We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Rosenthal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always worked well independently- and I like facilitating a team’s actions towards a particular goal. Coming off of a Master’s degree in creative performance that had me writing, directing, filming, and editing a series of short narrative films, I wanted to once again dive into a creative process that balances other peoples’ stories and my own creative abilities. The business emerged while I was living in Greece during the first pandemic lockdown. Working as a freelance writer far from home, I started to broadcast live readings of the historical romance novels I was ghostwriting at the time. My audience of family and friends loved the readings, and I loved the feeling of lifting their spirits with words I had written. “If I can write these stories based on fiction,” I thought, “Why not write stories based on people’s real quirks and inside jokes?” That’s how the business was born, as a way for me to reach out to people remotely and spark romance, celebration, and joy.
What should our readers know about your business?
In order to explain what sets us apart from others, I will sum up what it is that we do. At Lovestruck Literature we write, record, design, and print completely original works of literature based on couples’ real life love stories. We don’t use fill-in-the-blanks templates, we don’t use stock images; every aspect of the writing and creating process is completely geared towards creating a truly one-of-a-kind gift for that specific couple to enjoy. I am proud to have created a business that offers something different and unique. And I never tire of the emotions that Lovestruck gifts can elicit; Lovestruck stories have prompted laughter, kisses, hugs, smiles, tears of recognition, and sweet reflections on the love at the core of each relationship. Has it been easy? No. Starting a brand new business in the midst of a global pandemic- especially one that relies on special occasion gift-giving- is certainly full of challenges. And it continues to be. But working on this business has taught me to persevere in the face of difficulties and continue to believe in the success of what I am creating. Working on Lovestruck continues to teach me how to reach out to others and rely on their expertise where mine falls short, or to delegate when my capacity is full. At Lovestruck Literature our brand focus is truly a celebration of love, and I want to continue to promote that ability; especially in these difficult times. Lovestruck stories can inspire hope, excitement, passion, and color that can break through the monotony of waiting for life to return to normal. And that is a gift I am happy to provide.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Having grown up in LA, I have had the great fortune to stumble upon a lot of secret spots. Besides the gorgeous natural scenery of beaches and canyons, I love the oddities and hidden quirks that make the city special. If my best friend was visiting during a time when things are open I would take them to visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, which displays rare and unique collections of things. Sometimes they have concerts on the rooftop, and every time I visit I feel inspired and delighted. Afterwards, we would stop by one of the Indian food markets down the street for samosas and Indian sweets. We would check out some of the impressive art collection at LACMA and picnic near the tar pits outside- I think it’s incredible that you can walk around these ancient bubbling pits that once took down mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. For an evening, I would take them over to Fairfax for a movie at the old silent movie theater there- I used to go watch obscure Japanese animated films from the 70’s, or cult 90’s horror flicks on the couches there. And we’d eat midnight matzo ball soup at Canter’s Deli. If it was still open now, The Smell, the punk club hidden in the heart of Downtown would be my next stop. A drive along the coast and up into the beaches of Malibu would be a must, along with several hikes into the canyons. Throw in a stroll through the olive trees at Barnsdall Art Park and some tacos from a local street vendor or taco truck, and that would be an ideal tour of LA.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people who deserve a Lovestruck shoutout! First, my parents and aunt and uncle, who spent hours looking over my website, giving me feedback and editorial notes, and encouraging me as I developed the business idea. Their practical and emotional support have been invaluable- starting a business can be scary! Especially in these uncertain times. My partner, who is design-oriented and absurdly patient, especially with tricky computer design tools, has helped me brainstorm ideas for our questionnaires, test out parts of the story-writing process, and worked with me to hone the look of our first published edition. He is an endless pool of ideas and helpful suggestions- I don’t know what Lovestruck would do without him. Then, my magical friend Marigold, who trusted me with her heartfelt true story and waited patiently as I tinkered with it in a literary way. The lovely and wise Gillian Rose, whose savvy business advice, enthusiasm, and support have helped keep me going. And, of course, the Lovestruck team! My wonderful and willing collaborators-illustrator Claire, audiobook performer Jacquelyn, and our social media wizard, Andy, who has been posting tirelessly every single day.
M. R. Webber Claire McCracken Andy Pedroza