New fatherhood and golf passion inspire Kid Caddie

"Once you have a kid, your focus becomes how to cherish those experiences and create memorable moments with them," he says.

That's what Ben Fairbanks said when he first created the Kid Caddie, "a golf club carrier that transforms your stroller into a push cart so you can bring your kids golfing." His design allows golf to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Ben earned his degree from MSUM in 2010. Hailing from Brookings, S.D., he was drawn to MSUM's well-known graphic arts program and tight-knit community, and that it was not far from home.

But how did Kid Caddie come to be? In simple terms, it stemmed from an idea, a 3D printer, and a degree in graphic communications.

Ben started creating prototypes with a 3D printer for which he had traded a website domain. After 20 prototypes, three years into the process of testing them, he made the version that is sold today. People naturally flocked to him and his daughter while playing. "People love seeing families on the course," he says.

When he saw the demand growing, he started the Kid Caddie website and Instagram page @golfstroller. He could make 30 carriers a month and sold out so fast on releases that his website crashed due to the amount of traffic it generated.

Kid Caddie back view
The Kid Caddie

That's when Ben knew his idea met relevant needs. The demand for involving families in golf exists, and he can cater to it.

While earning his degree, Ben loved learning about the different aspects of graphic art. The program made him well versed in many different art mediums like print design, web development, motion graphics, and 3D design.

"The graphic communication program at MSUM allows you to explore many different opportunities in the graphic space," he says. "I love a challenge where you get to create something unique and have your own stamp on it."

With multiple job offers as he was wrapping up his senior year, Ben knew his skills easily transferred into many different industry settings. He now works for Best Buy as a senior engineering manager, leading teams of software engineers, building out their e-commerce website.

BFA in Graphic and Interactive Design

About five years ago, Ben had the idea for the Kid Caddie after his daughter, Aurora, was born. An avid golfer his entire life, this hobby along with others- came to a screeching halt when he became a dad. After a few months, he wanted to get back out on the golf course, but not without his daughter. Ben wanted golfing to be an activity they could enjoy together.

His graphic communications degree helps his business in every way. Web development created an easy-to-navigate site for customers, motion graphics helped make appealing social media and advertising designs, and 3D design made his work come to life.

"My degree taught me the mindset of how to approach challenging ideas with creativity and giving a solution to a problem," he says. "I took what I learned at MSUM and created what Kid Caddie has become."

Kid Caddie front view

In 2023, The Kid Caddie design ranked fourth out of 110 upcoming merchandise spots in its first year at the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) conference. This conference brought together over 1,000 vendors and 10,000 visitors to check out the latest new products and advancements in the golfing industry.

Today, Ben's dedication to the Kid Caddie brand remains tenacious. He has grown the company to sell products in all 50 states and in 28 countries. Kid Caddie now offers accessories to attach water bottles, kid's clubs, and more to the initial Club Carrier. To other entrepreneurs, he says, "Start creating, keep improving, and create a community."

Graphic and Interactive Design Degree

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