Finding a New Career Amidst Illness
Founder of the Oliver Poons Children’s Company, Lauryn Alyssa Wendus, began writing children’s books amidst her recovery from a debilitating case of Lyme disease. Effects from Lyme disease had rendered Lauryn unable to hold a traditional job, yet she was determined to find a new career despite her limitations.
With a previous background in corporate finance, Lauryn never expected to become a children’s author and the transition happened quite unexpectedly. While in the midst of a multitude of neurological symptoms from Lyme disease, Lauryn, previously being only right-handed, found herself writing with her left hand. Not understanding this odd new symptom, Lauryn chose to embrace it, and found herself doodling sketches and writing children’s rhyme. The main character of her children’s stories is inspired by her lovable rescue cat, Oliver, who was her constant companion during her recovery.
A Mother-Daughter Team is Born
Lauryn sought out her mother, Lois, to illustrate her stories. Lauryn had seen Lois’ old college sketchpads as a young child and always admired her mother’s artistic abilities. When Lois mentioned that she may like to get back into painting after retirement, Lauryn seized the opportunity! She asked if Lois would like to try her hand at illustrating one of the Oliver Poons rhymes and with a little patience and practice, the team’s first book, Oliver Poons and the Bright Yellow Hat, was born.
The duo’s opposite skill-sets have complemented each other well. In addition to her artistic abilities, Lois also brings over thirty years of experience as a Reading Specialist, Special Education teacher, and Literacy Coach. This has led to the natural inclusion of educational worksheets, activities, and games into the brand.
As much as the Oliver Poons Children’s Company is about children, it’s about animals too! Lauryn’s lovable rescue cat, Oliver, is the inspiration behind the character Oliver Poons. Oliver and Lauryn have grown to be best friends since she first adopted him almost seven years ago from No Kitten Left Behind in East Hartford, CT. Animals provide such love and companionship for children and adults alike, and we’re passionate about supporting the organizations who help rescue these future best fur-friends! We donate a portion of our proceeds back to participating organizations though our #YellowHatsforCats campaign.
If you’re following us on Instagram @yellowhatsforcats, you’ll also find our #YellowHatsforCats challenge to be pretty fun! Follow us to see all the pets sporting yellow hats and tag your pet with #yellowhatsforcats to show your support for our shelters!
A Greater Mission
Our products are designed to be lighthearted and bring a smile. Oliver Poons and his friends are happy children’s characters who bring a little whimsy and fun into the day, yet whose sweet and innocent nature make for the perfect bedtime story.
At the Oliver Poons Children’s Company, we believe every child deserves a happy day and happy dreams!
Our vision for the Oliver Poons Children’s Company extends beyond the products. We hope to be able to bring smiles and happiness to causes supporting children, education, and animal rescue efforts by donating a portion of our proceeds throughout the year.
#YellowHatsforCats is just one example of our commitment to helping others through the sale of our products.
The Oliver Poons Children’s Company was created partly because of author Lauryn Alyssa Wendus’ inability to work a traditional job from a prolonged illness with Lyme disease. Illustrator Lois Wendus was also recovering from a severely broken leg and unable to work a traditional job herself for an extended period of time. The two have been able to repurpose their skills and create new work for themselves despite challenges. They realized the importance of having strong bonds in their local community, and wanted to create a platform for others to join forces.