For all the cynical narratives that circulate the mainstream zeitgeist, which perceives nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as little more than means of inflating capitalistic principles, every so often projects emerge that disprove those absolute assumptions and serve as reminders of the essence, soul and founding purpose of the space.
For Amelia, a 9-year-old Polish girl with a lovable devotion to cats and a budding artistic curiosity, discovering NFTs enabled her to cultivate her interests into a digital passion project.
Cointelegraph sat down with Amelia and her father, Marcin, to discuss the importance of parenting children on the value of money and recognizing and harnessing their creative talents for good as well as the inspiration behind Ami’s Cats.
Amelia’s mother is a bookkeeper for an Irish company while Marcin is a self-titled entrepreneur with a background in graphic design and product manufacturing who now operates an e-commerce consultancy business advising sellers on Amazon and Shopify.
Former residents of Galway, Ireland for 12 years, the family moved back home to Poland three years ago. Artistic and free-spirited, Marcin describes their parenting style as one that promotes practical learning over educational teaching.
A curious child, Amelia took a modest interest in her father's work-from-home business — tracking charts, financial spreadsheets and the like — but it wasn't until he began browsing through little pictures of doodle art t she become truly fascinated.
Marcin owns an NFT from Gary Vaynerchuk's VeeFriends Series 1 collection, an Aspiring Alpaca with a rare background. To purchase another one would have cost around 18 Ether (ETH) at the time — too expensive to purchase. So, together, they decided to create a collection for Amelia:
“I thought that it would be a good idea to try and introduce her. I believe the best way to learn is to do. Rather than watch another video on YouTube — like how [one] does this and that work, we decided to actually try and launch something together. [...] So I was like, okay, you draw some cards, I’m going to do the computer magic, we’ll put it together and see what happens.”
In August 2021, Ami’s Cats was born — a 200-piece collection of NFT trading cards depicting various furry friend images such as Cosmic Cat, Colourful Cat and Cyber Cat, among others. Her parents helped set up the technical component on the blockchain while she drew the artwork. The collection currently has 98 owners with a total volume of 14 ETH.
A recent attendee of VeeCon, and proud of the culture of kindness emanating throughout the community, Marcin speaks about the ways in which he and his wife are attempting to break down the subject matter of crypto into digestible blocks.
He says that although the conversation about blockchain is too complex for Amelia at her age, she has been able to grasp the concepts of NFT ownership, authentication and the inability to copy other works of art.
Alongside this, the couple is proud to adopt a conscious approach to parenting, with a keen emphasis on the future:
“We believe that kids should learn things that will be needed in the future, rather than what we think is needed now. So, if you think about the education system, [...] you need to predict what they need to know when they leave the school, not what they need to know when they actually learn.”
At this moment in the interview, Amelia took a break from writing a book on cats to speak on screen. She was understandably shy, but pleasant and personable in conversation.
She spoke about her favorite cat from the collection — the colorful one, as “They are so beautiful” — and the book she’s writing about her real-life cat, Molly.
“We want to get more kids involved in Ami’s Cats version two,” she says. “They’re going to color a template, and we’re using the template on the body of the cats.”
Ami’s Cats v2 will seek to engage children and parents in a printable coloring exercise to create the bodies, also known as skins, and thus the rarity types of the second collection.
“It's nice to meet you, too,” Amelia replied as she waved goodbye and gave the headphones back to her father.
The inaugural collection of Ami’s Cat pledged and donated 30% of the royalties, roughly $2,000, to cat rescue charities chosen by their Discord community.
When the Ukrainian conflict broke out, the family consulted with their project community and collectively agreed to pivot funds from cat charities to supporting children escaping from Ukraine. It felt like a better course of action at the moment, Marcin said.