Big Doodle Friends: Rachel Hoyt shares miles of smiles, one rhyme at a time

There are entrepreneurs. And then there’s Rachel Hoyt.

She’s a rhymepreneur.

Rachel Hoyt / Photo by Paul Wheatley (www.paulwheatleyphoto.com)

Hoyt, who writes the whimsical blog, Rhyme Me a Smile, recently started her own subscriber-based, rhyming postcard company called Poetocards. For $10 a year, Poetcard subscribers receive six uniquely designed postcards (via snail mail) with an original photograph and rhyme by Hoyt.

“Everyone can use a little fan mail now and again,” says Hoyt. ” I put a photo and short rhyme on the face of the card in hopes the recipient will want to put it somewhere where they’ll see it and smile, like the refrigerator  or the bathroom mirror.  On the back, I write a little note about how I came up with the idea for the rhyme, or whatever I feel like saying to my subscribers that month.”

A sociologist from Santa Barbara, Calif., Hoyt admits she “never cared much for the stuffy poetry we studied in high school.” Rhyming, on the other hand, always felt like the right way to write.

“It just sounds happier to me,” explains the Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein enthusiast. “My grandma sometimes wrote us letters in rhyme after family get togethers. I am told she loved to write rhymes. My family says it is in my DNA, and I tend to agree.”

Hoyt, who also sells rhyming greeting cards, started Rhyme Me a Smile in June 2010. The blog features upbeat rhyming poems based on fun, wacky news from around the world and occasional book reviews, (including a rhyming review of the Big Doodle Head book, Candy Store at the Edge of the Galaxy).

Rhyme Me a Smile is home to the Smiley Sociology Study, a unique blogger link exchange, based on Hoyt’s sociology background.

“The idea hit me like a lightning bolt one night and I flew with it,” says Hoyt, who earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Westmont College. “I’m pretty sure I won’t be producing any groundbreaking sociological results from my current data gathering methods, but it is a fun combo none-the-less.”

Click to see more of Hoyt's creations.

Hoyt’s creative endeavors don’t stop with rhyme. She also makes and sells beautiful handcrafted candles, soap, and crochet items. All are available for purchase through her blog, her Etsy Store and at select retail stores.

Unique Homemade By Hoyt items include crochet mug cozies and pouches, scented recycled jar candles, hemp soaps, and even gift wrapping for her handmade candles.

And while this may come as a surprise to her faithful readers, Hoyt adds: “Did I mention that I sometimes ramble without rhyme?”

Big Doodle Friends is a special feature on the Big Doodle Head blog highlighting creative people who doodle outside the lines and write beyond the margins.

A new “Candy Store at the Edge of the Galaxy” fan

We were fortunate to make several new fans at the 2011 Vegas Valley Children’s Book Festival on November 4, 2011. The festival at the Historic 5th Street School in downtown Las Vegas was absolutely amazing. We were very grateful for the opportunity to participate.

A new fan shows off his new book and the newly invented candy bar he designed on a Big Doodle Head activity sheet. To see more photos from the book fest, visit Big Doodle Head's Facebook page.

An out-of-this-world book signing

"Candy Store at the Edge of the Galaxy" book signing at Rocket Fizz Las Vegas on October 22, 2011. Too see more photos, visit Big Doodle Head's Facebook Page.

No classic fairy tale ending here: Bye bye to Borders Bookstore

Once upon a time, I was abandoned at a Borders Bookstore. Seriously. My college roommate just up and left me there.

Sounds like a tragedy, I know — I can see the title now: “Shelved & Forgotten: College student left to fend for herself in big box bookstore.”

We had driven across town to the only Borders in Las Vegas, at the time. My roommate went one way. I went the other, and was instantly absorbed amidst the aisles of books. My roommate, meanwhile, was bored and ready to leave — and (in these pre-cell phone times) apparently couldn’t find me — so she … left. Yes, it’s weird. One, that she left without me; But more importantly, how do you get bored in a bookstore? Continue reading

“Candy Store at the Edge of the Galaxy” – Life is Sweet!

“At the edge of the galaxy, I opened a door. It swung right into a candy store.”

Almost 4 years ago, Howard and I sat in our living room drawing and writing, not realizing at the time we were conceiving our first book. We were just being creative for the sake of being creative. Time passed … as time tends to do. We had a son, we moved to a new house, the drawings and writing got shoved into a random pile of papers.

But here we are today, and what began as a bunch of doodles and scribbles on random scraps of paper is now “Candy Store at the Edge of the Galaxy,” the first book from our publishing company Big Doodle Head. Continue reading