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The Playwell Journey: Part Two

This is the second part of a series in which we follow the journey that brought Playwell Bricks’ own Jason Pyett from a stay-at-home-Dad to bespoke brick models designer to the CEO of an international design company. In Part One, we traveled to Disney with the Pyett family and discovered the set that rekindled his love for building with bricks.

From that Christmas LEGO® set, Pyett’s newfound passion for brick building snowballed. Pyett started buying up secondhand sets to build up his collection. “I noticed that a lot of kids were building the sets and just putting them on a shelf. Never really doing anything with them.” Finally, he started asking why. “And in every single case it was the parents not wanting the kids taking apart the LEGO® and reusing it because the sets were expensive.”

Pyett felt that this was stifling kids’ creativity, and it bothered him. “So, I decided to start a workshop here in the studio.”

His first workshop had six kids attend, a fair number for a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada. He started out trying to teach them how to design their own custom sets, but “that didn’t go well. It was too structured. I was trying to teach them at a university level and didn’t realize I had to focus on kid level.” Despite his mistakes, Pyett persevered. Soon, he was leading workshops at the Family Center and the local school as well.

Pyett recalls a pivotal moment that happened at the Family Center. “We had a girl come in who’d never played with bricks before. She told us that she wasn’t creative, she can’t build anything, she can’t draw anything.” Pyett said that was okay and encouraged her to come anyway. “We can show you some things to do and you can play along with the other kids and find out what they’re doing. Just sort of softly encouraging her to be creative.”

“And I think it was about her third session that she came with a simple house that she had built and she was ecstatic. Just over the moon that she had built this by herself.” He tears up telling the story. “And in that moment, it was like a light came on inside me. This is what it’s all about, inspiring people. Whether it’s adults or kids, it doesn’t matter. Seeing that light go on is what it’s all about.”

This drive to inspire the kids in his workshops pushed Pyett to be more and more creative himself. Maya Angelou once said, “you can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have,” and Pyett began to experience this firsthand. His passion for bricks was becoming something so much more than he could have known at the time.

Wondering how Pyett goes from holding brick workshops for kids to the CEO of a well-respected international design company? Keep an eye on this space for Part Three of the Playwell Journey, where Pyett delves into LEGO® robotics and learns some very valuable lessons about fun. Coming soon!

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