It’s been three years now since Juju hit the scene…
The adorable voodoo doll who comes alive with a “good deeds” spell, Juju goes on adventures, helps others, and has been stealing hearts (both children’s and adult’s) since she first came alive in her book Juju the GOOD Voodoo. Since then, Juju has teamed up with both Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, helped teach young Juju fans their A,B,C’s, and even rescued a puppy! One can only guess just where in Louisiana Juju will pop up next!
Juju author, illustrator, and publisher, Michelle Hirstius, is Juju’s sidekick of sorts – but determining whether Hirstius is bringing Juju along for the ride of her life, or vice versa, still remains to be seen. Either way, Hirstius and Juju make a great pair, and appear at festivals and events all over the New Orleans area creating their own ‘good juju’ along the way and making people smile.
Examiner recently caught up with Michelle Hirstius and Juju, and got to talk about all the (good) spell-binding adventures Juju’s got going on as of late…
Examiner: You and Juju are really on a roll! When you were working on your first Juju book did you ever think you’d get to this point?
Michelle Hirstius: I had no idea! I’ve never done a project like this and to think it has become a business and even a career! When I first had drawn Juju I knew she was something special, I’m just so happy that others think so too.
Examiner: You’re always doing events and post such great photos of your little Juju fans with your books, dolls, and other products – that must be so satisfying…
Michelle Hirstius: You have no idea what joy it brings me, it’s actually very surreal. When it clicks in my brain that, whoa, this child is holding my book, reading it, and hugging a doll that I created just moves me so much. It’s totally awesome!
Examiner: You and Juju just put out an Easter book (Juju in Easterland? Who knew) and previously put out a Christmas one as well (Juju saves Christmas in da Bayou). Any other holidays we might see Juju celebrating in the future?
Michelle Hirstius: Ummmmm, Juju is always up to something and she is called on all the time for help! So many holidays, so many adventures…
Examiner: Will we ever see a Juju/Mardi Gras book?
Michelle Hirstius: She a Nola/Bayou girl, of course!
Examiner: Out of all the Juju books that you’ve published, do you have a favorite?
Michelle Hirstius: Oh come on! All [of them] are my favorites! But I have to admit my first one will probably always be my favorite, it’s what started Juju and when I did it, it just felt right.
Examiner: Have your goals at all changed in the kinds of things that you want to accomplish with Juju?
Michelle Hirstius: Honestly, not really. I had a goal from the beginning that I want give back some sort of way. I’m not rich at all, but I have been able to reach one of my main goals in being able to give a percentage of proceeds to an organization. Like with the book Juju to the Rescue I give 10% of proceeds to the Humane Society of Louisiana. Now with future books I will be doing this as well. You will also see more of Juju teaching children how they can do “good deeds,” that what the mission all along to spread goodness and good adventures.
Examiner: Is it safe to say that Juju has changed your life since she’s been around?
Michelle Hirstius: Oh wow, has it! I feel like I am here for a reason now like I have found out what I was meant to do and that is an awesome feeling. Now I’m not waking up with rainbows everyday [laughs] because there is struggle financially, emotionally and socially, but when you know it for something big you can handle it with a positive attitude and a smile.
Examiner: Anything else you’d like to share with Juju fans?
Michelle Hirstius: I appreciate everyone, Juju fans are the best! Without them, Juju would not be able to share her adventures. So THANK YOU!
To keep up with Juju and all of her happenings, please visit the official Juju the GOOD Voodoo website, as well as her Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages too. A list of Juju’s future appearances can be found here.
And to purchase Juju books and other fun products, please visit her on Etsy by clicking here.