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Teaching Tool Turns Into Business Venture, Parlor Game

Success Story, Vermont –

StorymaticAsk Brian Mooney what he does for a living and he says, with a very big smile on his face, “I make boxes of Yes!” It always stops people in their tracks and then he gets to explain what he does. “At least that’s how I like to think of it, anyway. The Storymatic is a family of card-based creative writing prompts and games. There are ten thousand stories in every box,” Mooney says.

Brian came up with the idea when he was teaching creative writing to high school and college students, and they told him the writing prompts he created for them were a whole lot of fun to use as a game to play with friends outside of class. From there the Classic Storymatic Game was born.

Now, Brian’s unstoppable, creative mind has created several more games, including Storymatic Kids, The Storymatic Colonial History Edition and Rememory. They are sold worldwide via The Storymatic website, bookstores, toy stores and museum shops. A perfect gift for a family game night, an aspiring writer, or a writer in need of some inspiration, The Daily Beast calls them “super, super fun!,” and the Chicago Tribune says the games are “perfect for just about anybody who loves a good story at a party.” 

Brian and his wife Vaune Tractman came to the Vermont Small Business Development Center because he wanted to learn more about how to run his business. Since working with a VtSBDC advisor, he notes these positives: “I’ve gotten great feedback on my new product; begun sending direct mail; changed how I talk to people at trade shows; taken some useful classes and met other small businesses — people in the area; and what is really important as well, I’ve re-prioritized to make more time for my own writing.”

“I like to call our sessions Business Therapy. It’s really helpful and healthy to have someone to talk to about what’s on my Storymatic-mind. [VtSBDC Area Advisor] Debra [Boudrieau] helps me sort out ideas and figure out a plan for implementing them. Whether we talk about shipping, social media, product development, or even what I should wear to a trade show, every time I walk out I feel re-charged and better focused for the days ahead.” When asked to give three words to describe the process of working with VtSBDC, Mooney described it as “encouraging, knowledgeable and creative.”

For more information about Storymatic, visit, and for more about VtSBDC and the services provided by area advisors, check out For free, face-to-face business consulting and at-cost business training, find your local SBDC.

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