Three sisters-in-law starting a business together may sound to some like a recipe for disaster but for Tiffany, Rebecca and Jane Tanner, working together has been the key to success. Their company, Bookroo, a subscription service that sends children’s book boxes monthly, was recently named one of Parents’ 10 best subscription services of 2017. The company’s mission is founded on a simple belief that is clearly expressed by a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: “It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.”
Bookroo got its start when Tiffany Tanner gave birth to her first son while she and her husband were living in a studio in New York City. Tiffany knew in advance of becoming a mom that she would make reading a priority, but she soon found herself reading the same books over and over again. On Amazon, it was difficult for Tiffany to tell which books were going to be good and living in the city, it was difficult to make her way to a bookstore. Thus, the idea was born to review books from a mother’s perspective and then share them with others.
Tiffany, who had a degree in business, joined together with her sisters-in-law, Rebekah, a BYU human development major, and Jane, who received her undergraduate degree in physics from BYU and master’s degree from Stanford in management science and engineering. The three have combined their diverse interests and experiences to build on a foundational lifelong love for reading.
“My mom was an English major in college so we grew up with a ton of books,” Jane Tanner said. “She had me set a goal to read 500 books in kindergarten I think...there were always just tons of books around. My mom has thousands of children’s books, so I definitely credit her for my love for reading.”
The three have relied on their faith as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to overcome challenges in their business and to maintain balance in their lives as wives, mothers and business owners.
“I think that since all of our three families have this grounding in faith and in the gospel of Jesus Christ that when we have big decisions we try to make them prayerfully, and it’s also been a huge blessing in terms of my testimony having this really high-stakes thing that allows me to see the Lord providing tender mercies for us,” Jane Tanner said.
They believe the mission of their company aligns with their religious beliefs.
“Focusing on the family and helping other families spend more time together, that’s definitely a principle of the gospel that we believe in, and it’s fun to be able to help inspire others to do that as well,” Tiffany Tanner said.
Among the rewarding aspects of their work, the three have found joy in receiving feedback from mothers. Recently, they received a letter from a mother whose son didn’t love to read but Bookroo helped him discover a love for reading.
“Just hearing how they help their children get more excited about reading and that it helps the parents sit down and read with their kids and find books that become favorites," Rebekah Tanner said. “Just knowing that we’re helping families have this bonding experience and learn to love reading more. And it’s not just that the kids are going to their electronics but they’re learning to love reading and really use creative play and be imaginative with the story.”