Elisabeth Prial & ME Media, LLC
Kids Books Aren't Child's Play


Moving out of her comfortable home at 17 to work and attend college, Elisabeth never thought much about the issues of managing a career nor what her life choices would bring. Working towards her goal of becoming a Buyer for a large retail corporation was all that was on her radar screen. As a young, fiercely independent woman, she was unaware of the hard decisions to come.


But life is all about thoughtful trade-offs and very soon Elisabeth had to decide between moving from New York to Chicago to pursue her career at Sears in their prestigious Executive Training Program or starting her life as a partner in marriage.


Elisabeth is the publisher and founder of tiger tales, a multi-million dollar Children's Book publishing company entering its tenth year in business. Looking back over the past thirty years, it is valuable to reflect back on the number of decisions she made regarding her work-life balance that all led to her successfully raising two children, manage challenging eldercare issues, and still be recognized as a significant contributor in the Children's Book industry.


Two key themes in this case are finding work that leverages personal talent and truly satisfies the soul, and then finding the balance between that work and a rewarding family life.




Elisabeth graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with a career goal of becoming a buyer for a major retailer. Choosing to not move to Chicago with Sears, get married and stay close to family wasn't hard. With a good pedigree and good skills, Elisabeth was able to stay in fashion buying and became a buyer at May Company at the age of 22, achieving her personal career goal at a very early age.


Her first "ah ha" moment was that being in the "right job" didn't mean job satisfaction. Achieving a career goal so young became more than just a lesson of setting goals appropriately. Although enjoying the people she worked with, Elisabeth got her initial taste of politics and how larger companies run. Being goal-oriented and very driven, she noticed already that egos and emotions sometimes got in front of good business decisions which she found very frustrating. This led to a series of career choices that ended up with her being a true entrepreneur and a contributor to the children's book industry.


As time went on, Elisabeth's traditional “dual income, no kids” marital status was to change as she and her husband began to plan for a family. Leveraging her buying skills and her knowledge of the American buying public she accepted the position of Children's Book Buyer for Waldenbooks. Not only was this a different industry, but it was a different work environment which enabled her to work full-time and be closer to home (in a suburb of New York City).


As her publishing career evolved Elisabeth returned to work in New York City, working Sales and Marketing positions for several large publishing companies. Unfortunately this was before there was any work-at-home understanding in American companies, but Elisabeth's husband had a job close to their house and was happy to pick up many of the school visits, “mommy coffees” and other events that happened during the business day. Through these years a balance was struck with one parent working locally and the other parent working further away. The result was critical to both partners’ overall happiness and job satisfaction.


Over time, it became clear to Elisabeth that the corporate world was too constrictive for her. Although successful, she wanted to work in a more entrepreneurial environment. So, she accepted a positi