Binding two popular trends, adult coloring books and an eastern life philosophy, Kathy Rausch looks to Amazon and the workshop market.
Kathy Rausch's story and companion coloring book are available on Amazon.
For thirteen years, Columbus resident Kathy Rausch owned a multi-million dollar company, Interactive Ink, which developed websites for national brands such as PBS Kids and created children's CD-Roms for Panasonic. According to Fast Company, Rausch is a part of the two percent of women-owned companies that break the million-dollar mark.
After selling her company in 2007 and becoming CEO of web development firm TekMiss.com, Rausch is now drawing from her experience in high-stress executive positions to take advantage of the unique booming demand for adult coloring books with her book, Activate Divine Creativity: The Life Changing Magic of the Mandala and its companion coloring book.
"Activate Divine Creativity is the story of how getting in touch with my creativity helped me tremendously many, many years ago when I was with my company back then, Interactive Ink. So, it's a book with my story…and it includes eight illustrated mandalas for the book and you can color them in the book (or color them) full-size in the (companion) coloring book."
Rausch's two books became available for purchase on Amazon in late October and she's already sold about 100 of each edition through Amazon and personal requests made prior to publishing. On Amazon, the coloring book has had higher sales than its parent book.
The books focus on one tool for creative refueling: the mandala-a Hindu and Buddhist intricate circle illustration that is used for meditation and has been adopted as a secular means of self-discovery.
Rausch started illustrating and coloring mandalas in 2000 to cope with the anxiety that comes with owning a large company and aims to help other business professionals use mandala coloring and illustration for a purposeful distraction from work.
A mandala in progress.
"In particular, for high-performing, corporate women and men-I see men go through this process and get really engaged-they're so involved in what they're doing in their work that they forget about this creative light that just wants to be expressed."
After self-publishing her story and coloring book, Rausch realized that the books would create an ongoing business of workshops. And Rausch already tapped into the opportunity when she was keynote speaker at Promoting University's third annual Promoting YOU Day in late October where employees from Huntington, JPMorgan Chase, ABCO and Cardinal Health learned how to access their creativity through mandalas.
She plans to lead workshops about once a month in Columbus and has a retreat in Maui planned for 2017 that will attract people around the word to take part in mandala mindful expression.
Additionally, Rausch has been asked to speak at the 2016 CTT international conference, "Values-Driven Leadership in Business and Society" in Toronto.
In all, Rausch is thankful she can fuse the popularity of adult coloring books with the mainstream appeal of eastern intention in a way that aligns with her own experience.
"I'm really happy to see the trend (of adult coloring books)-I think partially because the word mindfulness is becoming center and people are understanding what that means. They're hearing that and perhaps even intuitively there's a knowing that if I just stop and do something mindful and fun, like coloring, I'll get to a place close to meditation," Rausch says.