39-year-old Christopher Gonzales of Las Vegas has had a tough life. The divorced dad of two teenage kids once had a career in construction, but was injured on the job over a year ago.
Navigating life had not been easy for him, physically or emotionally. Christopher has been dealing with spinal cord nerve damage. It resulted in five bulging discs and five herniated discs. His only income had been a social security check which he receives once a month.
Christopher shared that it’s often difficult for him to physically move around day to day, though he’s kept himself busy with various tasks around the house.
His eldest daughter, 17-year-old Alexis, says her father’s injury has been tough on the whole family. “We’ve been super tight on money lately,” she said.
Over the past year, Christopher has taken up old and new hobbies around the house, like painting and drawing. He especially took an interest in woodworking in his garage.
One day, he saw a carving of a sports logo and thought, “I could do that.” So he did.
Christopher’s friends and family noticed his woodwork projects and bought some. He sold a few and made just enough each month for gas money.
He said that each carving takes about nine hours from start to finish, depending on the details of the design. He also changes the logos slightly so as not to infringe on any copyright restrictions.
One day, Christopher asked his teenage daughter to help him sell some of his works.
“I told my daughter to put it on Instagram and see who wants it and give it to them,” he shared.
Besides Instagram, Alexis also posted it on Twitter, where it went viral.
so my dad is disabled and is trying to make a little extra money because he makes so little. He makes wood carvings i’m his free time, and he can make them any size, for anything (not just team logos). Even if you don’t like them a RT will help spread the word. pic.twitter.com/s6EitTcyiX
— alex (@americanpssycho) February 21, 2018
“None of this was planned… it was an accident,” Christopher shared.
Alexis became her dad’s sales manager overnight. The morning after she posted it, she woke up to 7,000 direct messages on Twitter.
Alexis and her father were overjoyed at all the interest, but also really overwhelmed.
Alexis is currently working two jobs, but on her free time she organizes sales requests, and gives her dad a detailed list of what needs to be done and what needs to go out. Alexis’s brother also pitches in and helps.
“I would say I’m not gonna get rich from it — I won’t become a millionaire. I’m probably not buying a Rolls Royce. But I’m pretty happy. I might have money to go out to dinner every weekend. Is my car going to be empty of gas? Probably not. Am I gonna be watching a football game and have something extra for celery? Probably.”
Christopher shared that money is secondary to a “tough” life with disabilities.