When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, Dads will often say they don’t need a gift at all—that they just want to spend time with their children. What better way to spend good quality time than by going into business together. So in honor of Father’s Day, we’re highlighting a few of our dad-kid Maker duos who teamed up to bring a product to life.
A Family Tradition
“We collaborate on all designs and his fresh eyes see things that I would not see. He teaches me something new every day.” Desmond Suarez
We love a family tradition story, and the one behind Sabbath-Day Woods spans three generations. Woodworker and designer Desmond Suarez wanted to buck the disposable home goods trend by crafting heirloom-quality serving boards with certified sustainable hardwood. Son Devin joins him in the workshop and says his Dad taught him the importance of quality and making something to be proud of. “I like that we can give each other honest feedback and that we can trust each other to do what needs to be done. It is a comfortable and fun work environment.” As for Desmond, who was taught by his own father, he appreciates Devin’s eye for design as well as the collaboration with his son. “I am blessed to work with him, and the thought that we are carrying on the family tradition of woodworking is a real joy.”
An Eye For Details
Sometimes it’s Dad who starts things off with the first spark of an idea, like Michael Lyons of Rogue Industries. He discovered the source of his back pain was, surprisingly, where he carried his wallet. He began crafting all-leather, front-pocket wallets and his son Wells soon joined in to help the company grow. “What I’ve learned has been through observation of his character, rather than outright advice,” said Wells of his dad. “And that’s to live life well, make time for family, and always try to enjoy the time we have. His dedication to our family, and the company, is bone deep. It’s inspiring.” But just because it was Dad’s idea doesn’t mean Michael isn’t learning things from his son. “I have learned from Wells that details really do matter,” he said. “That exquisite designs matter. That good enough is not. That we can be selective in our pursuits. And I’ve learned that a business can, and should, have more than one bottom line.”
A Softer Approach
Allsop Garden’s Jim Allsop knew the traditional wheelbarrow could work better, and daughter Jamey helped bring his soft-sided redesign to life. “My Dad and I worked tirelessly and took many trips together in our first few years of business searching for stronger, better materials and refining production processes,” said Jamey, who believes spending time with her father is the best part of working together. “My Dad and I are very close and I so enjoy getting to spend time together during the work day.”
“My Dad has taught me the value of tenacity when it comes to design. The product is made in the details. Working with my Dad and watching him lead our businesses has taught me that honesty and kindness are key ingredients to success.” Jamey Allsop
A Slim Solution
Shari Hammond of Cabinet Caddy was inspired by her own spice storage woes to come up with a better system. “I am 5’4″ and would have to stand on my tiptoes or get a stool to reach the back of my spice cabinet,” she said. “Half the time I would knock things over and off onto the counter. I wanted something that would organize them and give me visibility of my spice inventory.” Dad Ron Hunt was the perfect person to help prototype a solution. “My dad loves to tear things apart,” said Shari. “We would cut things up and pull from common items around the house.” While not solving kitchen storage dilemmas, the pair often shares a morning walk to touch base on the week ahead. Shari said Ron’s taught her to never stop. “My Dad is constantly going. If he’s not tinkering on a new product or tweaking an existing one, he is outside working on the yard, hoeing the garden, working on his treehouse or playing racquetball. It’s what keeps him young. I hope to be like that too.”
A Perfect Fit
Grown children aren’t the only ones who can go into business with their Dads. Muffin Fresh was cooked up by then 13-year old Carson Grill and his Dad, Jason. Breakfast treats like muffins, bagels, and donuts would inevitably get stale before the family could eat them all, so this dad-kid combo teamed up to develop perfect-fitting containers made just for the job.
It’s amazing where big-thinking Makers find inspiration, but it’s not surprising they turn to their fathers (or children) to help grow an idea into reality. By working side by side, these Dad-and-kid Maker teams are making their dream come true with the people who matter most.
Still feeling the family love? Check out our collection of family-owned businesses.