In January of 2015, my parents, John and Edna Clapper, were inducted into the Craft and Hobby Hall of Fame. The following is my acceptance of this honor on their behalf at the awards ceremony:
A few weeks ago I began reading a message from Mark Lee, Chairman of your Awards Committee. I say began, because by the fourth line I had to find a Kleenex before I could continue. Having lived with Pack-O-Fun since I was ten, it all seemed ordinary to me, but as y’all have made very obvious, it really wasn’t.
A good friend and advisor once told me that four things were required for success in business. Two that everyone knew – hard work and genius. The others, although less widely known, were equally essential – audacity and good luck.
My mom and dad worked long and hard at Pack-O-Fun. Laboring late into the night was routine. Exhausted as they were, giving up was never an option.
They were creative. Not creative like Leonardo or Beethoven – more CLEVER creative. When Mom found socks that were no longer wearable, she made puppets and wrote a skit to use them. When confronted with silk-screened pages that refused to dry, Dad built a heated conveyer oven from potato chip cans, furniture webbing and heat lamps.
They were bold. If an idea flopped – and some flopped – BIG – they never threw good money after bad, they just moved on to something else.
Finally, they had good luck. Pack-O-Fun was born at the very time baby boomers became Cub Scouts and Bluebirds and their parents needed a source of ideas that cost little or nothing. Mom and Dad didn’t have market research – they just shared what worked in their lives.
But it was exactly the right time for those ideas.
We are all a part an industry made up of heroes like my mom and dad. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t work hard, if you weren’t creative, if you weren’t bold enough to put your work out there others to see . . . and if you weren’t a bit lucky.
And me? I feel lucky just to have been a part of such an opportunity and to be here – with you – tonight.