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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Wake Forest teen turns love of 'dad jokes' into business

Posted December 9, 2021 9:00 a.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2021 9:13 a.m. EST

Andy Vitello owns AVC Originals, which offers personalized ornaments, mugs and other items.

A Wake Forest teen has crafted a niche brand of gifts for even the hardest to shop for person.

With witty quips like "You're impossible to shop for, here's an ornament" etched on a hand-made wooden ornament, Andy Vitello is taking a love of "dad jokes" to a new level.

The 15-year-old high school freshman started AVC Originals in 2018. Since then, the shop has become popular at local craft shows and on Etsy.com.

The shop has signs (My favorite one says: "Naughty is such a strong word ... how about we go with nice-ish") and even baby onesies and bibs ("These fools put my cape on backwards!"). The shop also has personalized wine bags, doormats and pillows.

I caught up with Andy to find out more about AVC Originals.

How did your business get started?

Andy: I was inspired by my great aunt’s crafting hobby and wanted to learn more about it. As I got more into crafting, I quickly grew a passion for it and started a business!

Why did you focus on these types of gifts? Were you just coming up with witty sayings and figured it would be a great way to feature them?

Andy: I’ve always loved telling “dad jokes” and thought it would be a great idea to put some of them on gifts!

What is your best selling product?

Andy: Right now, the “Deck the Halls with Pickleballs” ornament is my bestseller.

Where can people purchase your products?

Andy: People can purchase my products on my Etsy shop (avcoriginals.etsy.com - I’m an Etsy Star Seller) and my website (avcoriginals.com). Sometimes I’m also in local craft fairs, and people can be notified on my Instagram the next time I’m in one (@avc.originals).

How do you see your business evolving over the next few years?

Andy: I hope to continue to grow my product selection, especially my Realtor closing gift line. My overall goal is to reach 500 sales in the next two years!

What does the future hold for you? You are in high school, right?

Andy: I am currently a freshman in high school. When I grow up, I hope to continue to be an entrepreneur.

What do your friends and family think of your business?

Andy: They are very supportive of my business, and I am very appreciative of that! I would not be where I am now without the support of my friends and family.

AVC Originals