Sebastian at age 11
Sebastian (age 15) adores making cards and keepsakes for others. He especially gets a kick out of using ordinary items in surprising and delightful ways.
Handmade trophy for his older brother, made when Sebastian was eight years old. Can you spot the recyclables in this item?
When Sebastian was in 5th grade, he had a friend who loved candy so much that he would sneak it out of our candy jar every time he came over. Instead of buying him a gift, Sebastian decided to make him a combination candy dispenser greeting card. He could not find any how-to videos on YouTube so he realized he'd have to figure it out himself. After hours of experimenting, he had a working machine built out of items he'd salvaged from our recycling bin and his art supply stash. On the back he wrote "Have a Sweet Birthday!"
Sebastian took pictures of his creation before wrapping it.
The very first candy dispenser card, April 2017
He also shot a video of that first card in action.
Sebastian will never forget the look of joy and amazement on his friend's face when he received his card! It was unlike any card he had ever seen before, and it could dispense his favorite treat. It was The Coolest Card Ever, and earned a spot on display in his friend's home.
Although the two friends now live miles apart and several years have passed, the card bridges the gap in a fun, playful, and tangible way.
A few years later, when he was 13 years old, Sebastian wanted to earn some money to buy a drum kit. Armed with a knack for math and origami, a passion for making, and a cutting machine, he set out to design and sell a Valentine's Day version of the candy dispenser card made entirely out of paper. To his surprise, his Etsy shop sold out within hours. People emailed to ask when more would be restocked. One customer raved that her husband liked his card so much that he displayed it in their kitchen!
Photo credit: E. Stephens
And a few months later, he got his first drum set.
Since then Sebastian has created and sold several other designs, and his cards are patent pending. He has sold over 300 units across 25 states. He was featured in Authority Magazine’s Young Social Impact Heroes series, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global media platform, the Atlanta and Company show (WXIA Channel 11), the 2019 Alpharetta Business Expo pitch showcase, the Alpharetta-Roswell Herald, the Forsyth County News, the 2019 Atlanta Inno/Atlanta Business Chronicle's 25 Under 25 List, and VoyageATL magazine's Most Inspiring Stories series.
He has spoken at schools, STEM CON 2020, Girl Scout meetings, and summer camps about the value STEAM education brings to his work. He also was a podcast guest on North Fulton Business RadioX, My First Sale, Business Infrastructure.TV, and Making It in the Toy Industry.
In December 2020, he shot this 2 minute video, "5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started OctoGifts," for Authority Magazine.
Check out our Press page for more info!
In this digital day and age, handmade OctoGifts keepsakes draw people closer together. Unlike ordinary greeting cards which get discarded or shoved in drawers, ours land on mantels and desks everywhere. They make that special person smile and think of you every single time someone asks them, "What is that and where did you get it?"
Our story starts with two childhood buddies, but it continues with you!