Sarah Dickey is the founder of Cool Creative Press and is known throughout Youngstown as the author of Ode to Love and her latest book Sweetly Seeking. Sarah describes her work as “fiercely inspirational.”

What is Cool Creative Press?

Cool Creative Press is a platform to connect inspired hearts who are choosing to live a fierce life. Eventually it’s my hope that it will be a platform of self publishing that will offer individuals a ability to step up and share works with the world. So in addition to, right now, offering inspirational merchandise and inspirational apparel, it’s also the vision that it gets bigger and it will also be able to contain and publish people once they have completed manuscripts to be able to come to Cool Creative Press and to be able to then share that with the world.

What drove you to start this business?

I guess the question, “why not?” So all of my life I have wanted to really dive into being the role of an author and I don’t know something about getting older. The dynamics of life changing and just feeling that urgency to really dip in and take a chance, and you know who better to take a chance on than yourself? So Cool Creative Press was really born from just a willingness to say, “yeah I’m going to try this.” I don’t need to know everything, but I know that this has been in my heart and I need to follow it and see where it takes me.

What led to your first book, Ode to Love?

So she is like 3 feet tall, she’s got ocean blue eyes and she’s my niece Stella. And so Ode to Love was really born out of just this amazing love that I have for this tiny little human. I don’t have children of my own, so she came onto the scene about three and a half years ago, and just the wonder and the curiosity and the love that she has just so freely shared and inspired within me. Ode to Love just came as a download at Stone Fruit Coffee one day, I came in to do some blog work and next thing I know, half hour later, I’m like, “I think I just maybe wrote my first book.” I had a friend read it and she was a mom and she just started crying and she’s like, “yeah I’m pretty sure you just wrote a book.”

Where do the inspirational themes and messages in your work come from?

I feel like we’re all just living such amazing lives and I want to be the person that asks the deeper question, or maybe the uncomfortable question, and underneath that I want to find a sweet spot. And I think all of my life I’ve been internally asking myself those questions and now I think, even through being a yoga teacher, I find that people want to ask those questions, sometimes they just don’t have the space to feel like they can ask them. So it’s like I kind of want to put material together that really inspires and encourages people to dig a little deeper to look a little closer and to really just come back to that space of, “you’re amazing so what if you went out and lived your life that way? How would it change? How would your relationships grow? How would possibilities create themselves in your life?”

Where did the tagline, “Choosing Fierceness,” come from?

As I was putting together Cool Creative Press I was working with my book sherpa in California and we were just trying to come up with different taglines and I can remember just writing out lists of words together that I loved, and Cool Creative Press is a platform for people that are living their everyday lives, and it’s a platform for them to hopefully jump off into those climactic adventures and so choosing fierceness just felt like it really fit. You have to be fierce to be able to author your own story and I think that’s really, as Cool Creative Press is evolving, I think that’s really turning into even a bigger mission… helping people to author and re-author their stories.

What’s changed from your first book to your second book, Sweetly Seeking?

I guess I just keep knowing that I know nothing. Kind of like the beginner’s mindset that I have so much to learn. Sweetly Seeking was a little bit more fluid, so I really love photography as well and I wanted to include that in Ode to Love but just timing wise it didn’t work out, so I guess having stepped into that process initially, for Sweetly Seekking I was able to go through and find the photography and use that and really just enjoy the process maybe even a little bit more. It was more familiar even though it was a lot different, because it was a different book. Just more words ,more pictures and it just had a different essence to it.

How do you describe your work?

Fiercely inspirational. I want it to create wonder, I want it to spark curiosity. I just want people to take a moment and really just sit in their lives for a second and to really feel the enormity of how them being themselves lends itself to all of us living a fiercer life.

What is your overall goal as an author?

At this point I talk a lot about heart-centered hypnotherapy and that’s something that’s been really important in my personal journey and it always just amazes me how when I’m doing my own work I find a little nugget of wisdom and I think, “wow I wonder if that’s a thread that maybe all of us can relate to?” Maybe we don’t have the words to talk about it or the courage to sit in it, but what if what if what I shared helps somebody else to be able to touch that place in their life? Thich Naht Hahn says, “the cracks are not there to be patched, they are there to be entered into.” So it’s like I want my work to be like an entering into. I want you to maybe open it up before you go to bed and think wow you know I didn’t even take time to check in with myself today, but now I feel more connected.

What part of this journey have you enjoyed most?

Connection for sure. It’s all the amazing people that I’ve been able to connect with. It’s the community at Stone Fruit, which I say is not even really a coffee shop, as Josh would say it’s a culture. And I’ve met so many wonderful people here that I wouldn’t have normally met. And then just watching this work go out into the world, I had an 80 year old woman who’s celebrating her 18th birthday this year and she reached out after receiving Sweetly Seeking for a Christmas present and she wanted to buy two copies to give to her children to celebrate her birthday this year. Just how these stories trickle in, or somebody reading Ode to Love in their classroom and it’s the kids favorite book to read every day, that just makes my heart do a happy dance.

What do you want people to know about you as an author?

I would definitely say check out my website, If you’re not local it’s a great resource of inspirational merchandise. If you are local I would say be sure to be on the lookout. I have an events page on my website and you can check out where I’ll be popping up. If you spot my Subaru around you’ll probably know that I have my trunk packed full so you could also do some trunk shopping. But I would just say feel free to reach out if you’re local in the area and this is of interest to you. Just get a hold of me through my website or email address, and I can deliver the books to you.

You can find Sarah’s work at a number of local establishments, including Stone Fruit Coffee Company and Ely’s To Go which have both been featured on Shop Local Mahoning Valley in the past.