Meet the Parents: George Sully — Designer, Entrepreneur and Activist
Our Meet The Parents Blog Series is an opportunity to profile parents from within our Kidco community. Multidisciplinary designer, entrepreneur and activist are all different ways one can begin to describe George Sully. Based in Toronto, with an impressive worldwide network, he has established a collective of multifaceted companies that leverage him as an innovative player in the world of multimedia content creation and fashion design. George is a Bata Shoe Museum inductee, creator of Black designers of Canada, co-founder of House of Hayla and creator of break-out brand Sully & Son Company. He is also dad to Adrian, who attends Kids & Company! Read on for his advice on fatherhood, entrepreneurship and community.
KC: Tell us about yourself, your family and how you spend your days.
GS: I like to describe us as a bonified footwear family. Both Hayla and I are footwear designers, and just recently little Adrian just released his own pair of sneakers now available at Hudson’s Bay alongside mommy and daddy’s shoes. I like to also say those who work and play together, stay together!
KC: Why did you choose to have your child participate in an early learning and child care program?
GS: Adrian has always been a curiosity-driven child, and we couldn’t wait for the opportunity to help expand his beautiful mind and expose him to new things including other children.
KC: What drew you to Kids & Company specifically?
GS: At first, convenience; we couldn’t be the ease of having a daycare in our own building. But most importantly, the staff has been everything for us and Adrian's development. Adrian has really taken to the staff and the staff to Adrian, alike.
KC: What was the biggest challenge for you in becoming a father?
Lucky for me, I’ve been blessed to have a solid partner in Hayla who has been there by my side for the support. They say it takes a village, but it truly starts in the home. That’s why it’s hard to think of any real challenges I’ve had being a father. I embraced fatherhood wholeheartedly from the beginning knowing it was never going to be a walk in the park, so every challenge I’ve had, I’ve taken on as a blessing of sorts, a right of passage.
KC: What changed the most for you in your life since becoming a father? Has that changed over the years?
Levels of responsibility of course have changed. Knowing there’s this little person relying on you 24/7 took some adjusting. But after a few weeks, it was hard to fathom life without a child.
KC: Tell us about your work and how you got to where you are. What can this community do to help support you?
GS: My history in Fashion goes as far back as twenty years at the least. Now though, I have two successful footwear companies one of them I co-founded with Hayla, Adrian’s mom. Besides those two, I also started a non-profit called Black Designers of Canada our nation’s first-ever index of Canadian black designers highlighting Black creatives often marginalized because of the colour of their skin. There are always ways for the community to help support. It all starts with education and the rest always falls into place from there.
KC: What is your advice to our community of parents as it relates to entrepreneurship, taking the leap, and building something you love?
GS: The power to divide and conquer is a beautiful thing! If you’re in a relationship with children, it doesn’t mean life stops. If you can equally divide tasks and positively manage the stresses that come with it, then taking any leap won’t feel so daunting and you can focus on building something you love.
KC: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in this world, address one issue and solve it, what would it be?
GS: If I had a magic wand and could change one thing in this world it would be intolerance. Putting an end to intolerance would mean a world free from prejudice, bigotry and hate.
KC: Thank you, George, for sharing your story and trusting us with the care of your family! It's truly an honour.
If any Kids & Company families are looking for a discount to use at Sully & Sons Co., visit our Perk Program page and use the code in your newsletter to access the promo code for 20% off!