Hi, I’m Tuck!
I am 17, and I love kayaking, cycling, hiking, camping, listening to music, bowling, working out, road-tripping, and swimming.
I am Autistic, but autism does not define who I am.
Autistic people aren’t always understood by society, our education system, or the business world. My Dad and I decided to address that by building a business together.
Exciting new things are happening for us in 2016!
First Big Thing:
TUCK'S TOOQUES IS GOING ON TOUR!!
We will be criss-crossing North America with two primary goals:
1. Familiarize retail and distribution partners with our story, products, and brand.
2. Present our"ProAutism Endeavor" approach to combining Tucker's academic learning with his business endeavors to fully prepare him for the transition from school to the world of work.
We also plan to visit all 48 National Parks in the Lower 48 in recognition of the 100th Anniversary of our awesome National Park System. And, of course, we want to meet with as many of our friends as possible! We hope to spend most of the year promoting our company, exploring our country, building relationships and having a blast!
Second Big Thing:
TUCK'S TOOQUES IS GOING TO THE ROOF OF THE WORLD!
Lonnie Dupre, a world-class polar explorer, mountaineer, and founder of One World Endeavors, will outfit his Vertical Nepal expedition team with Tuck's Tooques for 2016! Check out Lonnie's many, many adventures and accomplishments here: http://www.oneworldendeavors.com/
Third Big Thing:
Central Michigan University Research Corporation has accepted Tuck's Tooques into their entrepreneurial community! We look forward to the many types of support this honor brings. We were one of only six start-up business chosen by CMURC, from a field of 80 candidates. More details to come as we learn more, but we look forward to CMURC's energy and expertise helping us prepare for growth. http://www.cmurc.com/
Fourth Big Thing:
Our website is online! We published our online store at the end of 2015, which has greatly improved the ease with which our friends can shop and purchase Tuck's Tooques. http://www.tuckstooques.com/
Tuck's Tooques (again, "toox") are unique, colorful and cozy, wool tassel hats, hand-crafted by Nepali artisans in the heart of the Himalaya Mountains. We generate revenue by selling tooques to both retail or wholesale customers.
We've got great things happening all around us. But we'd also like to share some of the changes we have helped make in our local community.
Our OuterSelf Initiatives Project has already helped initiate a daycamp program at Chippewa Nature Center, which pairs Autistic and neurotypical peers in nature.
We hosted a parent workshop with Autism Alliance of Michigan, to explain new Autism health insurance mandates in Michigan, to families and service providers.
We connected with Saginaw Valley State University's College of Health and Human Services, to establish a fitness program that served six young Autistic adults and teens.
We are currently working on a peer-to-peer wilderness experience for autistic teens.
Dad also serves as a Parent Advisor for KAMPN4Autism, near Boone, NC. KAMPN is an awesome Autism family camp, which enjoys a great connection with Appalachian State University and provides fieldwork opportunities for students majoring in education and recreational therapy. (https://www.facebook.com/KAMPN4Autism)
KAMPN has initiated a new project, called KAMPN LIFE Village. The goal for this project is to develop a sustainable residential community for Autistic adults. (https://www.facebook.com/KAMPNLIFEVillage).
And, back when I was little, Dad co-facilitated a national webinar hosted by The Dow Chemical Company's Disability Employee Network, to demonstrate for other Autism parents and educators how a successful peer-to-peer program can benefit Autistic kids. We're pretty serious about this Autism Advocacy thing!
Thank you! Now, get your tooque on!
Tucker and Dennis Mashue