Over 5 years ago, I asked Paul Chelimo if he could bring me back a beaded bracelet from Kenya on his next visit. He brought me back 2.
One with my first name [CHRIS] and the Kenya flag on the other side.
One with my last name [HOUGH] and the Kenya flag on the other side.
A year later, I would go on to start this company [ArtiKen] and Paul would go on to win a Silver Medal @ the Rio Olympics in the Men's 5,000 -- wearing the first rendition of the USA Flag -- just 1 month after I had launched the company.
Over time, we became best friends ...
and eventually 'family'.
While I have worked to grow ArtiKen, Paul has continued to master his craft in being one of the greatest distance runners in U.S. history -- after securing another medal @ the Tokyo Olympics, also in the Men's 5000.
Earlier this year, when bringing an investor on board to help fund the growth of ArtiKen, I had mentioned that I also was interested in transferring 3% equity to Paul and identifying him as the company's brand spokesperson as he had practically already been that since 2016. Additionally, the 3% equity would give him ownership into the brand as a token of gratitude.
With Paul focused on the 2020 Olympic Games, I decided to wait until the Pre Classic in order to catch up with him in person and be present for when he signed the official documents.
Many people knew of the friendship and relationship in regards to Paul and ArtiKen but it was time to take it a step further --- and make him an owner.
Moving forward, Paul Chelimo will officially serve as the company's brand spokesperson and will help promote and represent the brand globally!
Founder | CEO