Start-Up Intensive graduate launches product geared at childhood expression
Entrepreneur and teacher Sam LaCasse learned a lot about children during his years in the classroom. As an elementary school teacher he observed students’ needs for outlets to express their diverse interests and saw that children learned best when engaged in hands-on activities.
He is also a cancer survivor, and witnessed the boom of the Livestrong movement. He knew there was a way to channel all of his experiences into an interactive opportunity for kids to express their individuality.
And so Wrap—n—Snaps was born. LaCasse’s innovative toy company empowers kids to share their passions with the world. The product is a bracelet system assembled from a variety of unique and colorful snaps that kids can mix and match depending on their interests and mood. This simple bracelet offers a way for children to express themselves and who they are as an individual.
“In the summer of 2015, I took Central Wyoming Colleges’ Start-Up Intensive because it was so different than my master’s program in business,” LaCasse said. “It was all about defining your company and your passion. It helped you zero in on why you were passionate about your story, about why you existed.”
LaCasse had been working on the concept or Wrap-n-Snaps for some time, but it was during his time at the Start-Up Intensive that he really honed in on the company’s vision of empowering children to express their individuality through play learning.
“There is such a strong network that supports the entrepreneurs of the Start-Up Intensive,” LaCasse said. “It’s a small program that’s really dedicated to mentorship and learning. It is an ecosystem, and it is the best place to cultivate entrepreneurs and launch new business to feed the economy of Wyoming. The guest lecturers bring so much value and expertise in business function and knowledge. They are so plugged in to areas of need for the local entrepreneurs.”
The interactive toy encourages social, creative and tactile behaviors in a fun and engaging way. By choosing different colors, themes and designs, kids can communicate their passions by building bracelets that tell their own unique story.
“It’s pretty cool to see what colors and icons different kids gravitate to and how they go about collecting and trading their favorite snaps,” LaCasse said. In addition to bolstering its core vision, Wrap–n–Snaps is committed to supporting education through donating a portion of profits to children’s foundations that champion learning.
LaCasse, who has his MBA, and his wife, Nicole Rue, who has her doctorate in psychology, recently returned to Jackson to launch Wrap–n–Snaps in October 2017.
“Jackson is the place we wanted to launch our business. The entrepreneurial community here is amazing. It’s like we never left,” LaCasse said. “After a few short months, we felt completely plugged in again. I spent many years working in the schools here, it’s great to be back home.”
Wrap–n–Snaps products can be purchased online at wrapnsnaps.com and are available in retail outlets at the Jackson Hole Toy Store and Teton Toys in Jackson and Lehi, Utah.
At this time, the company employs LaCasse as its CEO and Nicole Rue as the Director of Sales.