Young Entrepreneur Starts “Beaver Stickz” - Proceeds Will Support Children’s Hospital and College Fund

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A young brain surgery survivor started his own company to help other families, and his own future.

Photo of Asher Anken, Founder of Beaver Stickz

Asher Anken, Founder of Beaver Stickz

"I had the idea that I could sell hiking sticks and share the money with the kids and families at the hospital."

Asher Anken was 6 years old when he spent 7 weeks in Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY to remove a cavernoma that was bleeding in the stem of his brain. Two delicate brain surgeries and hours of rehabilitation therapy later, he was able to hike and play outside again.

During his first hike, he discovered a beaver pond and found the perfect walking stick. He spent that morning pulling sticks from the pond, and was inspired. “I had the idea that I could sell hiking sticks and share the money with the kids and families at the hospital,” says Asher. He started “Beaver Stickz” with his grandfather Ron Whitford and step-dad Josh Lewis, selling beautiful, sturdy hiking sticks and apparel, using the slogan, “Busy With A Purpose”.

Beaver Stickz donates 50% of the net proceeds to the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, and puts the remaining 50% in a fund for Asher’s college education.

“I want everyone to have a good hiking stick,” Asher says. “We even have an option to ‘pay what you can afford’, since we believe everyone should have access to a good hiking stick and spend hours outside in fresh air and nature,” adds Josh.

Together, Josh Lewis, who is owner of Co-Movement Gym, Ron Whitford, and Asher are illuminating for the world to see the value of gratitude, hard work, and giving back. The business’ website shares the family’s philosophy: “There are 365 days in a year and we want to bring awareness of being ‘Busy With A Purpose’ each and every day. The goal is to handcraft 365 Beaver Stickz per year, a daily reminder that good health and happiness is a blessing.” They have sold 90 of their one-of-a-kind Beaver Stickz so far.

All Beaver Stickz are collected sustainably by the family, then each unique stick is dried for a week, sanded smooth, and stained in multiple layers for a durable finish. Beaver Stickz offers shipping to individuals and commercial businesses. Because the Beaver Stickz hiking sticks are so labor-intensive—they finish one each day—the supply is limited, so Asher offers branded apparel as well, which he can provide in higher volume. The apparel promotes the message ‘Busy With A Purpose’ on the back of each tee-shirt, fleece pullover, or thermal. Asher says, “You can buy a great hiking stick for you, and Beaver Stickz clothes for your whole family!”

The company’s approach to business sets an inspiring example of sustainable capitalism and public good. The young entrepreneur reminds us, “I want everyone to live a life filled with happiness and good health.”

About Beaver Stickz:

Beaver Stickz is located in Deansboro, NY, and abides by conscious capitalist principles. Conscious Leadership: Authentic and loyal to the cause. Conscious Culture: Intentional in our actions and performance. Higher Purpose: Simply put...do good. Stakeholder Orientation: Care for customers, the local community and vendors.

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