CNN ireport

We are excited that a reporter from CNN has picked up on this #ireport and is writing a feature on Good Boy Roy. Hopefully this will open more doors and help to get our story out to more people.

Here is part of that iReport. To see the full post CNN ireport

Good Boy Roy is a business simply of Hope. Hope for the future, for better things, and to make a difference somehow in the lives of others.

Good Boy Roy began with the hope to share fun and whimsical characters created and drawn by now 17 year old Zack Hix. The hope that this may be a means of someday allowing him to become self supporting while doing something that brings him joy, rather than becoming another statistic of an unemployable person with mental illness.

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Lucki Gurlz and Bomb Digz Shout out for Good Boy Roy

We have been so blessed by some amazing support from all over. The latest comes in the form of this up and coming Performing Group, The Lucki Gurlz !!! along with the Bomb Digz. Thanks for sending this great Shout out and support for Good Boy Roy brand and helping to follow a dream.

Check it out here >>>>   Lucki Gurlz and Bomb Digz

See them here on You Tube

 

Lucki Gurlz Rockin their Good Boy Roy shirts

Just posting a quick shout out and thank you to the amazing Lucki Gurlz.

The Lucki Gurlz are a high energy all girl performing group (obviously)

They sent us this fun picture of them all in their new Good Boy Roy t-shirts that they will be wearing while performing in May at the NY Presbyterian Children’s Hospital next month. It’s going to be in their Winter Gardens, and simulcast throughout the entire children’s ward.

Lucki Gurl

 

We know they will put smiles on all the kids faces !

Rock on girls

Rock on

Check out @Lucki_Bree @Lucki_Kay @Lucki_Sam @Lucki_Starr @Lucki_Zan and follow them on Twitter too.

Taking care of business— Mental illness is not a deterrent

Taking care of business—despite mental health challenges

Interview By Andrea Ciccocioppo: Central Penn Magazine

Zack Hix isn’t your ordinary 16-year-old. He’s a cartoonist and entrepreneur, with a successful line of T-shirts—and he struggles with OCD, depression, ADHD, anxiety, Tourette’s and Pediatric Autoimmune Disorder Associated with Strep.

“I knew almost from birth that something wasn’t right,” recalled Kim Hix, Zack’s mother.infant1

Troubles begin

“He was very sick as an infant. Lots of ear infections. Chronic. As a toddler he began to have daily rages,” Hix said.

“Fortunately, my background is in psychology. That was a blessing. I was able to talk to doctors, nurses, psychologists, but it still didn’t prepare me. Nothing I did helped him,” Hix said. “I kept saying, ‘It’s not a temper tantrum. It’s something else.’”

Zack started with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder tendencies at age 2. Doctors said they believe a strep infection induced the OCD.

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With the ongoing support of his parents and doctors, Zack started school. “He didn’t have any difficulties in elementary school,” Hix recalled.

And then came middle school—and another strep infection.

Enter PANDAS (pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep)

As if middle school isn’t enough of a challenge socially for most kids, in fifth grade, Zack got another strep infection, which doctors believe caused him to develop tics and Tourette Syndrome. He had head, neck and mouth tics and made guttural and gulping sounds. “At the time, they were very distinct, noticeable and disruptive,” Hix recalled.

School quickly became “a disaster.” “He was picked on, teased and bullied a lot,” Hix said. “That was the onset of a downward spiral for him.”

Zack became homebound for the last six weeks of school that year. He was diagnosed with Pediatric Autoimmune Disorder Associated with Strep.

For the next three years, Zack shuffled in and out of schools and homeschooling, trying to find a good educational and social fit. “I really did have to start learning a lot about what schools legally have to provide for a child with diagnosed disabilities and learning disorders” Hix said.HPIM0425

The challenge for Hix and the schools was to distinguish between behavior issues and medical/neurological difficulties. “I knew what was going on was due to lack of impulse control, mood swings, depression and anxiety, but the staff did not see it this way”

Fortunately, in the eighth grade, Zack was teamed up in a regular class with an “Inclusion Specialist” aide. “She finally recognized [a problem],” Hix said. “She got the ball rolling and pushed for testing. They determined his problems are medically based and he was placed in a class with learning-disabled neuroscience students, many of whom had head traumas or Asperger’s or Autism. “Once that happened, it has been much better,” Hix said.

