Patricia Sexton, Founder
In 2006, Patricia Sexton decided to seek true happiness. She quit her job, packed up her life, and moved to Mongolia to anchor the news. What began as a career change evolved into an unexpected odyssey. Patricia began stumbling on stories of people all over the world—from Kazakhstan to Ohio—who were also seeking happiness. Some were following lifelong dreams. Others had ideas, both big and small, that would make their immediate communities happier places. One found happiness opening bakeries in North Korea. Another traveled many miles—by reindeer—to pursue her passion to become a circus act.
Throughout the years and all the stories, Patricia came to understand that people the world over are united in their desire to simply be happy. She also discovered that people truly enjoy helping other people—regardless of nationality, race, or religious or political affiliation.
One thing led to another, and The Happiness Idea was born. The Happiness Idea is dedicated to creating pockets of happiness in the world. We’re one-part storytellers, and one part Kickstarter—but for stuff instead of money:
- We tell a story that needs a helping hand
- We post the story on social media with a call-to-action
- Our followers donate the resource needed
- We post an “impact video” of what happened when one stranger helped another
The Happiness Idea has delivered 1,070 biodegradable toothbrushes to kids in rural Himalayas, a goat to a grandfather in Albania, reading tutors to a girl in Fiji whose lifelong dream is to save the oceans but who can’t read, coloring books to children in New Zealand, and a dinner aimed at tackling racism at a grassroots level in Washington, D.C.—and we’ve had the honor of meeting with HH the Dalai Lama! Here’s a video explaining what on earth we’re all about.
We’d be tickled (happily!) if you joined us. Sign up using the “Join Us” box. We won’t Spam you. We don’t even know how.
Mike Eastwood, Development Geek & Co-Founder
Mike’s a New Zealander, so he’s too polite to write a Bio fitting of his skill set. Mike, do you mind if the rest of us take the mic? *Grabbing mic from Mike*
Before the turn of the last century, Mike started out in industrial and graphic design. He designed the weird and wonderful: anything from cell phone site antennae for dusty white-coated engineers to hand-sewn fur invitations (what?!) with paua shell buttons for an annual fashion show mega-event.
But Mike had bigger ideas. In 1994, he designed and developed his first website. His BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) had arrived, and Mike never looked back. He left the industrial and graphic design world to form Webalite, a New Zealand-based online marketing company where he currently serves as Head Honcho. With his background, Mike says that he finds designing websites actually easy. Said no one ever. Except Mike.
But there’s more to Mike—who has blushed and run off to his man cave to hide under a computer. Mike is also passionate about business development, branding, graphic design, SEO, user experience, online marketing, and green chartreuse chicken liver pâté (wait for it). He takes an idea from its most embryonic to something scalable, something that can be created and survive in this rather ruthless and cutthroat business world of ours that’s more often focused on profit than happy. Simply put, Mike turns business dreams into possibilities.
When Mike isn’t making the impossible possible, he can be found in the kitchen with a glass of Côtes du Rhône, where he takes the same meticulous approach to cooking that he does to designing websites. “Food is the ultimate design project,” Mike says from his man cave. He’s the host and founder of Tuesday Night Dinners, a weekly global themed eating movement. And his signature dish is green chartreuse chicken liver pâté. Said no one ever. Except Mike.
Melissa Smith, Creative Content Wizard
Melissa Smith is a content creator and filmmaker based out of St Paul, Minnesota, USA. In 2018, she was studying filmmaking in New Zealand, and fate (AKA her friend) connected her with The Happiness Idea. Melissa edited a video for them and hasn’t stopped since! Even after she had to leave New Zealand, Melissa continued to work remotely, helping bring “Happiness Ideas” to life. These days she’s got Patricia on speed dial, and loves being a part of this incredible global movement. “I love being part of this incredible global movement,” says Smith, in an interview with herself in her head. Melissa’s #HappinessIdea is to live off-grid in a van and travel the world, meeting new people and telling their stories. If you’d like to get in touch with Melissa, or bring her on to your next video project, you can find her at [email protected]