EntreCon update: The Elf on the Shelf® creative and business forces to speak


  • September 11, 2015
  • /   Mike Ensley
  • /   entrecon

The entrepreneurs behind the Elf on a Shelf, Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, will talk about their success at EntreCon in Pensacola Nov. 5-6.

It’s beginning to look a lot like...Christmas?

Technically no. I’m still getting ready for Halloween myself.

But EntreCon is getting in the spirit with our latest speaker announcements.

One of the most popular Christmas traditions to literally land in homes across the world in recent years is The Elf on the Shelf®.

Santa’s scouts, these personal Elves appear in homes during the holiday season to keep tabs on children and report back to the North Pole each night. Each morning, they return to a different location within the home to observe again for the man in the red suit.

And while the Elves come directly from the North Pole, their story was first written down by Chanda Bell and her mother Carol Aebersold, when they published the children’s picture book in 2005.

The book and accompanying Elf became an instant hit and has since sold more than eight million copies, spawned an animated holiday special that first aired in 2011, and led to a sequel - The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition and the brand’s first extension, Elf Pets®: A Reindeer Tradition and even a balloon in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What many don’t realize is that the phenomenon started at the family’s home in Atlanta. The Elf was a family tradition that mother and daughter discussed turning into a book one day over tea. Bell spent time conceptualizing, creating and researching how to self-publish the book and take the concept to the next level.

The family company, Creatively Classic Activities and Books was born soon after, in which Bell serves as co-CEO overseeing marketing, product development, design and digital departments.

She’s not alone, however. As I said before, this is a family business.

Bell’s sister Chanda Pitts is her co-CEO and business leader in the company. As a co-founder of CCA and B, Pitts created the business plans that took The Elf on the Shelf® from a self-published title to the top of best-seller lists year after year.

Before co-creating CCA and B, Pitts was a host on QVC, where she honed her business and sales skills. At CCA and B, she built the marketing and sales departments from scratch. Pitts now guides the company’s strategic business vision by overseeing the operational side of the company, which includes sourcing, production and sales strategy.

Both Bell and Pitts have received accolades for their business skill as well. They have both been named Georgia Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, been finalists for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and named as the Marietta Daily Journal’s 2014 Cobb Citizens of the Year.

Pitts has been included in Georgia Trend Magazine’s “40 under 40” list and was a finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Bell has been named a Literary Artist by ArtWorks! Gwinnett, an organization that promotes the arts in Gwinnett County, GA. She is the recipient of the University of West Georgia’s Spotlight Award and Reinhardt University’s Young Alumnus of the Year award.

CCA and B has been consistently on Inc. Magazine’s list of the country’s fastest growing private companies.

The Elf on the Shelf®’s success is a powerful entrepreneurial story – a story that you can hear at EntreCon.

EntreCon is excited to welcome Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts to a growing and impressive list of presenters at our inaugural event.

Tickets for EntreCon, Nov. 5-6 at the historic REX Theatre, go on sale Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Earlybird passes are $249 for the two day event.

To buy tickets, get more information and see all of the speakers announced so far, visit entreconpensacola.com.