ELIZABETH/HAMILTON, NJ - Inspiration to start new businesses comes and go every day. What makes this story special is that starts with a 5-year-old child and some additional inspiration from some kids on a baseball team in Elizabeth.
Below is the story of how "I will be what I see" began, told by Carol Schilling or better known as Aunt Carol.
“Through Juli's Eyes: One summer afternoon, my 5-year old grand-niece Juliana looked up at me and said, "Aunt Carol, I will be what I see!"
Questioning her on this rather profound statement, I asked, "What do you mean Juli?” With that same calm and matter-of-fact expression, she said "you have to follow your heart" and repeated, "I will be what I see."
So deeply impressed by this little one's philosophical conversation, I asked "Do you mean, if you see kindness, you will be kind? If you see goodness, you will be good?"
A bit puzzled, she said, "No, I mean if I see a conductor, I will be a conductor. If I see a teacher, I will be a teacher. And Aunt Carol, you must've seen a babysitter, because you're my babysitter!"
So although my little angel wasn't exactly the Dalai Lama, and her thoughts were literal rather than philosophical, she got me thinking.
The proverbial light bulb went on: She's right. Kids will be what they see, so we should reinforce that message. And what better way to do that than with tee’s that they can wear proudly, announcing what they want to be, who they are and what they like!
That's what we're doing with our line of "I will be what I see" products. We're in a unique position to make what our children see, matter by providing a positive message.”
That one conversation with a child turned into "I will be what I see” a child inspired clothing line with a message, created by Schilling and her two friends Paulette Pitonyak and Irv Brechner. The company is also doing thier part to help kids by partnering with the Valerie Fund.
“Juli told us she would like to help kids that are very sick by donating a portion of every sale,” said Schilling. “We couldn't think of a better partner than The Valerie Fund (TVF) they have been treating children at seven hospital centers close to home for over 35 years, for cancer and blood disorders. They focus on treating kids in four areas: emotionally, socially, developmentally and medically. A portion of every purchase is donated to The Valerie Fund. Over 80% of funds they receive go directly to programs for the kids and their families.”
Brechner, an Elizabeth resident pointed out that due to the recent success of the Elizabeth Troopers Baseball team that was in the Little League World Series this year, the company had to create some new designs featuring kids and sports.
According to Schilling, while they don’t create shirts for specific teams, people, events, etc., these new designs capture what many young boys and girls are dreaming about these days: becoming a champion baseball or softball player.
“That fits in well with our “I will be what I see” theme,” said Schilling. “Our shirts encourage kids to follow their dreams of becoming a doctor or a championship athlete.”
You can view their designs by clicking on the link. https://i-will-be-what-i-see.myshopify.com/collections/new-jersey