Dad good does
98 ;e Costco Connection JUNE 2013
MOST FATHER’S DAY concerns
are about what to get Dad. Costco
member Kevin Renner had a
different concern. When his two
daughters were in the fourth and
eighth grades, he realized that
among the hundreds of things
men learn growing up, how to
nurture a daughter into womanhood wasn’t one of them. “We’re
flying blind,” he says.
So Renner, a self-employed marketing
strategist from Portland, Oregon, decided
to find out. He interviewed 50 women,
with the intent of uncovering how a
daughter’s life was affected by a dad.
Nearly all the women—from all
walks of life—were complete strangers
he met through existing contacts and
The result is his self-published book
In Search of Fatherhood: Stories from
Women Around the World, a collection of
painful, humorous and inspiring accounts.
The personal accounts range from a
state supreme court justice, an honorary
U.S. foreign consul and an Olympic athlete
to a prostitute, a homeless woman and a
former stripper who married five times
and survived three suicide attempts.
When Renner, 56, began the project,
the question swirling through his mind
Kevin Renner shares a
moment with his daughters,
Katherine (left) and Julia, the
inspirations behind his book.
TORI AVA PHOTOGRAPHY
was what he still could
teach his daughters. He
discovered a simple truth.
“If more men would listen
to stories within the hearts
and souls of women, and
really hear them, there
would be a lot fewer
women dropped on the
doorstep of young adult-
hood neglected, discarded
and damaged by the men who are sup-
posed to guide them there. To fail a
daughter today is to fail a woman tomor-
row and for the rest of her life.”
Learning from women how their
relationships with their fathers affected
them has changed Renner. “I’m not only
more sensitive and aware,” he says.
“But, through public readings and work-
shops, I am also committed to improving
how ordinary fathers like me do the
extraordinary work of raising daughters
Renner has also earned the ultimate
stamp of approval from what every par-
ent might consider the toughest audi-
ence. His two teenage daughters, now
13 and 17, are so proud of his accom-
plishment they actually talk about him
with their teachers and friends.
IT STARTED WITH a sixth-grade project. Brenna
Cecil was inspired to find unusual ways to represent the alphabet, from a lightpost in the shape
of an “R” to an “F” in the branches of a tree to
an “E” in the clouds.
This led to Imagiframes.com, a mother-daugh-
ter enterprise that lets customers choose from
3,000 letter images to create a name, a one-word
sentiment or note cards, such as “Act Old Later.”
“People kept offering to pay us to make the
framed letters for weddings, anniversaries, baby
showers and birthdays,” says Brenna’s mother,
Linda, a longtime Costco member in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In 2009, they had their first online order,
and to date they’ve filled more than 20,000
orders, at an average price of $130 for a 36 x
12-inch frame. Popular requests include
“Peace,” “Dream” and “Family.”
Linda, 55, a former technical editor, spends
30 hours a week on photography and assembly,
while Brenna, 17, commandeers the social media
aspect of the business. And they are learning
from each other. Linda can now navigate social
media, and Brenna plans to take more pictures.
Tablet or smartphone? Scan or click
here to see how Imagiframes.com
works. (See page 5 for scanning details.)
KIM JE W PHO TOGRAPH Y
and Linda Cecil
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