Folding paper may not be a typical pass time for a seven-year-old, but for one Wagga boy it’s not only one of his favourite things to do but it’s earning him some money.
Agustin Candusso has been folding things since he was two-years-old. He started by folding tissues.
His mum, Caroline Candusso, would notice boxes of tissues going missing and find piles of folded tissues around the house.
Some weeks he would go through several boxes then other weeks he wouldn’t fold at all.
“It’s like an outlet for him,” Mrs Candusso said.
His creations were small but he was proud of them and would give them as gifts.
As he got older folding tissues became frustrating because they wouldn’t hold a shape.
Mrs Candusso bought him an origami book and some coloured origami paper to help him learn.
To Agustin, who was a six-year-old at the time, it was like heaven.
He was actually able to create crisp and sturdy figures which resembled birds, flowers or whales.
“He only has to read the instructions once and then can make them and manipulate the design to what he likes,” Mrs Candusso said.
His skill for creating things isn’t limited to folding. When he was given a lego set he was able to create anything in great detail after looking a photo.
Once Agustin could make a bird he folded hundreds of them in a few days.
“His attention to detail is amazing and his memory is phenomenal.Mrs Candusso
The family’s side table, which displays books and the kids art, resembled an aviary with hundreds of paper birds perched along it.
A few weeks later it looked more like a garden bed after he learnt how to fold flowers.
It was then his business was born, purely by chance.
A family friend, Susan Dickerson, saw his creations and wanted them as centerpieces for a function she was planning.
Agustin negotiated a price and a timeframe with her before he started folding in preparation for his first business deal.
He finished before deadline and confidently told his mum that it could become a real business.
This is how Papel (Paper) was born.
It isn’t just friends and family who enjoy his creations, he makes bunches of flowers for the Art Gallery gift shop and has held some stalls at River and Wren markets.
He also has a website where the general public can order his work, an order has even been sent to Canada.
The journey to his own business didn’t simply start with Papel Paper. It was actually his third attempt to get something off the ground.
First he tried to sell book mark stamps at school but he soon realised kids were too busy at recess and lunch to purchase anything.
For his second business venture he changed tact slightly and sold the rights to his nickname.
He charged his class mates 50 cents to call him the nickname “squizzy”.
After a quick chat with his parents about how businesses worked and the ethics involved he quickly stopped.
“He’s a very mature kid for his age,” Mrs Candusso said.
This maturity shines through with his selflessness and willingness to give gifts.
After his first stall at the markets he proudly bought milkshakes for his mum, dad and younger brother.
He has also taught workshops in Fiji and at a preschool in Wagga.
“We know it’s not run-of-the-mil for a seven-year-old,” Mrs Candusso said.
“He sees the world in a different way.”
As for the future of Papel Paper, Agustin’s parents will support him for as long as he is interested and having fun folding.