Chris used to teach architecture and design classes at WashU and Maryville, when one day he and the students were trying to open a beer. No one had a bottle opener but when he looked around everyone had there cell phones out on the desk. That's when the idea for kit was born. It's a case for your smart phone that will hold credit cards, cash, keys...or a bottle opener.
Right now Chris is trying to raise money so he can produce prototypes and have people test them for him. This has been a big challenge. Even after his kickstarter he still needs about $300,000 to start production with his production company in Wisconsin. He wants to try and keep this as local as possible and, "Do something fun, make some money, and provide jobs for our neighbors, that's like a trifecta!"
Despite Chris' invention and his background, he considers himself a Luddite, or at best he is not an early adopter, especially when it comes to social media. Although he did use Meetup to start an art group, but he considers Meetup different because the end result is meeting people face to face and sharing common interests. Whereas with Twitter, the digital communication IS the end result, and he believes that things are better and more interesting in the real world. I compared it to the movie Wall-E, where people float around and communicate with computers instead of each other.
Currently, Chris is living in Lexington, KY with his wife, whom he met at his WashU class reunion. He was the Gift Chair for his class, meaning he called members of his class and asked them to donate to the school. So, when he asked to sit next to his future wife at the reunion, she thought he was just going to ask her for a donation. It turned out to be a little more than that. Chris and his wife have a 19 year old daughter who is currently in D.C. With a ministry group doing hospitality and working with international students for her gap year.
Dungeons and Dragons, awesomely enough, is what led Chris to architecture."I played dungeons and dragons as a young adolescent, but that all folded into me becoming an architect. Creation out of the ground. Drawing maps, creating worlds and that's what I do now."
How many people have such a great reason for following their career path?
Getting free coffee with Aubrey is cool. All the cool kids have already done it. You should be next!