Vogue covers and royal baby play dates: Life of Utah native's toddler seems too good to be true
“But then I realized that Pinterest is all about exploring fantasies — delicious meals, gorgeous homes, picturesque vacations — so I created a board titled 'My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter' and started pinning them there. ... Around the same time, I noticed that quinoa, the grain, was becoming extremely trendy. So trendy, I thought, someone was bound to name their child Quinoa. And then I chuckled and realized that person would be me. Once I named my imaginary daughter Quinoa, the character and the story really built from there.”
Beveridge never intended for the Pinterest board, which has more than 86,000 followers, to get so big. But after being picked up by some big-name bloggers, the board went viral.
“Now it's a business for me. It's the first item of the day instead of the last,” she said.
After the Pinterest board went viral, agents began contacting Beveridge. Within a little more than six months, she had signed an agent, received a book deal and written a manuscript. The book will be available from Running Press, the same publishers of "Feminist Ryan Gosling."
“It's been a surreal experience, since writing a book has been a lifelong dream," she said. "I never imagined that the first book I'd write would be a humor book, but it was a great place to start and a fun book to write.”
Beveridge's natural inclination for storytelling has contributed to Quinoa’s success.
“Without realizing it, I was using Pinterest in a way that it hadn't been used before: to tell a story, and a humorous story at that. I think that was a big part of the initial popularity. Pinterest can be sort of a buttoned-up, not-so-funny place on the Internet.”
But Beveridge thinks other things have brought people to Quinoa and kept them there.
“I also think that people enjoy the story and characters for different reasons. Quinoa is a total tyrant, but she has good intentions. She thinks the key to world peace is for each child to have a pair of Gucci pajamas. She has a very specific point of view, which is completely misguided, but I think it makes her interesting and endearing. Some people seem to enjoy the board for the social satire, others for the fashion and photography, and still others for the humorous ideas about kids and parenting.”
A strong element of the platform's humor is the names Beveridge gives the imaginary children in Quinoa’s world. They are ridiculous, relevant and surprisingly realistic.
“As a native Utahn, I understand the importance of selecting a good, unique name. ... I look for words that have some kind of current relevance that sound interesting and can be reinvented as a first name for a child. A lot of inspiration comes from some editing work I do for a local restaurant chain. They have a pretty sophisticated menu, and I've gleaned several great names while proofreading them.”
Beveridge had a hard time choosing a favorite name aside from Quinoa and Chevron, one of Quinoa's friends.
“I'm pretty fond of Hashtag. And Aioli. And Vyvanse. And Haricot. And Bandeau. You get the idea.”
Beveridge now finds inspiration in her imaginary daughter's ambition, and she has high hopes for where their relationship could take them.
“I see endless potential," she said. "Quinoa is a big thinker. I've had to make a habit of thinking big just to keep up with her.”
To follow Beveridge's and Quinoa's stories, visit Beveridge's social media platforms.
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