City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article



Article by Shannon Barghols

Photography by Illustrations by Aslan Dominique

Originally published in Lake Murray Lifestyle

This August, get ready to meet Sinclair, Penelope, Gretchen and Warren - siblings learning basic entrepreneurial skills with the help of Honor the cat. The concept and storyline are the creation of the husband/wife team of Joe and Jen Roberson. In fact, Joe and Jen are parents to their own brood of six children, who serve as the inspiration for this creative venture.

Joe and Jen say that they have always been entrepreneurial, and it’s a trait that drew them together. Over the years, they’ve had a series of side projects that they used to cultivate their creative sides and earn some extra money for their growing family. Along the way, they were learning the skills necessary to run a successful business. Their biggest leap came a little over a year ago with the launch of a portrait studio.

“As we embraced the entrepreneurial lifestyle, we started thinking about the life we wanted for our kids and the lessons we wish we had learned earlier,” says Jen. It was a natural evolution for their kids to participate in the family business, but the surprising factor was their innate abilities. The Roberson kids were quick to ask for the sale, brainstorm great ideas, and have a true belief in their abilities. But Joe and Jen knew these innate abilities would only take the children so far. In order for the kids to succeed in their own endeavors, Joe and Jen would need to provide considerable guidance while also introducing a variety of business concepts.

With that realization, The Wonderful Wandering Wagon was born.

Building upon their kids’ love of fantasy, science fiction, and video games, Joe and Jen set out to entertain while also providing a business education. Using concepts from their favorite business books, they hoped to create a story that would inspire their children to create something for themselves before the world told them they couldn't.

“We wanted to show our kids that they were capable of doing hard things and that quests in real life are just as fun to conquer as the ones in video games,” says Joe. He wanted to write a story that connected with his kids’ hearts, inspired them to be all they were designed to be, and encouraged them to go outside. He used that mindset to write a funny, authentic, exciting, and educational story that all of his children found engaging.

Readers will follow Sinclair, Penelope, Gretchen, and Warren through a series of twelve books, each with Honor the cat as their trusted guide. Book after book will present a new array of challenges and adventures. You’ll find that the characters are far from perfect as the Robersons wanted them to be relatable. Learning through mistakes is a common theme. Whether it’s laziness, perfectionism, lack of confidence or failure to communicate, the books were written so that the reader will be able to learn from the characters' mistakes. 

The books are set to be beautifully illustrated by the talented Aslan Dominique. Aslan is a self-taught artist and developed many of her inspirations through children's literature and fairytales that were weaved throughout her childhood. Aslan's illustrations are filled with rich backgrounds that feature charming animals and intriguing characters. Her artwork transports you to other worlds, which is exactly what Joe and Jen are creating with The Wonderful Wandering Wagon. The creative partnership will create a world that is equal parts Chronicles of Narnia, Legend of Zelda, and Business 101.

Pre-Orders of the first book in The Wonderful Wandering Wagon series are available now at: XXXXXXX

The beautiful illustrations of Aslan Dominique can be found on the web at or on Instagram @aslan_dominique

Honor is a Maine Coon cat that serves as a guide, teacher, protector, and provider for the four siblings throughout the entire book series. 

Lessons from The Wonderful Wandering Wagon

  • Basic entrepreneurial principles, such as simple accounting, profit/loss, cash flow, market research, and managing themselves.

  • Parents and other caring adults are full of great advice and experience.

  • Even when you make mistakes, moving forward is the best solution.

  • Money is abundant and a tool to be used. It’s not inherently good or evil.

  • "Failure" is just learning that something doesn't work.

  • Businesses (especially small businesses) serve the community and make the world a better place.

  • When you are faithful to complete a small task, you can be entrusted with a larger task.