In the spirit of the season as a time of reflection and gratitude for so many things, I wanted to truly thank some awesome people for making a difference in one aspect of our lives in a pretty neat way.
Today isn't just Frank Zappa's birthday (although that would be justification for a blog post, certainly), it also marks the one year anniversary of Shauna and I flipping on the website for Walkie Chalk and released our little idea from the safe confines of our family room out into the wild. Not exactly curing cancer, saving the planet or starting Facebook, but an attempt at our own small chip in the universe's windshield.
It was nerve wracking.
We had an awful homemade website, our "product" was spray painted plumbing pipe parts, we didn't have packing designed and had no clue on kids toy testing, freight forwarding or...how we could afford to actually make this thing. But, we had support. We've learned that much can change in a year when you're lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing people.
Now, in a few days, what started as an idea will be showing up in stockings and under Christmas trees from Honolulu to Hoboken. That's still crazy to us. And still nerve wracking:)
We have shipped a Walkie Chalk to every state in the country, and tomorrow our first shipment will be delivered to Toys''R''Us for Spring (yes, Spring stuff will be out before you know it!) along with Bed Bath & Beyond, Ace Hardware, Zulily.com and Hobby Lobby.
We are thankful.
None of this happens first without Bill Damman. On the day last July we ran into Beverly Hills Ace Hardware and tried to shove chalk in a PVC pipe he showed an enthusiasm normally reserved only for free Miller Lite and dark chocolate. Dad, you've helped us in so many ways.
Then, friends like Mick and Katie Janness, John and Tinney Newman, David O'Connor and Brian Owen wouldn't let us stop, "you have to do this" they said. Thank you. "Go on Shark Tank" they said. No Thank you. But, Walkie Chalk would still be just an idea on the driveway without the vision and trust of Joe Saad, we can't thank that guy enough. (and, he told us to pass on Shark Tank, so extra Thank You Joe:) And it was Jonathan Wright who made it all come to life.
We got support from so many of you guys. Old friends from college, new acquaintences we hardly knew, random grandmas in Kentucky and each and every "like" on Facebook, text, share and then orders on Kickstarter - we saw them all and were humbled by each one.
So, will a chalk stick change the world? Probably not.
Is it cool be thanked by a special needs parent for giving their child a way to draw with their friends? Yea.
As we wrap up what will go down as a true whirlwind of a year for our family - thank you everyone, for supporting a few folks with an idea.