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Juan & Gabriela Cepeda-Rizo

Juan & Gabriela Cepeda-Rizo

- Inventors of Ninja Chopsticks
- Big Fans of Ms. Dawn


How did the idea for your business come about?

Juan is an inventor at heart, and he's usually trying to find new ways to do something or use something. One day he was playing with a coupleof chopsticks and a rubber band. Initially he was trying to make one of the chopsticks into a propeller for the other chopstick, when all of a sudden it occurred to him that if you painted some faces on the chopsticks, they look like Ninjas. He figured that would help keep kids entertained while they wait for their food. Juan submitted his idea to Hog Wild Toys and they ended up producing Ninja Chopsticks!

What motivates you?

Juan's motivation is family fun-time. Inventing is a fun way to get kids to come up with their own ideas and sparks their inner creativity.

What is your super power?

Our super power is our family, our love and our faith. Wecould not be where we are at today without all these three "superpowers." They keep us motivated and centered on what's truly important.

How do you protect (and give back to) your community?

Within the past year we have started to donate the profits from the Ninja chopsticks to the MEP (Minority Engineering Program) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. We are both alumnusof Cal Poly SLO and of MEP. MEP helped us during our times of need as students.

Who is your supporting cast of characters that help you to be so darn crush worthy?

God and Family! Plus we've met so many wonderful people through our son Salvador, who has autism. Dawn Winkelman is definitely one of those amazing people. She's so kind and loving, and she wants to make a difference for children with feeding disorders.

What do you consider to be your theme or "pump-up" song?

Juan likes Minecraft “background” music that he borrowed from Maya. Catalina and Gabriela's pump up song is We No Speak No Americano.

Who do you have a crush on?

Juan has a man-crush on past inventors like Nikola Tesla and Steve Jobs. Gabriela has a crush on moms of children with special needs. These moms are unsong heroes. Through them their children are able to reach amazing heights!