Meet Bill Weber, originally a New Yorker but now based in Los Angeles. Bill is the founder of Peace Pictures, a content company to teach children about inclusion.
Q. Congratulations on launching Peace Pictures! What inspired you to create this business?
A. When my wife and I adopted our two beautiful children from Colombia, I found myself spending more and more time telling them stories and drawing pictures as a way to entertain them. Rediscovering my artistic side brought me back to studying. I started attending children’s television conferences, learning about the licensing business, screenwriting and pitching to TV production companies while I continued working in publishing.
I created Peace Pictures and our main character, Avery the Dove of Peace, to empower kids to make their own contributions, to get to know people different than themselves, and to feel safe and at home in our big, beautiful, culturally-diverse world. I wanted my multi-racial family to live in a world where people are judged by the contributions that they make, not by the color of their skin.
Q. Where do you live and do you recommend your city as a family travel destination?
A. I live in Thousand Oaks, California, just outside Los Angeles. It’s a great place for kids as it has horse farms, the ocean and beautiful mountains to go for a hike or gentle walk. It’s the perfect location really: close enough to commute to Los Angeles for the culture, sport, entertainment parks and city life, but far enough to enjoy a slower pace.
Q. What is the most memorable trip you took with your kids?
A. My favorite trip was back when the kids were young and we rented an RV to spend the weekend on the New Jersey shore. We had a great time and made the most of the beach location. The kids loved the RV so much that when we got back home they spent hours playing in it as we were not due to return it until the following day. I like to joke that we could have just stayed parked in the driveway the entire weekend!
Q. What’s your best advice for traveling parents?
A. Make sure to plan simple “time outs” along your sightseeing route. I find that often kids need a quiet, open space to rest and take a little time off. When we would go to theme parks, I would always look for a little grassy area that our family could claim as our own. The kids could rest and take the time they needed to calm down from all of the excitement.
Q. How do you tackle the work/life balance (e.g., day care, babysitting, school)?
A. I have always tried to work from home as much as possible. I wanted to show my kids that you can balance both work and play successfully. We decided to take a step back from the corporate world when the kids were little and start up our entrepreneurial life to be more available to them.
Q. What are the advantages of being an entrepreneur raising children versus working for an outside entity? Disadvantages?
A. My wife and I always knew we wanted to spend as much time as possible with the kids and be very hands-on in their upbringing. The advantage of being an entrepreneur is that we were able to do that by working from home and having more time with our kids. The biggest disadvantage for us was the fact that we took a pay cut to be able to do so. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Q. What’s your shameless plug?
A. Peace Pictures is a content company building a movement among parents, kids, marketers, and all those interested in building a more peaceful, inclusive world. When you join Peace Pictures, a patron membership organization, you support multicultural characters like Avery, Rosalia, Ragnar, Lakpa and Grandma Bibi. These characters teach children that we live in an interdependent, interconnected world and that our food, fashion, music, and art are contributions from people all around the planet. Avery has been called “Hello Kitty with meaning” and I’d love your support in making Avery as well-known.
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