Géraldine in her violin workshop, where Tidy Books started!
Géraldine with her children Adèle and Émile
The first original Tidy Books bookcase, made by Géraldine for her daughter Adèle
I’m Géraldine Grandidier. I used to be a violin maker, but everything changed when I was looking for a bookcase for my four-year-old daughter, Adèle. All I could find were adult bookcases that were decorated for kids. To me, they didn’t make any sense – and I didn’t think they made sense to kids either. So I made my own!
The bookcase was front-facing so children could actually see the covers of their books rather than the spine – making it much more fun to pick out their favourites. Adele loved it and soon all my friends were asking me to make one for their children, too.
So that was it, really. In 2004, armed with £500 and a firm belief that there was a need for child-focused bookcases and storage solutions, I officially started Tidy Books. And before I knew it, my products were selling like hot cakes and winning awards. Of course there were a few tricky moments in the early days – like the time a 20ft truck filled with Tidy Books pallets blocked my street for hours!
The neighbours are still talking to me and I’m still designing away. I’m always coming up with new ideas and creating new products to add to the Tidy Books range.
My designs have to tick three boxes: they have to be logical to kids; they have to be original; and they have to be stylish to fit in with the home. I’m certainly not interested in making things that look trendy. I want to create timeless pieces that can be passed down through the generations.
Oh, and I like to do things ethically. All our products are made with sustainable lime wood and are finished with a special no-fumes water lacquer that’s kind to the environment and to our workers.
I love designing all the Tidy Books bookcases and storage solutions knowing that they will help children connect with their books and spark their love of reading. I think books are so important for a child’s development – which is why Tidy Books donate our online profits to a children’s reading charity. In the future, I hope to be able to do more.
From their very first steps, children want to explore. That’s why my designs give kids the freedom to discover their world, for themselves, because kids know best.
So, that’s me. If you have any questions about Tidy Books, just give us a call on 020 8520 4647. We’d love to hear from you!