What began as a challenge to keep a “crafty” 7-year-old Nicholas Bubeck, of Scottsdale, busy during quarantine has resulted in a soaring business a year later.
At the start of the pandemic, Nicholas’ mother, Nadine Bubeck, encouraged him to be creative and start a business. She and her husband, Nate, a McCormick Ranch native who attended the “3 C Schools” and Arizona State University, were initial investors, providing funding for material for their son’s startup venture, which Mrs. Bubeck said “he has since paid us back plus some.”
The young CEO launched Creations by Nicholas. His company offers do-it-yourself — known as DIY — craft plane kits for kids. Launching new products including a Decorator’s Kit, which comes with a DIY plane kit, paint, a sharpie and stickers to decorate and autograph the aircraft, he recently debuted paint your own — PYO — pilots and other accessories while “continuing to balance work, play and first grade,” his family says.
Nationally recognized as an elementary school entrepreneur and philanthropist, he chose planes as his featured product since he missed traveling during the pandemic and wanted to motivate his peers and other children to imagine going anywhere they wanted with his planes.
He misses family trips to California and sightseeing from Yellowstone National Park to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Since he was in the neonatal intensive care unit after he was born, his “Kits for Kids” program gives free kits to children whose parents are essential medical workers with $1 of every sale going to the Triple Heart Foundation, which provides books to NICUs throughout the country.
“My mom told me to start a business during the coronavirus, so one day she put a bunch of crafts on the table and told me to make an invention. I used my creative brain and crafted a super cool plane. And, when my baby brother woke up from his nap, he wanted a plane of his own so I made him one and then a lightbulb went off and I thought: ‘Hey, my business should be selling craft planes,’” Nicholas stated.
“I turned my planes into craft DIY kits so kids could make the planes themselves.”
The toy planes are made from popsicle sticks, corks, a bottle cap, wooden wheels, a clothespin and more for others to enjoy making their own models with colored kits and accessories including wooden pilots.
His planes not only have wings and wheels but a clip to hold a picture or ticket, described the business savvy boy.
“You can play with your plane or hang it on a wall. It’s not for babies because there are small parts, but bigger kids will love them,” he said.
Using his mother’s laptop, he learned about owning a business; building his website called CreationsByNicholas.com; learned about marketing his business through media, uploading content and photos to his website and even hiring employees.
He is selling hundreds of toy planes, nearly 1,000 kits and adding new products all from the playroom that became a workroom where his whole family helps to fill orders.
“I thought of a cool idea and then my mom helped me build my website. After I built my website, we started getting orders. I’ve also learned how to do interviews about my business. My mom says it’s important for me to talk about my company. I do a lot of Zoom interviews for TV, which is super fun because then I get to see myself on television! I like talking about my business,” he said.
“I also paid my little brothers to help model for pictures. You can see them on my website, too.”
Not only does he feel good when making arts and crafts to “keep his hands busy,” he said, it “makes me feel good to own my own business because I’m only a kid. This is my first business and it’s so much fun! I get very excited every time an order comes in.”
His mother tells him when someone places an order to see his excitement as he asks their names, what they ordered and where they are from in the country.
“When COVID started, I wanted to take advantage of the time we were given and teach my kids, particularly my oldest, something they wouldn’t otherwise learn in the classroom,” said Mrs. Bubeck.
“Innovation, entrepreneurship, and being creative is something I personally value, so I decided to challenge Nicholas (then 6 years old) to start a business. My goal was initially to keep him busy and stimulated, and to my surprise, it became a successful passion project!”
With her background in TV news and public relations, she was able to give Nicholas tips on doing interviews with the media to showcase his business.
“I started teaching him how to interview. Keep in mind, he was only 6 and doing tons of TV interviews via Zoom. We worked on speaking, eye contact, energy, etc., and I was amazed watching him blossom at embracing such pivotal skills.
Since we weren’t seeing much of anyone at the start of COVID, his business kept him talking, growing and evolving. I found it so rewarding to witness him embrace and enjoy morphing into a young CEO,” Mrs. Bubeck said.
The mother of three boys — Nicholas, 7; Zachary “Zaza,” 6; and Alex, 3, who has the first plane made by his brother as a prototype on his bedroom shelf —Ms. Bubeck said the boys enjoy contributing and cheering their older sibling on since he began the business.
“I told Zaza he could start a business at 6.5, so we’re working on some ideas. With that being said, as a mom of three boys, I’m blessed to say each of my kids are quite different and I try to honor their spirit and individuality. My boys are one another’s besties, and it warms my heart they’re so supportive of one another,” she said.
“I always tell Nicholas: ‘You do you.’ I encourage him to be who he is and dream big. He embraced the whole idea of starting a business. In turn, I learned that kids could consume so much at a young age. It was important to me to teach him skills I found important, so I hope other parents will take skills they find valuable and teach it to their kids. It’s never too early.”
Mrs. Bubeck added she hopes her entrepreneurial son will look back at this endeavor and remember how special it was.
“He keeps coming up with new products, so as long as people support him, he will continue to sell,” she said.
“During a crazy year, we have learned that people are good. Nicholas receives messages in such beautiful support of his endeavor, and many buy simply to support a small kid and his little business. His entrepreneurial spirit has been well-received by media and people all over the country, which has touched his heart, and ours as well.”