BETHPAGE, New York -- Since the pandemic, people have been trying to keep busy with simpler activities that can limit distance and still be fun for everyone.
Many have turned to drawing as the go-to activity for keeping their kids active and imaginations flowing.
One mother and son duo decided to turn it up a notch and make their chalk and crayons from scratch using various molds and color combinations.
When 7-year-old Anthony DiMango and his mom, Paula, started to notice their creations piqued the interest of others who wanted to buy their products that's when Doodlebird was born.
They decided to take their crafting activity and start selling their unique creations. The name of the company was inspired by Anthony's love for drawing and he and his mom's love of birds.
"We always liked to draw together and craft together so we would always go to the store to try and keep busy," said Paula. "Once we started making them we realized especially as a mom, I realized these are adorable I would totally buy these for someone else's child or him."
To make customizable crayons, you first have to put them in hot water. Then once they are warm, you unwrap the paper and break them into pieces filling the molds. They are then placed in the oven to melt down into whatever color combinations Anthony and Paula are making for that specific order.
The products offered are also non-toxic and allergy-free.
The most popular crayon order is the name crayons. Any name or word you can think of, they can make and in any color you like. As for the chalk, Paula and Anthony have a huge collection of molds that they form the chalk in. They can make chalk formed into unicorns, owls, donuts, cats, and their collection keeps on growing as the business gains traction.
"If someone holds the unicorn chalk it will spark some kind of creativity in them where they can go and think of something imaginary to draw," said Paula. "If you put the right materials in front of your child they get excited about creating."
Paula loves that she gets to share this business with her son. Anthony loves when he can collaborate with his mom on different ideas for every order that comes in.
"Some colors I like together like red-orange, yellow, blue, and purple," said Anthony.
Paula has done orders for birthdays, communions, and even orders that are holiday-themed where she has a variety of molds for every season. She suggests that offering custom made chalk or crayons is a great takeaway as a gift or party favor.
"I really do the love the art of creating something," said Paula. "It is not just making something and throwing it in a folder somewhere, it is something that is tangible and I know someone else is going to enjoy using it as well."
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone