Lots of people in the military spend their deployments dreaming of what they’ll do when they’re back home in the States. Anthony “AJ” Maniscalo was no different. While he was stationed in Afghanistan a few years ago, he daydreamed about life back at home. He cherished every phone call and FaceTime call from his wife and kids in Bath, Pennsylvania, but one call stands out in his memory to this day.
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AJ’s daughter Isabelle, who goes by Izzy, was only 4 years old at the time. One day, his wife FaceTimed him to show him a simple hack the little girl used to keep her markers close by while she was drawing and coloring. Izzy had put a hair elastic around her wrist and stuck the markers underneath, a trick as simple as it is effective. AJ was pleasantly surprised by her ingenuity.
“I was proud,” AJ explained. “I couldn’t believe it. My 4-year-old daughter comes up with an idea like that.”
AJ couldn’t stop thinking about Izzy’s good idea. The next day, he went to the person on base who fixes uniforms and clothing and asked for a quick favor.
“I took a strip of material much like our name tags on our uniforms and went to the local who fixed and sewed our clothing on base,” AJ wrote on GoFundMe. “I asked if he had access to an embroidery machine and if he could embroider ‘Izzy Pens’ on one side and velcro on the other.”
With a prototype in hand, AJ was ready to roll with the project when his deployment ended.
A Velcro bracelet can be worn on the wrist to hold the corresponding Izzy Pens. Back at home in Pennsylvania, AJ applied for and was granted a temporary patent for Izzy Pens.
“On October of 2022, we received that letter and were so excited that we had been granted a ‘Patent Pending’ #63/369,167,” AJ continued. “The feeling was incredible, Izzy was so excited and proud, she took it to school for show and tell and all the kids in her class wanted to know when they could get one.”
AJ and Izzy have now launched a fundraising campaign to launch Izzy Pens to the next level. They hope to raise enough money to purchase a commercial-grade embroidery machine, Velcro, and other raw materials to make Izzy pens.
“The dream was getting closer, now, we are ready to produce and start selling Izzy Pens and give kids the ability that Izzy created, to take coloring fun ANYWHERE!” the proud dad wrote.
AJ truly believes in his daughter’s idea, and he’s going the distance to make it a reality. We are pulling for this unstoppable father-daughter duo and hope to see Izzy Pens in stores someday very soon!
You can find the source of this article’s featured image here!
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