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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Successful Entrepreneur Creates Beloved Sandcastle Masterpieces Every Saturday

Newport Beach, Calif.—If you stroll Newport Beach’s Balboa Island Boardwalk on any Saturday morning as you come to Sapphire Street, you’re likely to come across Chris Crosson, a businessman who kneels in the sand. The force became the master in the sand. And water is building its latest creation.

As a child, Crosson grew up on Sapphire, playing along the sandy shores of the man-made atoll, which itself was formed in 1905 from dredged sand pulled from Newport Harbor.

Like many other successful entrepreneurs, Crosson’s story began with a big idea, which became something he had not intended. However, his version may be a bit unusual – it started with dog waste.

In 1988, after a lot of people stepped into dog trash that littered the sidewalk and sand of his beloved neighborhood, he created a small portable cardboard dispenser with a small bag that dog owners could easily carry. He set out to tackle the problem of defecation by making a small portable cardboard dispenser. To use when nature calls for its furry friends.

The boxes didn’t close, but the bags did. They became the focus of the business, and their invention of necessity – a solution to help pet owners clean up after their dogs and help keep communities clean – became the Doggy Walk Bag. Crosson will sign contracts with Petco and other large-scale customers around the world, establishing a multi-million dollar business in the multi-billion dollar pet products industry.

a marketing tool

In 1994, Crosson decided to put together a company team and enter the annual Corona del Mar Sandcastle competition as a clever way of marketing Doggy Walk bags.

Employees and friends made a small dog with a big pile of “nuisance” behind it and handed out samples of Doggy Walk bags to the crowd. They had so much fun during the event that it soon became an annual company tradition.

“Our sculpture theme always revolved around dogs, and we’d have a dispenser and bags to hand over,” Crosson recalled. “Year after year we have enjoyed the experience of bonding to building a giant sand castle or sculpture. Over time, both the company and our sand manufacturing grew.”

Eventually, building sandcastles to promote doggy walk bags turned into another new business venture, when Crosson developed the sandcastle kit—which could be used for Boy and Girl Scout troupe outings, birthday parties, and even executive functions. Corporate team-building is done at events such as meetings.

In 2010, Crossan decided to spend his Saturday mornings perfecting his designs, learning to sand and understand the structural techniques that work best. For larger creations, he uses plastic molds that he fills with sand and water to create a sturdy base from which to build.

One of Kris Crosson’s sandcastle creations. (courtesy of Chris Crossan)

“I’m not artistic at all, despite what people think,” Crosson told The Epoch Times. “I don’t really plan what I’m going to make. It sounds awkward, but the sand really tells you which way to go, what you can and can’t do.”

His practice paid off, and while the sandcastle kit was successful, Crosson began receiving more and more requests from companies and individuals to build sandcastles for everything from ad shoots to celebrations of life.

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“A family has come every year to help me make a sand sculpture in memory of Bill, the family’s patriarch,” Crosson said. “One year, we built a giant whale on the beach and carved it for ‘Bill-A Life Whale Lived’.”

Yug Times Photos
One of Kris Crosson’s sandcastle creations. (courtesy of Chris Crossan)

Meanwhile, in 2016, Crosson’s daughter was having a boy, and she asked why they weren’t selling their bags to parents as a way to deal with dirty diapers. In fact, he told her, when she was a kid they would test the Doggy Walk bag with her dirty diaper. They decided to launch the Oh Baby Bag, the next generation of Crosson family products designed to make parents’ lives easier.

Memorable Sand Castles

When asked if she’s had a favorite sand construction over the years, Crosson says one in particular stands out because of her mother-in-law’s reaction.

“One Easter I made a sculpture of the three back ends and engraved ‘Happy Castor’ on it. Their response was, ‘How can you be? In Jehovah’s holy days!'”

Yug Times Photos
One of Kris Crosson’s sandcastle creations. (Lynn Hackman / The Epoch Times)

Of all the sandcastles and sculptures he has created, Crosson says his tribute to Tommy LaSorda, who passed away in January 2021, has been his most popular creation with fans on social media.

During the pandemic, Crosson tried to create some leverage through his beachfront sculptures, including one giant stack of toilet paper rolls with a “Let It Roll” and another with three pairs of bare feet holding “Six Feet of Separation.” ” wrote. He only missed one Saturday during the COVID-19 shutdown, one after Governor Newsom closed all California beaches.

Yug Times Photos
Four of Chris Crossan’s COVID-19 sandcastle creations. (courtesy of Chris Crossan)

Crosson says that these days, sandcastle building allows him to tap into a hobby that is both relaxing and provides a great workout.

“I always tell people that they are welcome to come downstairs on any Saturday morning and help shovel sand for a while. You will realize how much sand really has to move and it is a great hip, arm, leg workout,” said Crosson.

“When I’m building, it’s nice to chat with out-of-town visitors and local residents. I get a chance to explain what I’m doing and talk to kids who want to learn how to sand How to build K castles,” said Crosson. “It’s a simple pastime that’s very rewarding.”

Lynn Hackman

to follow

Lynn is a reporter for the Southern California edition of The Epoch Times based in Orange County. He has enjoyed a career spanning over 25 years as a senior level strategic public relations and contingency planning executive. An editor, blogger and columnist, Lynn also has experience as a television and radio show producer and host. For six years, she co-hosted Sunday Brunch with Tom and Lynn on KOCI 101.5 FM. She is also active in the Newport Beach community, serving as President Emeritus of the Newport Beach City Arts Commission, among various positions with other local organizations.


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