"Made by a kid but not just for kids!"

Question:  Who Discovered Pencil Bugs?  

Answer:     Jason O'Neill


"Kids can do amazing things!"

Copyright 2005-2013 Pencil Bugs Plus  All rights reserved.
Pencil Bugs is a trademark of Pencil Bugs Plus.

In 2005, at nine years old, I had an idea to help my mom make a product for a craft fair. I thought she would split the money she made with him. Instead, she suggested I come up with my own product to sell. So that's just what I did.

I had always liked school and got good grades but I knew school and homework was hard for many kids. After thinking about ways to make homework just a little more fun, my new creation,  Pencil Bugs were born.

With the help of my parents, I bought the supplies and made my first Pencil Bug .  My favorite color has always been red so that's what I painted it.  They caught on very quickly and before long, I was busy taking orders and making new ones on a regular basis.  I decided on seven other bold colors to complete the set of eight with all of the colors of the rainbow.

I wanted to make them unique so decided to give them each a name and birth date. To keep them healthy for a long time, care and training instructions were also important.  Later, a Certificate of Authenticity was added for just the right touch to include with each Pencil Bug

With the help of my parents, we hand painted each Pencil Bug in one of the eight colors.  Antennas and small googley eyes were carefully glued on and black fuzzy pipe cleaners were secured for their bodies that wrapped around the pencil. They were removable so you could still use the pencil eraser. In fact, if you left them a little higher than the eraser, they were quite fun and boingy .

After a few months of making Pencil Bugs , I started making t-shirts with the Pencil Bugs characters on them and then made laminated bookmarks in all eight colors of Pencil Bugs

Having a business has been very exciting and has given me amazing opportunities and experiences. It has also taught me so many valuable skills that I would have never learned in school. None of us ever imagined that my simple idea would have turned into a real business. 

In early 2009, I had another fun idea.  What about greeting cards featuring the Pencil Bugs characters?  So that's what we did.  My mom and I designed cartoon-like Pencil Bugs cards.  We made one for each of the eight Pencil Bugs for all occasions plus a special one for Christmas with a Pencil Bug Santa .  I also have birthday invitations and thank you cards.

In June, 2010, my business book, Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur was published. That was quite an accomplishment and I am very proud of that.

Handmaking Pencil Bugs since 2005 has been a wild ride!  We worked with many manufacturers over the past few years but I am sorry to say that none of them were able to produce Pencil Bugs at the quality and price necessary to continue that part of my business which is why Pencil Bugs became extinct in December 2011. I have kept a small supply of them for safe keeping so I have something to show my kids when I grow up.

Since Pencil Bugs started out with just one simple idea, who knows what the future holds? We will all just have to wait and see. Anything can happen as long as you keep your eyes open and are willing to grab other opportunities that might pop up right beside you.

The story of Pencil Bugs and how one nine-year-old boy's life changed forever is timeless. I am always available for interviews and to speak to groups of all ages. The overwhelming lesson I have learned is to "Try Your Ideas."  You might be surprised at what you can do!

14 years old

9 years old

16 years old