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Celebrating National Crayon Day with Art 2 The Extreme

Celebrating National Crayon Day with Art 2 The Extreme - Little Birdies
Starter Facts
  • Each year, over 150 million non-decomposable crayons are thrown away by restaurants alone. (Crayon Collection)
  • Crayola produces nearly 3 billion crayons each year, an average of twelve million daily. That's enough to circle the globe 6 times! (Crayola)
  • The average kid uses up 730 crayons by age 10. (Crayola)
  • National Crayon Day: March 31

 Celebrating National Crayon Day with Art 2 The Extreme - Little Birdies

What are Original Rainbow Crayons?
Original Rainbow Crayons® are multicolored, uniquely shaped crayons that encourage creative thinking and imaginative making outside the traditional crayon box.Our crayons color in a multitude of rainbow colors, mixing and swirling with every stroke, making art always new and exciting.
Our rainbow crayons empower people with different abilities and ideas. It's something we think about in having multiple ways to grip the crayons and chunkier shapes that aren’t going to roll off the table. Original Rainbow Crayons are also durable, which is nice as a parent or educator, so you’re not constantly having to sharpen them or buy a new set.
Original Rainbow Crayons® have been featured in major publications such as Food Network Magazine, Real Simple, Buzzfeed, Midwest Living, Good Housekeeping, US Weekly, and People. Custom Original Rainbow Crayons have also been created for brands and organizations such as the Oprah Winfrey Network, Sephora, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. 
Tell us about you and your brand
Nicole is  the founder and creative behind Art the Extreme®. Art 2 the Extreme specializes in customized and personalized crayon design for unique gifting options and art supply needs.
Nicole is a former art teacher of 10 years, crayon artisan, and mom of two boys. Before devoting her work full-time to The Original Rainbow Crayon®, she drew inspiration for her specialty crayons from my 15+ years of expertise in the arts, with 10 of those years as an Elementary Art teacher in Lebanon, Indiana. Not only did she teach visual arts from a cart with the extra challenge of going from classroom to classroom, but also saw a need for adaptive art supplies for her growing number of students with special needs and accommodations.
In 2007, Nicole became the first artisan to ever create and sell a handmade crayon on Etsy. This was long before the days of Pinterest, Instagram, and the DIYers out there now.  She transitioned her then side hustle into a full-time job in 2014, leaving teaching to expand her crayon company. 
Nicole has set the standard on the handmade product site, Etsy. In 2020, her colorful rainbow crayons placed top 10 in the Kids Category Etsy Design Awards out of 5 million Etsy shops.
Celebrating National Crayon Day with Art 2 The Extreme - Little Birdies
What do you love most about using crayons? 
I love how a crayon has so much potential to make everyone an artist. I love mixing the brilliant colors together to make a new color. You can press hard, you can press soft and really manipulate the possibilities a crayon brings. There are endless opportunities to discover shades of the same color. Crayons are timeless and will always be the “go to” art supply for kids. Even when broken, they will still function and can be used in new ways.
What is your favorite way to use crayons with your own kids?
I love using our Crayon Stix® multicolored version to draw designs on paper and then paint with watercolor on top. It is a fun way to mix up your media when creating with children (even super young) for everyone to create a beautiful work of art.  Our rainbow crayons make texture rubbings more fun and colorful too! 
Celebrating National Crayon Day with Art 2 The Extreme - Little Birdies
What is National Crayon Day?
It is a day to celebrate the creation of crayons and the joy of coloring. National Crayon day has been celebrated since at least 2006 and this is the day that Crayola typically retired old colors and introduces new colors. About 50 colors of Crayola Crayons have been retired to this point. 
Why do you care about National Crayon Day?
My life (other than my boys and husband) pretty much revolves around crayon and art. There is something so simple and wonderful about a crayon. They are everywhere. They are the most used art supply in school and most accessible. I also feel like at times, society takes advantage of crayons and the accessibility/plentifulness of them. We go to a restaurant and the kids use them for 5 minutes and they are thrown away. At school, if a crayon breaks, kids no longer want to use them (they actually become better for dexterity with small kids if they are broken in half) and they are set aside or thrown out. One of the reasons I started recycling crayons with my students was because of seeing all of the broken crayons scattered throughout the kindergarten classrooms I was traveling to each day on my art cart.  
