A JOURNEY OF PURPOSE
A Journey of Purpose
How I Found Myself Wanting to Create the Best Coloring Books in the World
Sometimes what you are looking for is right in front of your eyes. As fate would have it, about a year and a half ago I was stressing myself out trying to build a company that would allow me to help in the education of children, perhaps how I once was helped. I had a full time job. On the side, I was writing a novel, and helping my mother’s business as much as I could.

I have been a long admirer of socially responsible companies like TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker or State. I admired how they were able to create beautiful products that people loved--and identified with--all while giving back. Not just in the form of a hand out, but in a tangible way by matching every product they sell with one they give away. There’s something powerful in that.

It has been a dream of mine to do something like that, you see. A few years prior to this moment, I found myself in Cambodia teaching English in a rural village. Kids that had nothing more than the raggedy clothes they wore, were eagerly learning as much as they could from us travelers-turned-teachers. It was humbling and admiring, but also frustrating. These kids, without the proper tools and resources would most likely end up taking care of their families farms. Which there’s nothing wrong with that, except when you hear the dreams of your student telling you in broken English that she dreams about becoming a doctor. You cannot not do anything about it.
As I was saying, about a year and a half ago I was stressing out trying to find a way in which I could generate 1,000 scholarships for talented kids in the developing world. As I once was. If it weren’t for the scholarships I received, I wouldn’t be here. “I can’t figure out how they did it,” I said to my girlfriend at the time as I Skyped with her in my lunch break from my work office. I was referring to the companies I admired and I wanted to imitate.

A few weeks later, I received in the mail a coloring book from her. She said, “Diego, you are too stressed out. I think coloring will help you.”

I thought it was sweet by, come on, I’m a grown man, coloring is not for me. That’s for kids. I thanked her, but put it in the drawer. A month went by and I came back to the office. The excel spreadsheets were driving me crazy. I began roaming to my drawers and found the book she had given me. I had a marker with me I had stolen from the conference room, so I began coloring. I didn’t work for the rest of the day.
The next day I called her to thank her for introducing me to the art of coloring for adults. Something I thought to be ridiculous, was actually amazing for my mind. I was more relaxed. It was, as I like to call it, a dynamic for of meditation. Focusing on staying inside the lines became a way to clear my mind. I was by no means great with markers, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t want to paint like Picasso. I just wanted to finish one coloring page to move the next one.

Shortly after, I was in Wynwood, my adoptive neighborhood in Miami. I was Skyping again, coloring a bit and drinking coffee. There was a mural behind me. “Hey wouldn’t it be cool to color a mural like that one?” she said. Somebody should do a coloring book about Wynwood. “Hey!” she said, out of the sudden, super excited, “YOU should do a coloring book about Wynwood!”

Shortly after, I was in Wynwood, my adoptive neighborhood in Miami. I was Skyping again, coloring a bit and drinking coffee. There was a mural behind me. “Hey wouldn’t it be cool to color a mural like that one?” she said. Somebody should do a coloring book about Wynwood. “Hey!” she said, out of the sudden, super excited, “YOU should do a coloring book about Wynwood!”

“You are crazy, that would never work.” I responded. But I couldn’t shake the idea off. I had to try. I didn’t know many artists, nor did I know how to do a book. I began reaching out to people I knew, and flat out knocking on doors and introducing myself and the idea. I printed out some flyers and started to hand them out in the streets of Wynwood, just to see people’s reactions. They loved it. In a few months and with the help of 43 amazing and talented artists who believed in my idea, The Wynwood Coloring Book was born.

It sold out within a month and a half from its release. The Wynwood community showed their support. Artists, local businesses, the media, friends, dancers, yogis, musicians, everybody who came into contact with the book or who heard about it, helped out to making this idea into a reality. We printed another batch, and just like that, it had been right in front of my eyes: I had created the product I was looking for.

We launched Aimful Coloring Books with three goals in mind:

To contribute to the education of thousands of children around the world. To help people relax and practice coloring as a form of dynamic meditation. To spread the appreciation for urban art and street artists.

We start by matching every coloring book we sell with an educational textbook we give away. Who knows, with your help, maybe someday soon we can turn them into scholarships too.

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