“He gave me the space to figure it out on my own”

A gift for dad that he can relive over and over

“He gave me the space to figure it out on my own”

While many people are in the habit of a quick “I love you” at the end of a phone call or a heartfelt note on a birthday, it’s still pretty rare to express appreciation for a parent in a way that is both personal and easy to relive. Fortunately, Artifact makes it easy. This Father’s Day, use a conversation with one of our interviewers to honor the father (or father figure) in your life by sharing favorite stories or giving him a platform to speak for himself.

Remember that old Hair Club for Men tagline? “I'm not only the president but I'm also a client.” Well, Ross Chanin is not only one of the founders of Artifact, he’s also a user — last year, he recorded an Artifact all about his dad and their special relationship.

For Ross, what emerged from that conversation was an emphasis on the quiet support he has received over the years. Sometimes it was a few month’s rent  (like when he started out as a volunteer on a political campaign) and sometimes it was less tangible but no less essential.

“I’ve always been able to ask him questions when I’ve been uncertain about choices I’m making,” he recalls in his Artifact. “I started my first company as a kid, really, in 2006. We launched the company in the first semester of my first year of law school. I went part-time and I was thinking about leaving school. He didn’t necessarily push me one way or the other. He gave me the space to figure it out on my own.”

That last bit was a running theme. Like the time 12-year-old Ross was being hassled by some older kids on a soccer trip.

“This one kid in particular was picking on me in the back of the bus,” he says. “My dad would acknowledge that it was happening to me privately, but ignored it with the group of kids. He was saying, ‘You have to figure this out on your own.’ It was an acknowledgement of support, but also recognition that ