When traditional publishing methods didn't materialize for their first project, "The Elf on the Shelf," the determined trio self-published the book. Their widespread success prompted the creation of their publishing company.
"There was not sense at the time that ("Elf on a Shelf") was going to be a business. It was really about sharing a family tradition we had with our friends and family," Bell said.
Since its launch in 2005, CCA and B increased its number of retail partners from 18 to more than 8,000, including outlets such as Barnes & Noble, Borders and specialty toy shops and boutiques.
Despite book sales remaining flat within recent years according to Book Business, CCA and B's unique brand of family-focused products continues exceeding expectations. Pitts credits the success of the company to the growing-consumer trend back toward toys and activities that allow each family member to participate.
"Our specialty lies in looking outside the box," said Pitts who graduated from McEachern High School with her sister. "To see what moms and families might be looking for."
"(Our product) has to be more than just a story. Our bookstores are filled with books that tell a story," Bell said. "We want what we offer to be more; it needs to be a family experience. It needs to be something that is a family activity."
On June 1, CCA and B launched its newest project, "A Light in the Night," by Ohio mother Sandy Harsanyi Murphy. The book and plush toy provides families solutions to alleviating children's nighttime fears and bedtime worries. Visit www.lightinthe night. com for more information.
With CCA and B sales expecting to double in 2010 (sales increased by 300 percent from 2008 to 2009), the company recently upgraded its space from Kennesaw to a 37,000-square-foot facility in Marietta, located at 1174 Hayes Industrial Drive. CCA and B doubled its number of full-time employees within the last four years.
The outstanding achievements of CCA and B in its 5-year history have been recognized as 2010 Georgia Small Business Association's Persons of the Year, 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Southern Region Finalist, and Top Five Finalist in the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce Best Small Business in 2009 and 2010.
"We are going to continue, especially in this day and age when everything's up in the air and so scary for children, to seek out products and projects that will find a certain amount of comfort and bring families together," Carol Aebersold said. "We purposefully try to keep products within a certain price point so it's not prohibitively expensive.
"We want to have happy children, happy parents, happy grandparents," Aebersold said.
To learn more about CCA & B, visit www.ccaandb. com or call 1 (877) 919-4105.
To learn more about "The Elf on the Shelf," visit www.elfontheshelf.com.