Creating Houts & Home Publications LLC
Creating Houts & Home Publications LLC in 2011 fulfilled my lifelong dream. After authoring four cookbooks and over 60 children’s books, I decided it was time to start my own publishing company. My husband, Steve, and our adult daughter, Emily Bush, have been instrumental in making Houts & Home Publications LLC a reality. I appreciate their help and support because owning a small publishing company isn’t easy.
I spent the first year developing the vision for my business. Many decisions had to be made, but one of the first was the name. Emily and I brainstormed a long list before deciding to choose one that included my last name, Houts, and the focus of the publications, the home. The original goal of Houts & Home is to publish helpful, practical information to create an efficient, comfortable, and happy home.
The second year was spent testing recipes and writing my cookbook. Mealtime Magic: Delicious Dinners in Half the Time, was published in 2013. My love for cooking began as a teenager, which led me to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After working in a restaurant, I began a freelance writing career while raising my family. My inspiration for the book came from my everyday life—it’s the way I’ve cooked for years—and I wanted to help other busy families to save time and money in the kitchen. I spent a year writing the manuscript, testing recipes, and working with a graphic designer before sending Mealtime Magic to print.
The original goal of Houts & Home has expanded. Besides my cookbook, Houts & Home has published a humorous picture book about a mother's love for her children, What Do Moms Do?, which I wrote with Emily. As a former preschool teacher, I totally bought into the concept of cooperative board games where children work together to win rather than competing. Fostering cooperation and friendship, these games help to prevent bullying. Find My Heart: A Valentine Game, is the first cooperative game I created. Four additional games relate to seasons and holidays with more in the design stage. A book of poetry celebrating life in the Big Apple, My New York: City Poems.
I feel passionate about reducing food waste and more importantly, stopping food insecurity. According to FeedingAmerica.org, "1 in 7 Americans struggles to get enough to eat. In fact, hunger or food insecurity exists in virtually every community in the United States." Houts & Home has partnered with businesses in the Northwest Missouri area to provide Mealtime Magic to food pantries so their clients can use the food they have been given more efficiently. Click here to see how Houts & Home is helping.
While writing is what gets me out of bed in the morning, I’m learning how to be a successful small business owner. I am so grateful for the people have been placed in my path. I have to thank my fantastic mother, Betty Farber, owner of Preschool Publications, Inc., and publisher of two of my cookbooks for children, Lee Jackson, owner of Images Unlimited Publishing. Their advice and generosity in sharing their knowledge has been so helpful.
So when I take a deep breath and actually think about it, I realize that I am thrilled to be on both sides of the publishing desk as author and publisher. In fact, I’m pretty excited about the future. Plans are in the works for adding books to my list consistent with my company's goals.
Houts & Home is so grateful for these talented people--our valued freelancers
Emily Bush earned a B.S. degree in merchandising of textiles, apparel, and furnishings with a minor in business from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville. Emily's experience with publications includes working as an intern for KC Weddings magazine, proofreader for the Nodaway [County] News Leader, advertorial director and writer for Humboldt County Lines magazine, and working in the advertising department for The [Redding, CA] Record Searchlight. She was contracted to help Houts & Home with marketing, editing, negotiations, and photography. Emily enjoys spending time with her family and their two dogs.
Megg Houts graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a B.A. in commercial art/graphic design. She currently works as a full time designer for the State of Missouri, specializing in interactive design, web design, and branding. Megg was contracted to design the Houts & Home logo, the banner and favicon for houtsandhome.com, and the front and back covers, the spine, and the interior of Mealtime Magic: Delicious Dinners in Half the Time and My New York: City Poems. Megg also designed the front and back covers and interior of Find My Heart: A Valentine Game. When Megg is not working she spends much of her time knitting and spinning wool and fiber.
Ashlee Hendrix earned a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Broadcasting from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville. Ashlee works as a full time graphic designer for Northwest Missouri State University in the Marketing and Communication department. She has a background in newspaper design for The Miami County Republic, Louisburg Herald and Lee's Summit Journal. Ashlee helped to design on the cooperative board games on the HoutsHome Etsy shop. She enjoys spending time with family, running long distances and singing in her church choir.