By: Cheryl Griffin, creator of AlphaBetty Doodles.
The AlphaBetty Doodles NFT project has turned over£3 million, and I still can’t believe it. I’m a mother of two who didn’t think I was good enough to illustrate the children’s books I had written…and so I was over the moon to be able to donate tens of thousands of pounds to children’s causes after the initial sale of my ‘Betties’ on the AlphaBetty Doodles NFT project.
The majority of the money we’ve raised has gone back into the project or been donated to causes close to our hearts – so I’m by no means a millionaire – and to be clear, that is not the intention. While I’m aware £3millionin turnover is a drop in the ocean compared to many projects out there – the enthusiasm with which people have engaged with our brand might just point to an opportunity.
There are two elements which I believe have driven interest; the philanthropic approach we have taken and the educational nature of it. These are not words you’d associate with all NFT projects; and there’s nothing wrong with that; but our mission was to give back; and that approach has worked too.
I carried children’s stories in my head for 10 years, telling them to my kids and hoping I would one day put them down on paper. After self-publishing the first book, I was encouraged to do my own illustrations for the second – AlphaBetty Doodles. AlphaBetty is a colourful book character who leads children through a series of adventures to help them learn the alphabet. I find it hard to believe but it’s the illustrations of this character, as the first family focussed NFTs, which have attracted the attention of celebrities, professional athletes and high-profile social media influencers worldwide.
NFTs can be a family affair
The NFT space is thrilling. But it is like learning a new language and the positioning can sometimes feel exclusive – almost like you need to be fluent in NFT to be in the gang. I worked hard to use ‘plain-English’ in the presentation of the project, andI think this approach is attractive to first-time holders, who make up a large proportion of our community. This seems to have created access for people who may have been intimidated otherwise.
But it’s not just giving access to the grown-ups out there; we know that a large majority of AlphaBetty holders involved in our 3,500 strong community are parents who wanted to be able to share their NFT experience with their children. Not only can they share the excitement of holding an original, unique piece of digital art, but they can educate their family on the space itself – without exposing them to some of the more adult content which is typical of NFTs. This was demonstrated through the reception of our colouring book which talks about the basic principles of NFTs; our followers were able to use it to teach their children about one of the fastest growing areas of cryptocurrency.
This group also like the fact that their ‘Betty’ is a children’s character with a physical book that they can read to their children or students alongside. AlphaBetty now has her own profile through the NFT project; to the point that we saw pictures of kids dressed as her for Halloween in the US this year.
People want to be a part of a bigger mission
The other major attraction is our philanthropic mission. Our aim is to use the AlphaBetty brand to raise funds for educational projects. The first £50,000 which we made from the initial sale of the ‘Betties’ was donated to children’s causes close to my heart – including the under-funded primary school that my children attended in Brighton.
We have also partnered with Gamers Outreach, a fantastic charity that I really admire for all the work they are doing to provide enrichment and relief for hospitalised children. I am really proud that we are able to donate regularly to such a strong charity: and so is our community. They are thrilled to be contributing to something meaningful through their blockchain experience.
Young people need to be part of the NFT gang
If NFTs and cryptocurrency are to become more mainstream in the future, it’s important for young people to be more aware of it and therefore there is a real opportunity for content which allows them into the experience. Likewise, we very much see the future of gaming in NFTs, all the more reason to get young people comfortable with the landscape. As our first foray into the space has shown, NFTs don’t need to be exclusively for grownups.