Meanwhile, the tics subsided and are manageable. The tantrums are fewer. This year is going great for Zack. “Every day is different. You learn to never try to predict because you can’t,” Hix said.

Welcome Good Boy RoyGBR Back logo

Now, a high school student in Simpsonville, South Carolina, Zack is a pretty typical kid. He has raced BMX bikes, played baseball and has always loved to draw and do silly impersonations. His creative outlet for dealing with his issues has been drawing.

Two years ago, he brought home a stack of drawings of characters he had done. “I thought they were really cute,” Hix said. She had a T-shirt made up of one of the characters, Good Boy Roy.

“He names all his characters. He picked Good Boy Roy as his alter ego because after his rages, he is always very remorseful. ‘I really am a good boy, I don’t know why I do this,’ he says,” Hix explained.

As Zack wore the shirt, it got attention. Other kids wanted shirts. Some friends asked him to create characters just for them. Thus began GoodBoyRoy.com, a website that sells items featuring Zack’s characters.

“The T-shirt was nothing we had planned on, but my thought was mental illness does not go away. He’s gonna have to get a job and work when he’s able to work, he is never stable for long, and being able to work for someone else we feel is probably not going to be possible” Hix said. “This is a great way to start. The hope is we can grow this and it will provide him with a source of income after high school and allow him to be financially self-sufficient. Not depend on government support or handouts”

Zack is gifted at art. “Whenever I had an idea in my head, I see the picture,” he said. “I try to think of names. Most of them start with the same letter [such as Hippie Heather]—that’s what makes them catchy.”hippie heather-incolor

Zack attends trade shows to sell his work. “It’s a good opportunity for him to work on interacting with people,” Hix said. “It’s really been great for his self-esteem.”

Drawing his characters has often been his best friend. Zack said he wants other kids to know that if you have a dream, go for it. Everyone has obstacles and challenges of some kind, but if you believe in yourself anything is possible.

Zack said he does all his artwork on paper, rather than a computer. It takes him about 10 minutes to create. “My friends think it’s pretty cool,” Zack said. “My goal is for Good Boy Roy to become a household name like The Simpsons.”   

boy-wonder-bannerThe most recent addition to the Good Boy Roy brand is the new coloring book. Full of the fun, whimsical characters he draws and fondly calls “the Good Boy Roy Gang“. These characters share inspirational and motivating, positive messages for the children to read.

coloringbookcovernami-for coloring bookHappy Harry Coloring BookThis has been a fun and rewarding journey for both Kim and Zack. Following a Dream.

Good Boy Roy’s Portfolio is growing !!

Add illustrator to Zack’s resume !!

In December the children’s book, A World without Circles, was published, illustrated by Good Boy Roy creator, Zack Hix, now 17.

A World Without Circles

(this is Zack signing the contract with the publisher of L’Edge Press)zackandjeffsigningcontract

What a fun project it was for him. He was simply given the story line, and told to draw pictures, whatever he wanted to do. This was great to challenge his creativity along his usual characters.

The Portfolio is expanding for my little guy, well, not so little, he’s 17.kimzack

Watch out 2013…#TeamGoodBoyRoy is on a mission

Shout out from Zman, whats happening

This is Zack…Good Boy Roy.  Just letting you all know what is happening around here.

Today we went to Art on the Trail in Travelers Rest. It was a lot of artisans set up selling the things the make. Mom and I went for a little bit to make a showing for Good Boy Roy. It was ok, not a whole lot of people, but the weather was good and I got to meet some nice people. One couple stopped by to talk to me, they had heard about me and the business, they have a grandson with Autism. They talked to mom and I for a while. It’s nice to meet people especially when they tell me that I am an inspiration, that’s always nice. I get a lot of encouragement from people.

