Maggie Trott McDermott of Usborne Books is a busy mother of 4 who believes in the power that a great book can have on a child. Be sure to drop by and say hello to Maggie at the Usborne Books booth located on Kids Street at The Word on the Street Festival at Queen’s Park in Toronto from 10-6pm on Sunday, September 25, 2011.


1. Tell us about your business. 

I sell Usborne Books (an award-winning British-based children’s book publisher) to individuals, schools and at exhibits in Toronto.  I currently lead a team of five consultants who are based in Toronto and Lloydminster, Alberta.

2. Other than being an entrepreneur, who are you? Tell us about yourself.  

Seven years ago I was mid-way through a PhD program in Art History when my mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.  She and I were very close and I became her primary caregiver which effectively halted my studies.  Her journey with cancer focused my own priorities and since her death five years ago I have been very careful to healthfully balance my family and work life.  I am a wife and mother of two and step-mother of two more ranging in age from 2 – 17.

3. What motivated you to go into business for yourself? 

When my second child was born I knew that I would soon have to find a means to contribute to our family income.  I also knew that I needed an outlet for the analytic portion of my mind which was fast becoming neglected! 

4. How do you overcome challenges and obstacles in your business?

Patience, good humor and an appreciation that time and perspective can overcome most obstacles.  If an opportunity seems desirable but is not feasible or timely I step back and wait to gauge if it might be a better fit for me, or my team, next year. 

5. What are your greatest strengths as an entrepreneur?    

Honesty and humility.  There is such a lot to learn from so many!

6. What are you most passionate about in your business?    

Getting a great book into the hands of a child.

7. What is one piece of helpful advice you would give to other entrepreneurs?

Your enthusiasm and honesty are contagious, if you are truly engaged by your product then you will find a market.

Connect with Maggie on Twitter at @ms_tubs