A Very Little Biography
Storybook Tea Kit Company founder and creator of Alice’s Pawfect Tea-Party Kit, Joann Siegel, is a native of Los Angeles. Siegel’s childhood was typical for a southern California girl in the mid-1950s, perhaps with one small exception. Every Sunday morning she’d wake to find a new book with a 33 1/3 LP vinyl record on her nightstand – a gift from her parents bought during their Saturday night excursions. With those record books began her love for children’s literature.
Siegel fell in love with the “Wizard of Oz” books. She read all 14 versions, one right after the other. She kept going back to her school and public libraries until she found them all. Soon, she began to identify with the characters. When scared, she thought of the Cowardly Lion and pretended to be brave. When her parents yelled, she thought of them as the Queen of Hearts. “Off with your heads,” she once told them. (In hindsight, probably not something she would articulate again.) Years later, Siegel was again tested with bravery, this time as a survivor of triple negative breast cancer. “Sitting in the chemo chair for nearly a year, I thought of the Cowardly Lion drinking the bottle of courage. It worked for him and it worked for me!”
Her love for reading took her to the University of Southern California where she majored in English Literature. Much like Alice and Dorothy, (and so many of us all), Siegel took a circuitous journey in life until she found her way “home”— that home being the Storybook Tea Kit Company.
“Obviously, times were a “little” different in the 1950s. By starting Storybook Tea Kit Company, I wanted to recreate some of my treasured childhood memories. I want other children to wake up on a Sunday and find a book left on their night stand. My hope is that it inspires their imagination and builds their character, much like mine did for me.”