I finally finished the illustrations for the Children’s book, A World without Circles. It was a fun thing to do, and good pay too 🙂 The book should be out in November, that is what the Publisher said. Here is just one of the illustrations.

I also finished a custom shirt design for the Greenville Road Warriors, they gave me certain things to include like recycling, exercise, reading…and this is what I came up with. It was for a contest they did for kids.

The next thing I finished was a design for a 4k that is coming up called Colors 4 Hope, they call it a color run because the runners where white t-shirts, and as they run during the course people throw colored stuff on them. I think they said it is corn starch dyed different colors. So by the end of the run your shirt has all kinds of color on it. It is put on by Mental Health America. I think this is my favorite drawing of mine in a long time.

So I have been busy, but that’s good. Dont forget about us at Christmas time for shippong. Sign up for the newsletter for discounts and stuff. By Zman

What is it ?? Branding experts unite

I have been posed the question several times over the past few days

What IS Good Boy Roy

What is Good Boy Roy

Should be easy to answer, should be simple, should come spilling out.

But

It’s complicated.

Good Boy Roy Is my son, Zack. The creator of it all. Most of the characters he draws have some aspect of his personality in them.

It use to be easy for me to say exactly what the business, Good Boy Roy is.

It is a journey, a mission of hope, faith, determination and overcoming. That’s what it is !! This story we are telling via the characters my son draws. Because this is his story, his life, his passion and dream. It’s a story about a boy who has suffered lifelong with debilitating, crippling disorders, challenges, disabilities, mental illness.

Whatever you want to call it. Whatever you want to call this daily roller coaster, this uncertainty he lives with. What we live with as a family. Because challenges like his do not affect 1 person. They affect everyone.

It’s the story that this kid, my kid, can be charming, delightful, smiling one minute and the next be reduced to someone I don’t even recognize. To a raging wild animal, or a crying, sobbing, helpless shell of a person. And again, back to a cool kid, creating and drawing these wonderfully fun and cute characters he imagines in his mind.

It’s a story and message we want to share and send to say “Hey, I have all these things that I can’t help, that make me act and feel ways I don’t like and can’t control, but I can still be a great asset to the world, I have talent, I am cool, I make people laugh and smile. I am awesome and yes, I have Mental illness. So what” and that millions of other people in the world are the same, they are talented, brilliant, kind, AND have mental illness. Doesn’t make them less than, doesn’t make them unworthy, doesn’t make them unproductive or unsuccessful. It just is.

Rethink Mental Illness

So, we thought to bring the characters to life, on shirts as a way to share Zack’s story and his love of drawing, but people are missing the story. They are missing the years of tears, of chaos, of uncertainty, of feeling like this child may not grow up, or may have to live somewhere in a residential facility, of days on end of raging, throwing things, hurting himself, being bullied, teased and picked on, reactions to medications, blood drawn every 6 weeks, trips to the ER…all of it somehow brought us to creating this business of Good Boy Roy. For him, to share. And for us to give back, to make a difference in the world somehow, to do good and help others, to spread hope.

Without hope, what do we have?

Some people say, just tell the story, forget the characters and the shirts, just tell the story and the rest will follow, “your story if Powerful and what you have managed to survive, and intact as a family is inspiring. The level of accomplishment and progress your son has made is a miracle” and accomplishments he continues to make…may I brag..he just finished illustrating a children’s book he was hired for, designed shirts for The Greenville Road Warriors among many, won a National t-shirt design contest for NAMI, multiple TV and print media stories .  Forget the shirts, tell the story.

Ok. I like that

Then someone says….seperate the characters FROM your son. Make them their own entity. Like P-nuts and Charles Schultz. And that is what Zack has in mind, for his “Good Boy Roy Gang” to be a group of characters like P-Nuts, The Simpsons, South Park….and the shirts and merchandise to follow along.

What we envision is really a mix, kind of like The Simpsons meet Life is Good.

So, from a business, branding, marketing stand point, which angle is the best to make this grow and be successful for Zack. For his future?

I just keep waiting on a sign..waiting, waiting

Thank goodness I’m a patient person.