By Lauren Deal
Macon Community News
Bryan Scott has an incredible enthusiasm for God, family, and fun. He is the founder of Worthwhile Pursuits, LLC, and the creator of Find Me Funzy the Fox, a hide-and-seek game for families.
When families purchase Find Me Funzy the Fox, they receive a stuffed Funzy the Fox character and a book. The book doesn’t just tell a story; it also provides grownups with guidelines for where to hide Funzy. When adults read the book to the little ones in their lives, it gives children clues for where to look and find Funzy. Following the story, families play a seven-day hide and seek game with Funzy the Fox.
For families who love the excitement of moving Christmas elves, hiding Easter eggs, or completing scavenger hunts, Funzy is a great game. Honestly, all kids love finding things (except lost socks, shoes, and homework). Funzy the Fox is great because he can be played with year-round, and each time families read the story and play the game, children get to have a completely different hide-and-seek experience.
How did Bryan come up with such an innovative idea?
Growing up in rural Georgia in the seventies and eighties, Bryan enjoyed many of the same toys that boys and girls today are playing with: “I often did creative play with all the Star Wars figures I had. That was my go-to toy growing up,” he remembers.
Summertime meant swimming in the old Gordon pool and spending time with his friends, inventing games and playing. Bryan says that “if you give a bunch of boys a tennis ball, they’ll find something to do.”
“Out in Wilkinson County, there wasn’t much to do . . . at least in the sense that we didn’t have movie theatres, numerous restaurants, bowling alleys,” Bryan explains, “so you had to be creative to entertain yourself. My brother (Dr. Shawn G. Scott, a local dentist in Macon on Northside Drive), friends and I would come up with creative games for fun growing up, and card and board games were a staple in our get-togethers. We would even adjust the rules of the board games to make them more entertaining.”
His childhood freedom to play, create, and invent with his friends was influential: “I think those creative ideas shaped a way of thinking that helped in the creation of Find Me Funzy the Fox,” he suggests.
Bryan’s older brother, Dennis, who is also a dentist in Gordon, participated in these adventures in ways that only a big brother can get away with. “Growing up, Dennis used to draw funny pictures of Shawn and me and stick them in hard-to-reach places, so we could not take them down easily, because we were little and he was older and taller,” Bryan recalls.
Years later, Bryan paid homage to Dennis’s fraternal fun in the book that accompanies Funzy the Fox, explaining that “…when I introduced Dennis to the hiding event in the book where the loved ones draw a picture of the child(ren) and put a clue on the back, I told him I dedicated those pages to him.”
Life changed for Bryan after losing his father.
“My father, Walter Scott, who was an attorney in Wilkinson County, passed away when I was young,” Bryan shares. “My mom raised my two brothers and me after he passed, with help from my grandmother. She later remarried to Al Greenway, a long-time pharmacist with Chi-Chester’s Pharmacy on Vineville Avenue.”
Moving to Macon, where he attended Tattnall Square Academy, God placed Bryan on a path that would change his life forever: as a sophomore high school student sitting in English class, he first laid eyes on Julie, his teacher’s daughter. Julie Daniel Scott became Bryan’s high school sweetheart, then his wife, and finally, his creative partner.
“I went to Mercer University for both undergraduate and law school. Julie attended Mercer University and graduated in 3 years with an early childhood education degree. She taught in the Bibb County school system’s gifted program for about 15 years before accepting a job at her alma mater (Tattnall Square Academy) where she currently teaches gifted education and STEM lab,” Bryan shares.
Bryan and Julie share a deep and abiding faith in God, and nine and a half years ago, God planted the seed of an idea in Bryan’s head: a book, a game, and a family experience for mothers and fathers, grandparents, and other loved ones to share with the children in their lives. A unique way to bond. From this seed, Funzy the Fox was born.
Along the way, Julie was Bryan’s primary creative partner, his sounding board for ideas and feedback: “Julie has been especially pivotal for the development of Find Me Funzy the Fox. She has offered candid advice and steered me away from making unwise choices. She has served as a confidant, friend, advisor, encourager, cheerleader and faithful supporter. When I would doubt or question what I was doing, she was right there encouraging me and telling me we could do it.”
