December 6 – Book Signing at The Literary Bookpost from 11am-1pm in Salisbury, NC

4 Responses

  1. Shannon Roderick says:

    Great article on this wonderful Smarty Mom!

  2. Koren says:

    Catherine is simply the best!!!! So happy to see her story, Susan!!!

  3. Kathy Snyder says:

    Catherine is an amazing person, inside and out!

  4. Jen Knapp says:

    I could not agree more with the perfect comment of “exhibits grace in all aspects of her life”. So blessed to have Catherine as a friend!

Leave a Reply