Before I created Addie & George, I designed wedding invitations and websites. My world was very much a digital one, albeit creative, and so was that of my three boys.
One December day in 2013 I was playing around with some illustrations and drew the first incarnation of Addie. As I worked on her, her personality and story began to form in my head. She was a bit like me as a child- loved to imagine herself in other worlds, as other people, and loved to read.
I was concerned that in this electronic world we live in, Addie and George would get lost in the shuffle. They’re the complete opposite of many of today’s kids. But then as I started to share my work, sneak peek by sneak peek, I realized there was a need for products that engaged children on many levels- products that would encourage imaginative play, outdoor explorations and learning. There was even a need for parents to do these things with their children. My kids, especially my youngest Liam, loved what I was creating and especially loved that George was based in large part on him. Liam is a creative little soul, from the stories he makes up to his amazing lego creations. I wanted to continue to foster that and try to get my other older kiddos back into more imaginative play.
I decided I set out to create the most charming, heirloom quality art prints and gifts for the creative parents who were looking for something more than just the latest app or action figure.
It turns out, this was tricker than I imagined.
The initial set of prints took 8 months from start to Etsy launch. But I wanted more than just prints. How could they be more engaging to children, who are so used to just tapping a screen and getting instant gratification (who doesn’t enjoy hurling those little birds at some naughty piggies)? So over the next year, I drew more adventures, and came up with our Adventurer’s Kits, and finally had my lightbulb moment about the art prints.
I’d been toying with making some kind of interactive kit that kids could use to create their own Addie & George stories (or any story they could dream up) and the pieces finally all clicked together one morning. Working part time in a local school library, the lesson for the day was writing our own spooky stories for Halloween. Armed with a few story prompts, the kids suddenly buckled down and wrote some fantastic stories (I got the chance to illustrate a couple- you can see one of them on Instagram). I knew right there I was on the right path. Our prints serve as their own story starter, and the journal gives them even more ideas, characters, story ideas and a place to record them all.
Through it all, we released our first products and the response has been amazing from everyone who sees it. I couldn’t be more grateful. I hope you and your little ones have hours of fun telling stories, creating adventures and priceless memories.