While Bryan may have been the one who first conceived of Funzy, it’s clear that he and his wife are a team. His admiration and respect for her are abundant.
“Julie adopted the vision as her own, and she sacrificed for the sake of the vision that the Lord gave to us for Worthwhile Pursuits, LLC., joyfully and willingly,” Bryan explains. “It has definitely been a team effort with her, from visioneering to product development, to facing and overcoming obstacles, and to dreaming of what could be.”
Early on, Julie played an essential role in bringing Funzy to life.
“We had searched for someone to design the fox to no avail…I finally took a shot at drawing a fox, and it looked halfway decent. Knowing that Julie was somewhat gifted in drawing things, I showed my drawing to Julie and said something like, ‘If I can do this, and I don’t have a creative bone in my body, what could you do???’ Julie went to work, and out came the initial design for Funzy. The fact that Julie put it together was great in that we both knew what we wanted Funzy to look like . . . we had envisioned him for years . . . so she was able to produce a good design,” he says.
While Bryan and Julie worked to bring their vision for Funzy the Fox to fruition, they were also raising a family and Bryan, following in his father’s footsteps, pursued the practice of law. It was a balancing act, but one covered by faith.
“I’d have to write the book on my free time,” he recalls. “We spent years trying to find an illustrator, and we feel like God blessed our waiting on his timing for the right person.”
One potential illustrator was the couple’s friend, Hannah Peterson Reimer, who lived in Macon at the time. While she ultimately declined the offer to illustrate the book, she designed the logo for Worthwhile Pursuits, LLC, the company that Bryan created to market Find Me Funzy the Fox.
“Hannah did such a good job that we asked her to design other logos for Worthwhile Pursuits, LLC, and she designed the product box as well,” he says. “We feel like she did an exceptional job, and the feedback we have received about the box design and colors has been notable.”
In God’s time—and with the perfect timing—the Scotts found their illustrator, Florida artist Raymond Lauer.
“God has used others to support, advise and encourage us along the way,” Bryan explains, and he continues to be led by his faith.
Bryan and Julie are the parents to three children, Avery (14), Brynn (12), and Asa (11), who he describes as “instrumental” in the development of Find Me Funzy the Fox.
“We wanted to test out the idea on them. So we told them about it but insisted that they keep it hush-hush until we got further down the line. Our children agreed, and we played the game with them, although with their own stuffed animals because Funzy did not exist at the time,” Bryan explains. “They enjoyed it, and they were true to our request. They never told anybody, which I thought was pretty good for then-10, 8, and 7-year-olds.”
He expresses the same pride in his children and gratitude for their role in his life that he has for his wife, sharing that “[t]hey are great kids, and I tell God I didn’t and don’t deserve them.”
If God is the driving force behind Worthwhile Pursuits, family is its inspiration.
“Part of the vision of Worthwhile Pursuits, LLC, is that it is worth parents’ and grandparents’ while to provide a creative outlet to get kids off their devices,” Bryan says.
He emphasizes: “We are not against devices—our kids play them. But we think there cannot be unlimited, unchecked and unsupervised use of them. And often parents and grandparents are at a loss on how to ‘connect’ with their little ones in a real, meaningful, interactive, memory-making way.”
“Worthwhile Pursuits provides that opportunity through Find Me Funzy the Fox,” he continues. “I think that this part of the vision resonates with parents and grandparents because so many of us fight the ‘device battle.’”
Bryan didn’t expect to become an entrepreneur, and he certainly didn’t think that he’d leave law practice to become a game and toy creator.
No way!,” he exclaims, “I had no idea! But it’s funny—even on our honeymoon back in 1996, I was with Julie trying to come up with a card or board game that people could play. When Julie scrapbooked our honeymoon trip, she even noted it in the scrapbook.”
He gives all credit to God, who set him on this path of creativity. By their faith, Bryan and Julie persevered in following their dream, and God has guided them along the way—not unlike the way that the story of Funzy guides parents. What they have found in Find Me Funzy the Fox is a way to unite families in fun—and meaningful—play.
Find Me Funzy the Fox can be purchased at numerous retailers in Macon, by calling (478) 477-0016, and by ordering online at https://www.worthwhilepursuits.com.