As a mom, I enjoy sharing stories with my children. I thought that I would share a story with you that has become my family’s favorite. It is the story behind the StinkyKids. This story is one that will make you laugh, make you remember your childhood and my hope in sharing the story, is that it will inspire you to work hard and believe in your dreams…
October 2005, my daughter Emma was 2 1/2 years old and loved ballet. A couple of days before Halloween, Emma asked me, in her sweet little voice, to paint her as a ballerina. Before this simple request, I never considered myself to be an artist. I was a stay at home mom, (who was an accountant before becoming a mom), who loved to do arts and crafts with my children and who always doodled while talking on the phone or watching t.v.
Well, instead of just doodling a picture of Emma as a ballerina, I decided to try to paint her request on a canvas and make it official. After the painting was completed, Emma was so happy and loved my creation. So, I decided to paint a couple more characters on canvas’, including one that resembled my son Max, and showed these paintings to my friends and family members. One of my dearest friends Susan, was one of the first to see these paintings and, being the cheerleader that she is, said “Britt, you should commission these paintings to other families, they are really good”. So I did.
January 2006, I brought my collection of paintings to a local children’s clothing boutique to see if he would hang my art in his store to attract more families interested in commissioning my paintings. He was delighted to do so, but was more interested in the characters that I had created. He wanted to buy the rights to the characters and put them on tee shirts for children. He was impressed by their simplicity, bright colors, and smiling faces, I was impressed that he made such an incredible offer.
Minutes later, I arrived home to my husband Mark, who has always admired my doodles and encouraged me to try to paint, and shared my good news about selling the rights to my characters. While we were trying to work out all of the logistics of such an agreement, I had my ‘aha’ moment and decided to undertake the adventure of starting my own business. (We were at the kitchen table where all great decisions are made.)
While brainstorming a name for the business, Mark and I remembered when our son, Max was an infant, and we used to call him “little stinKer”. Not to describe his smell, but to describe his actions: innocently curious. When our daughter Emma was born we had two “little stinKers”; and these memories lead us, at that moment, to name the company StinkyKids.
While I was creating my new company called StinkyKids, I began to appreciate my mom, Merrily, more than as a great mom, but as a fellow business woman. After her sister Emily died from uterine cancer, my mom decided to leave the corporate world and form a non-profit in her honor (booksbearsbonnets.org) which delivers gift boxes to cancer patients.
After I created the original six StinkyKids characters (now there are ten StinkyKids characters), my friend Jennifer, recommended that I name each of the characters for inventory purposes. Little did I know at that time, that naming the characters would lead me to today, where I have brought life to each of the StinkyKids characters. (visit the ‘Meet the StinkyKids’ section) So, I named each character after someone in my friends and family circle. Currently, I have expanded my friends and family circle to others who have impacted people’s lives. For example, StinkyKid Billy was named after my daughter’s preschool teacher’s son, in honor of her as a breast cancer survivor.
The StinkyKids motto: “Always Be a Leader of Good” is a concept that we created to teach our children to make right choices, not to follow bad behavior, but be a leader of good behavior. It made sense for the StinkyKids to spread this message, as it is so important to be good to people, make right choices and give back to our community. Now, these ten ‘little stinKers’ are role models to kids of all ages in social awareness and the importance of thinking of others and doing the right thing – a movement of kids encouraging kids to be their own Superhero!!
Our message is simple: you can be a ‘little stinKer’, not be perfect and enjoy the innocence of childhood. BUT, at the end of the day, you can make a right choice!! StinkyKids lives by this motto, as I partner the business with many different charities and community fundraisers.
The simple request of my daughter to paint her as a ballerina as now become a successful business. Successful because through these ten ‘little stinKers’ we are making children of all ages smile and helping make the world a better place, one little stinKer at a time.
Thank you for playing with the StinkyKids and celebrating the innocence and joys of childhood. I truly appreciate your excitement about StinkyKids! Our success is because of your support!!
Love Your StinkyKids!!!!..They’re so stinkin’ cute!!!!