He was a tough critic, I knew if I could get his blessing, I could make my idea work and I new I was running out of time. And so, the day finally comes and the four of us get on the plane to visit my dad whom we lovingly call “Pipa”. My sister lives in Florida so she will meet us at his apartment with her three kids. “Family first “is something he preached our entire lives and this time will be no different. We spend our first day with him just hanging out at his apartment. All 9 of us crammed into his den/convertible bedroom. He is thin and spends his days in front of the tv watching the news. Obama is running for President. His morphine drip hangs on a pole next to him at all times. For comic relief, we decide to do a round robin of “Yo Momma jokes” You know the ones…” Yo Momma is so Stupid” How stupid is she? “Yo momma is so stupid she stayed up all night studying for a blood test. “ Yo Momma is so stupid, when I said “Drinks are on the house,” she got a ladder. We were all laughing and this went on for a few minutes until Pipa who is also hard of hearing said “ THERE IS NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT OBAMA” Needless to say, he missed all the jokes but we now have a very funny memory that will all share. “There is nothing funny about Obama” is a classic stress reliever in our house now because it instantaneously reminds us of that day when nothing else mattered but being together.
FINALLY, I DECIDE THAT THE TIME IS RIGHT. I whip out my prototype package of EZpaint. It is raw and unfinished but it gets the idea across. I take the 5 bottles of paint, that look like nail polish, out of my bag. Then I take the painting “EZcards” out, with my favorites designs the cupcake, the whale and the gumball machine, and I spread them on the table. I explain the very simple concept to him and say, “Dad we’re gonna go now and let you rest”. “I’ll leave this here with you to think about, see you tomorrow."
The next day we go back to his apartment and find him in the same position on the couch as the day before. Only this time, WHEN I walk in he says “Beth! I am SO mad at you.” I can tell by his tone of voice that he is kidding but I’m not really sure what he means. He says” I have been up all-night thinking about this idea of yours. “. He pummels me with all sorts of very reasonable business questions which I am proud to be able to answer satisfactorily. When he gets to my market research, he decides that he wants to see for himself. “Take me to Walmart !!“ he says. “They have a craft section. I want to check out the competition for myself”. His excitement is contagious as we help him make his way to his wheelchair and then we all pile into the car. Never really needing an excuse, Pipa loved a field trip. It is a perfect afternoon. Pipa gets to see what he wants to see, and the kids get to spend time with him and share some pizza as an extra bonus.
It is a day to add to our wonderful Pipa memories. When we get back to his apartment, he hands me a check for $5,000. “This is seed money. Go for it!” he says and with that I was given the endorsement I needed. That was the last time I saw my dad. The seed money was enough to propel me into entrepreneurship and create a business that helped to bring me back to life in more ways than one.
I know Pipa is proud of me and what I created. EZpaint is celebrating it’s 10-year anniversary this year and can be found in local stores, online and on Amazon.
Thank you for reading our story!
Love and EZPaint,