There’s more, much more to the story of how Hope For the Flowers came to be – but somehow two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, crawled out of a little yellow book as butterflies. For 4 decades, they have been flying around the world carrying hope for the flowers and for millions of people. So here we are, let the 40th Anniversary celebration on the Web begin! Enjoy and cry a bit at the beauty and pain of relishing and protecting the “more of life!”

I was asked to work on the new ebook version of the site through one of the Hope advisory team members, Jessica Dewell. I had to admit I’d never read the book, but after meeting with the author, Trina Paulus who was daring enough to have a video conference through Google Hangouts, I knew we could work together. I’ve worked with authors and artists in the past. The biggest hurdle is their willingness to explore new methods and technology. Trina was on board with all of it in her excitement to bring her lovable characters, Stripe & Yellow to the eBook world.

First we had to select a responsive template. Responsive would ensure that visitors could purchase the book easily and read Trina’s blog from any type of device. The current site was many years old and was not even close to being responsive. Budget was limited, so we went with something that was already developed, rather than starting from scratch. WordPress was the team’s preferred platform, so there we are. I used the Advocate theme with future initiative planning in mind. But any good book now has a book preview to generate more interest on YouTube and in other social media venues. That was not part of the original task, but I felt it was truly important. We worked on the slides for the home page calls to action that could be changed as messages would vary throughout the year. Then, I worked with Trina on the movie. She was fortunate to have a great relationship with a musician who had recorded a song about Hope for the Flowers years ago. This became the preview movie under the “order hope” navigation button and linking from the home page slides.

If you haven’t had a chance to read this book, this is your perfect opportunity. It’s a great gift, too. My 9-year-old son loved it and we read it cover to cover in one evening. He asked a lot of questions and understood the deeper meaning beyond two caterpillars.