As Sophia Petrillo would say--picture it: central Nebraska, 1973. A child is born in Grand Island, Nebraska. He is named “Chad”, as that was the 25th most common boy’s name that year (see 1970s television star Chad Everett, who is mostly responsible for the Chad boom). Chad’s first friend, other than his two older siblings, was a monkey named TC, whom his family had adopted. Besides being best friends with a monkey, Chad participated in community theater plays, did latchhook art, and made his younger brother and cousin act out skits that he had written. It was more his bag than say, Boy Scouts or Little League. And as the child of a single mother and 80s “latchkey” kid, Chad would often call in sick for himself to school and watch inappropriate movies, or stay up all night watching bad television. By the age of 12, Chad was a completely hooked on movies and television and pop culture in general. His childhood was standard, his family life mundane, his athleticism non-existent, but he had movies and television and music and art.
Skip forward 16 years, when Chad up and left the great state of Nebraska for the Pacific Northwest, where he settled in Seattle. In 2001, Chad met his partner Claudio, who is a painter and artist himself, born in Mexico and raised in Texas. During the ensuing years, Chad went to film school, graduated, worked both in film and at a longtime Seattle video store, while Claudio became a respiratory therapist. In 2009, Claudio bought Chad a button and magnet press. Chad was obsessed, turning everything that could be made into a magnet, into a magnet. He officially started his company, Seas and Peas, and he started selling his creations at the video store he worked at. Aside from being a great place to sell his goods, he liked that he could get peoples feedback and reactions on the items without them knowing it was him that made them. Soon the 1.5” workspace on buttons and magnets felt limiting to Chad, so he started making greeting cards, as he noticed that many of the greeting cards available were awful.
It was with the addition of greeting cards that Chad was finally able to cash-in on a lifetime of experience at pointless doodling and making fun of celebrities. In May of 2011, Chad made his first card, a hideous thing that went in the garbage. With Claudio’s help, he tried again though, and again until he got it right. Chad began selling his cards at the video store, where he was amazed at the positive reception to them. Realizing that there was a market for original, witty, sassy, fabulous and weird greeting cards and pop-culture inspired items, Chad elevated his game and opened an Etsy store in 2011. As word spread across the still-nascent social networks of the day, Chad’s still-nascent business began to thrive. The Miracle Year of 2013 brought his first wholesale accounts, and finally Seas and Peas cards were available to tourists shopping for tacky souvenirs but distracted by an image of Rue McClanahan dressed as Han Solo. At that point, Chad was able to dedicate himself full-time to Seas and Peas and stop working at that video store (it was bittersweet). Luckily, he had Claudio to help him, both with artwork and with the grunt work.
In July of 2017, seasandpeas.com was launched to provide a showcase for all of their original designs and wackadoo ideas. Today, Chad and Claudio, known as Seas and Peas, continue to create original artwork loved by humans the world over. Joining them at Seas and Peas are Joseph and Jon, who prepare orders and provide customer service. Steve designed and manages the website and all IT operations.
And a little boy from Nebraska finally achieved his lifelong dream: convincing people to pay actual money for a Jan Brady Hannukah card.