The Origin of Slaptastick: Part 1
A 6-year Old Girl Is Saving The Arts!
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once [they] grow up.” - Pablo Picasso
There’s nothing more vital to the future of the world than the creativity of a child. As an adult, it’s amazing how easy it is to forget that you were once a child too. Even though we slowly drift away from our childhood as we get older, I do not believe the most beautiful thing about being a child ever dies - our desire to be creative. I think that side of ourselves doesn’t die, it just gets buried with life as we get caught up in the happenings of "everyday" life. The pressures of school, the responsibility of maintaining a career and overcoming life’s many obstacles seems to extinguish the flames of creativity in most. The only time that childlike creativity seems to resurface is when we become parents. When we observe our children at play, we are reminded of the beauty of life and how important it is to try to make sense of the world through creativity. I believe it’s so important for all of us to remain creative and, more importantly, to act on that creativity. I truly believe a creative life is a happy life.
As someone who was raised by creative parents, it’s no surprise that I turned out to be someone who wanted to work for themselves. And when I became a father, I knew I wanted to nurture a passion for living a life filled with creativity in my children. Kylee, my oldest child, is at a point in her life where she’s expressing her curiosity by asking a lot of questions. And as a believer in experience being the best teacher in life, I aim to answer her questions with opportunities. I love creating opportunities for her to learn by doing rather than simply answering her questions and moving on. As an artist, entrepreneur and father of a little girl I feel compelled to empower her while she is young. I see it as a way to help further the progress we’re making in women’s rights and human rights today. If I can give her opportunities now to re-enact what I know she will experience in the real world someday, I know she will be better off for it in the long run.
“Your kids are watching everything you’re doing, especially when you think they’re not.”
One day my daughter asked me about what I did for a living? As a founder of a start-up company, HiveBoxx, I get to work from home every day. Unlike most parents who leave home to go to work, it's really hard for her to understand how I make money.
At first, I tried explaining to her what an entrepreneur was, but the glossed over look on her face made me quickly backtrack. I decided the only way to help her understand what I did for a living was to encourage her to come up with an idea for a business she’d like to start. Even though she is only 6 years old, the power of her imagination gives her the superpower of fearlessness. What was or wasn’t possible was not even a consideration as she tackled this assignment. She just focused on what sounded like fun to her.
As a kid who is homeschooled, Kylee noticed that her friends who went to public school didn’t have as many resources for art supplies as she did. Her friends would come over to play and, of course, she would be excited to show her friends her most recent artistic creations. Even though her friends were in awe of her creations, she could see a look of sadness on their faces. They said they didn’t have art supplies at their schools like her. Kylee asked me why that was the case. I explained to her the public schools have budgets that limit what they can buy for their students. And that, unfortunately, the arts programs have been getting cut from public schools for many years now. Kylee wanted to do something for her friends after hearing my explanation.
She made a list of the businesses she wanted to start. We went through that list together and chose the one that stood out. That business was a sticker making business. It made sense to see a business for making stickers on her list because kids love stickers.
After doing some research, I discovered an artist named Rocky Roark, founder of Slaptastick. We really liked the stickers his company made and decided to reach out to him. When we did connect with Rocky, I told him about my daughter’s vision for creating a sticker company and using that company to help other kids. I explained to him that her mission was to find a way to bring art supplies and programs back to public schools. After sharing Kylee’s story with him, he was inspired by the opportunity to use his company as an instrument that could help a little girl become a business owner and a philanthropist. After a few months of getting to know each other, we purchased Rocky’s company and are now very close to re-launching a sticker company out to inspire the artists of the future. All of this, in large part, thanks to my daughter’s question about what I do for a living.
With Slaptastick I’m able to bridge the gap between the creativity Kylee knows as a child with what she will continue to know as she grows up. Thanks to this creative adventure we're on as father and daughter, I feel like I'm giving her a gift that will add so much to her life for many years to come. If you want to predict what the future will look like, just look at your children and the experiences they’re having throughout their childhood. It’s what will shape who they’ll be as adults and it will most definitely shape the world of experiences they create with their children.
We agree with Pablo Picasso, it is a challenge to express the artistic side of ourselves as we get older. With Slaptastick, we’re on a mission to make it a little easier for us all to stay creative no matter how old we grow to be in life.