The ASTRA community is made up of a vibrant group of retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliate members who all have unique stories of how they got into the toy industry. We believe these stories are worth sharing! To recognize our community, the ASTRA Blog features a regular ASTRA Member Spotlight series.

Today we feature Joe Hudicka, CEO of Fizzee Labs, LLC.

How did you get into the toy industry?
Our children, Joey and Heidi, gamified the teaching of innovation and entrepreneurship, teaching young people how to value the potential of their creativity. Joey and Heidi set a goal to manufacture their games here in the USA, and achieved that goal! Mentors encouraged us to attend Toy Fair, and that’s where we met Dee & ASTRA!

Joey, Heidi, Lora and I are proud to be, and to inspire, creative people everywhere, to dream big dreams, and take bigger steps toward their bigger future. ASTRA is a community of creative, entrepreneurial people, just like us, and we are so glad to be welcomed into the ASTRA community where we can learn, share and grow, together!

What do you enjoy about being in the toy industry?
Teaching through fun actually emphasizes the whole point of becoming a professional when we grow up. We should all choose to work in career pathways that we find fun, in order to achieve the very best we can.

What has been your proudest moment as a member of the specialty toy industry?
When Joey and Heidi were awarded Young Entrepreneur of The Year by The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, and subsequently began developing a strategic partnership with NASA, creating a National Innovation Event Series.

What has been your biggest challenge in this business?
Learning how to create value and communicate it in a way that public relations and media experts will find interesting and wish to share with their communities.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Heidi, now 11, has leveraged her 7 years of innovation & entrepreneurial learning, and applied it to a personal interest, protecting our pollinators. And Heidi is on the verge of a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT about how she plans to help save them!