Budding Family Publishing - Whitcombe '80

I went to college in the Chicago area directly out of high school, and it was the first of nine relocations during my adult life. I have always welcomed the adventure of a new city along with new experiences; even as a young kid, I never got homesick at my 8-week Summer sleep-away camp in the Berkshires!

At Northwestern University, I majored in Radio-TV-Film which led me into 13 years in advertising as a producer of television commercials and post-production executive. The highlight of that time was spending 5 years producing Nike commercials for Wieden & Kennedy, traveling all over the world with a roster of phenomenal athletes.

I met my husband Mike, a purchasing executive for Nestle USA, in 1992 and we married in 1994. My first daughter Alex was born in 1998, and at that point I began to consider a more family-friendly career. I took so long to consider my next move that the answer fell into my lap in the Spring of 2000. My husband had a job opportunity within Nestle to go to Cleveland for a few years, and I was expecting our second daughter Sydney. So off we went on what was supposed to be a hiatus for me.


That’s not really what ended up happening.

I wrote my first book—an interactive keepsake album for children becoming a sibling—as soon as I saw Alex’s reaction to meeting her baby sister Sydney. She actually walked right past her! All those months of getting ready for Big Sisterhood, all the things we did and books we read—apparently those techniques were too subtle for a two year old. The Look Who’s Going to be a Big Sister book (and corresponding Big Brother book) won an iParenting Media Award for juvenile products within three months of publication, and changed my career permanently.


We moved back to southern California in June, 2004, and I continued adding new titles in the series I created with the sibling-to-be books. As a self-publisher, I spend my time managing national sales representatives, implementing marketing, publicity and promotion programs, exhibiting at trade shows, writing freelance articles for parenting publications, doing media interviews and creating additional concepts and merchandise for Budding Family Publishing.

My new career as an author and publisher also turned out to be the family-friendly career I had hoped to find back when I was a brand new parent. Being hands-on with my two fantastic girls (now 8 and 6)--volunteering at their school, choreographing their talent show acts, staying involved in the details of their lives--is worth the crazy work schedule (school hours daily and 8 – midnight).


Today, living in my husband’s home town of Manhattan Beach, CA, our kids attend Robinson Elementary just like their dad did. Some of his old teachers are still milling around there. Though my kids will not have the same Scarsdale childhood I had at Quaker Ridge School and SHS, they have attended my 20th and 25th year class reunions, visited my locker on the Jock Hall and made friends with the children of my friends from long ago.

Please become a SAA member now or renew your dues today atwww.scarsdalealumni.org and click on “join“