National Crayon Day is a big deal for our Crayon Crew at Art 2 the Extreme®. Not only is it a day to celebrated bring awareness to Art 2 the Extreme and the uniqueness of our multicolored rainbow crayons, but it is a time to also bring attention to crayon recycling and repurposing. It is also a time for us to help amplify the mission of our non-profit friends, Crayon Collection, we partner with to let people know that not only can YOU do something to recycle crayons in your own community, but you can also receive new and gently used crayons from Crayon Collection, as well as access to free art lesson plans. 
What is Crayon Collection? 
Art 2 the Extreme® is proud to partner with Crayon Collection, a nonprofit with the mission is to inspire a commitment to environmental consciousness and the infusion of art education in underfunded schools. In addition to donating crayons to vulnerable classrooms, Crayon Collection partners with renowned artists such as Kenny Scharf and Annie Lapin to design and implement lesson plans that use art as a tool to teach STEM, literacy and social-emotional learning standards.
Art 2 the Extreme® donates hundreds of thousands of new crayons each year to the Crayon Collection, who then finds schools and organizations who are in most need of these supplies through their Color Kindness program. As a former art teacher, I believe it is extremely important to keep as many crayons out of landfills and get them into the hands of children that need art supplies! Crayon Collection makes this possible.
Consider organizing a Color Kindness event in your own community to celebrate National Crayon Day. Crayon Collection pouches can be distributed to your school, scout group, or organization. You can fill the pouches with 8-10 crayons (new, used, broken, it does not matter) and write a note of kindness that will be included for the student that receives this crayon pouch.  Crayon Collection suggests that the pouches be redistributed back to an underserved school or community in your own area and can even help connect you with a Title 1 school or organization in your area that has reached out to them for supplies. 
Fun facts about crayons:
The Crayola name was coined by Alice Binney, wife of company founder Edwin and a former school teacher. It comes from “craie,” the French word for “chalk,”
and “ola,” for “oleaginous,” or “oily.”
Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood created the 100 billionth crayon in 1996.
The smell of crayons is the most recognizable scent for adults.
1903- Binney & Smith made the first box of Crayola Crayons, an 8 pack that has the same colors in the 8 pack today. 
Blue is the most popular color
Crayola produces nearly 3 billion crayons each year, an average of twelve million daily. That's enough to circle the globe 6 times!
Celebrating National Crayon Day with Art 2 The Extreme - Little Birdies
About Nicole
Nicole Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Art 2 the Extreme, LLC. Since 2007, Nicole
has made her colorful mark on the world of art supplies and children’s gifts through
her playful collection of Original Rainbow Crayons®. Her designs not only provides a
unique gift for any occasion, but takes a creative approach to the fun and functionality
of traditional crayons.
Before devoting her work full-time to the crayon business, Nicole drew inspiration for
her specialty crayons from her 15+ years of expertise in the arts, with 8 of those years
as an Elementary Art teacher. Not only did Nicole teach visual arts from a cart with the
extra challenge of going from classroom to classroom, but also saw a need for
adaptive art supplies for her growing number of students with special needs and
accommodations.
As the first artisan to ever create and sell a handmade crayon online, Nicole’s vision
and former side-hustle has developed into a full-time business, bursting at the seams.
Nicole made the decision to leave teaching and dedicate herself to the business and
her growing family full-time in 2014 and has not looked back since!
Her company has seen continuous growth both on a local and national level. Her work
has been featured in major publications such as Food Network Magazine, Real Simple,
Martha Stewart Living, Good Housekeeping, Forbes, and People. Specializing in
custom crayon design, Nicole has also created projects for The Oprah Winfrey
Network, Sephora and Marco Polo. In the fall of 2020, Nicole was a finalist in the Etsy
Design Awards, with her personalized designs finishing among the Top 10 best
products in the Kids category worldwide.
Nicole has seen great success in adding personalization and customized options with
her designs. She currently works from her home studio in Noblesville, Indiana with her
husband and two young boys. She has several solutions to speed up production,
including a move to a larger facility and is seeking focused support for manufacturing
and human capital for quicker turnaround for her high-demand products.

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