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Meet Geraldine Grandidier, founder of Tidy Books

Tidy Books were Shortlisted in our Junior Design Awards 2012 in the category of Most Innovative Product. We catch up with the founder Geraldine Grandidier

Posted: 1 June 2012
by Helen McKay-Ferguson

Geraldine Grandidier, founder of Tidy Books
Tidy Books

Can you tell us the names and ages of your children?
Adele (after Adele Hugo), 13, and Emile (after Emile Zola), eight.

How did you get the idea for Tidy Books?
I was looking for a bookcase for my daughter and I had in mind what has become the original Tidy Books bookcase but couldn’t find it! I made the first ones (for my daughter and friends) in my violin workshop – I had my own business making violins and violas for professional musicians. Ordinary children’s bookcases, made no sense to me – books fall out. Plus, how can you put such thin books of different sizes on an ordinary shelf? They just don’t work the way children are. A box doesn’t work either as the children can’t see the covers… I made more for my friends and that’s how it all started. It made sense to other parents too. And then more products came along, with more in the pipeline.
What are you family’s favourite reads?
For me it's Emile Zola and Milan Kundera while the children are Roald Dahl fans.
Which books did you love reading as a child?
Anything by the author La Comtesse de Segur who is well-known for her novel Les Malheurs de Sophie (Sophie's Misfortunes) - it's nice to be reminded!

Where does your family live? What’s the vibe?
I’m from Paris originally, but I live now in Walthamstow, East London. It’s very friendly, full of creative types and brilliant for families. We mainly work with local people and there’s a very active community – there’s an amazing 1930s cinema in Walthamstow that we are trying to bring back in to use!
What activities do you enjoy doing as a family?
Going to a restaurants, having a laugh…

How would you describe your family’s style?
Non-conformist and classic at the same time, eclectic, and half French/ half English. It's great to have the other view…
What are your design influences?
More a period than one particular designer –  the Thirties and my grandmother's style.
Can you give us some tips for parents on encouraging their children to keep tidy?
Make sure your home is practical, that children have somewhere special that they can tidy their belongings into and that the designs function well for children. It boosts their sense of independence!

Find out more about Tidy Books, Shortlisted in the Junior Design Awards 2012.

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