Nobody envies the airplane manufacturers during these disruptive days of coronavirus, except perhaps for Nicholas Bubeck, the 2nd youngest aviation fan I know. (The first is my 3-year-old granddaughter.)
One of many reasons I love this little munchkin.
Posted by Christine Negroni on Wednesday, November 6, 2019
“I like airplanes because they let me travel,” Nicholas told me. “Taking off is fun and fast,” and being in the sky is great too, he said.
At the age of six, Nicholas is just starting in the airplane business. He turns popsicle sticks, corks and bottle caps into vehicles where the imagination can take flight.
The idea to make and sell toy airplanes came to Nicholas one afternoon while his 2-year old brother Alex was napping. Nicholas used craft materials and glue to make his airplane and when Alex woke up, he wanted it. So Nicholas made another.
“I really like art and creating things so after I made a few planes I thought, ‘Oh, my business should be selling craft planes,'” Nicholas said. With his mother Nadine’s help, he started Creations by Nicholas.
To be clear, Nadine had assigned her first-grader to start a business while schools were closed due to the virus. A public relations professional and self-described “mompreneur,” who found the transition from parent to homeschool teacher challenging, she realized Nicholas could learn a few important lessons if he tried thinking like an entrepreneur.
His first plan, a lemonade stand, Nadine nixed, deeming it inappropriate during a time of social distancing. But handmade airplanes in a variety of colors, or sold in a build-it-yourself kit to keep other restless kids busy while stuck at home? Now the kid was on to something.
“It’s for him to learn life skills he wouldn’t learn in school and he’s doing it. He does interviews, fills orders and takes responsibility,” Bubeck said. “He has to make the plane and writes a thank you card that goes in every single order. At six, he’s learning some interesting things.”
Without a doubt, Nadine’s public relations skills are boosting the attention Nicholas is receiving. It also helps that Creations by Nicholas has a philanthropic bent. A dollar from every plane is promised to a foundation supporting neonatal intensive care families. Children of physicians working with corona patients can contact the company and get a kit for free. Nicholas has been featured on television and radio shows and in online news articles and orders are starting to come in even from people who do not know the Bubecks.
Nadine says she is not thinking about the long term future of her son’s new business. She’s focused on the near-term goal; get her little plane maker back into elementary school knowing more than he did when his conventional education abruptly stopped.
He puts a dollar of every sale into his piggy bank, Nadine told me, “but money is not what it’s all about.” It’s not even just about Nicholas but what kids can do when they’re given a challenge.
If there seems little to connect airplanes with the arts and crafts box at home, just set a child with an affection for one, free to tinker with the other and discover the sky’s not the limit, it is the start.
Creations by Nicholas planes or plane kits can be purchased here.