PHOENIX - Two things, when put together, can create hours of fun for anyone: yarn and wax.
It's called "Wikki Stix". It's been an American classic for 29 years. and it's also made in Arizona.
Kem Clark worked in marketing. She did a study on this product for its owner in Chicago nearly 30 years ago. The creator didn't want to move ahead with the product, so she took it over.
"I asked if he would ascertain selling the patent, and he said yes," said Clark. "So I suddenly went from being a marketing consultant to being a manufacturer."
The Wikki Stix are made of non-toxic wax and yarn, and are popular for people of all ages. People can find them in restaurants, craft stores, on Amazon, and in airports.
"So we have a little traveler for the three and four-year-olds, and we have a larger traveler for the five, six, seven, 8-year-olds," said Clark.
Clark travels a lot, and she says kids are always on their tablets. This gives them something creative to do.
"I think everyone is tired of watching kids as young as three looking constantly at a tablet, a phone, or an iPad or something," said Clark. "They're no longer playing or doing anything, and that kind of play is very important for brain development at that age. Cognitive development, hand-eye coordination."
The Wikki Stix are made in Phoenix, and they ship about half a million of the product per month, worldwide, and in seven different languages.
"Most of our products have a sheet of ideas," said Clark. "Connect the dots, things that kids can press right onto the paper to do."
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