We had the good fortune of connecting with Aija Mayrock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aija, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I didn’t necessarily start out with the idea of starting a business. I just wrote, because I loved to write and it was my way of expressing myself. I wrote my first book while in high school and had no idea how to go about getting a book deal, so I self published it. A month after it was self published, Scholastic found it online. I sold it to them in a deal which made me the first self published ebook author to be acquired by them. Soon after The Survival Guide to Bullying came out, it became an international bestseller. I started speaking all over the US. I wrote poetry and performed it wherever I went. I wound up performing at Madison Square Garden, the United Nations, the Microsoft Theater, Town Hall, etc. Then I began writing poetry around a variety of subjects – women’s issues, mental health, etc. That led into working with brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Disney a nd my second book deal. Ultimately, I came into this space with a passion for writing and messages that I wanted to share, but had no idea it would turn into a business and career path, as it has. There is a lot more in store for the future as well…
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I began writing as a way to cope with pretty severe bullying I was experiencing in middle school and high school. At the time, there were many suicides all over the world due to bullying. I was trying to work through what I had gone through and I also wanted to make sure that no other young person every felt that suicide was the answer, that they knew there was a way to overcome. I wrote scripts, poems, books, and submitted to many competitions. I wound up getting my first book deal at 19 years old with Scholastic and I was the only self published author to ever be acquired by them. My book came out and became an international bestseller. I began speaking and performing all over the US at venues like Madison Square Garden, The Microsoft Theater, the UN, etc. I built my following across social and was the face of campaigns from Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach, Disney, and many more. Before graduating college, I wound up selling my second book Dear Girl in a bidding war and it came out by Andrews Mcmeel in September 2020. I am currently working on a few projects for different mediums that I hope to be able to share more about in the near future. My hope is to tell stories that capture and challenge the hearts and minds of audiences, across many platforms of storytelling.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh so many options I can’t pick! Off the top of my head for food/drinks: 12 Chairs, Thompkins Square Bagels, Di An Di, Lighthouse, Los Tacos, San Marzano, Joe’s Pizza, Bar Pitti, Planta Queen, I could go on!
To visit/hang out: I saw a candlelight concert recently at the Church of the Heavenly Rest and it was magical so definitely that. I love live music, plays, shows – so whatever is going on in that realm at the time. And of course the staples – Central Park, the Met, the Guggenheim, the Met Cloisters, Bemelans Bar, etc.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shout out to my parents. I would not be the person I am without them. Every day, I am grateful for the way in which they believe in me, even when I don’t believe in myself.
I also want to give a shout out to all of the people I have met throughout my journey who have become mentors, who have seen my vision before the success, and helped guide me on this path.
Other: Email: email@example.com
Gabi Mulder Anna Zhang