Georgia College Front Page

Under 30: Helen Harris

 

Age: 26

Occupation: Publisher

Major at GC: English Literature/Minor in Business Administration

 

Why did you choose Georgia College?


Helen Harris is the founder and editor-in-chief of Bumble Beezus Books, a publishing company
that creates one-of-a-kind storybooks centered around original works-whether those are works
of art, writings, memories, or a combination of the three

I transferred to Georgia College after my freshman year at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. Initially, the primary reason for my transfer was to run at a collegiate level (UNG had discontinued its cross country team right before I began college in the fall, and I was looking forward to running with the team as a walk-on member). I ran on Georgia College’s team for one season, Fall 2011.

 

Georgia College has always been close to hometown of Sandersville, GA, so I always thought I was familiar with it. I was wrong. Once I had the orientation tour that summer before my sophomore year, I was immediately excited to continue the rest of my college years on such a beautiful campus with excellent facilities and faculty.

 

Did you have a favorite professor or class?

I honestly found all of my literature classes fascinating, as I enjoyed the reading aspect and analyzing the text. However, one class that stands out to this day is the Flannery O’Conner course with Dr. Gentry because all the short stories were so outrageous, vivid, and truly unlike anything I’d ever read before and always made for great class discussion.

 

What is your favorite Georgia College memory?

One of my favorite memories is being a founding member of Alpha Omicron Pi. It was really like starting up a small business. It was such a unique experience and gave me the opportunity to experience Greek Life at a later stage in my college career.

 


These are a few of the books that Bumble Beezus Books has published

What got you interested about the career you do now?

The experience I garnered from my internships and freelance writing, coupled with my love for art, is what ultimately steered me to launch Bumble Beezus Books. Since about 2013, I knew I wanted to start some sort of business. It took a while to figure out what made sense, but one day I was brainstorming what I loved to do: Art. Reading. Writing. Storytelling. I could put those together somehow. It took a few months of reworking the concept of course, and I had my doubts as to if I really knew what I was doing. But my doubts were put to rest when my entrepreneurship professor at The Citadel told our class one day in lecture, “Do what you know.” I know publishing and am able to put an intensely creative, personalized twist on the customer experience. This is my career.

 

What is the best part about your career?

My favorite part of our publishing process is presenting a finished storybook to a customer. Because everything we do is custom, I am able to help individuals/parents create beautiful storybook keepsakes that truly mean something and capture specific moments in time (i.e., how a child might think/speak accompanied by his/her artwork). I love the creative process, building stories off of the artwork I receive, helping the children create artwork if needed, and being involved as much or as little as the client wants me to be. Making the storybook a one-of-a-kind product and experience is my ultimate goal at Bumble Beezus Books, and I’m here to help in any way.

 

How has your education at Georgia College helped you become who you are today?

Georgia College was the liberal arts community I needed while attaining my undergrad; it had all the necessary components of a welcoming environment, a decent-sized student body (coming from a tiny high school, it was huge to me), and numerous ways to get involved on campus and in the community. I was able to gradually branch out from labeling myself as the “transfer student who has already missed out on everything” to finding my way into a few organizations, meeting people I never would have thought to meet before, and push myself to pursue new opportunities. I broke out of my mold and became a new, better version of myself.

 


Helen gets a lot of inspiration, including the name and logo for her company, from her dog Beezus

What advice do you have for students close to graduating?

Don’t let a certain mold for your major define your ultimate career choice. Get out there and intern, volunteer, work, travel—whatever it is that you need to do. Scatter those experiences throughout your undergrad. I had several (6) internships and wrote freelance as well. These experiences helped me to understand where my strengths were, to build a substantial portfolio and gain strong references going out into the workforce, and also feel a sense of confidence in my craft.

Instagram: @bumblebeezusbooks

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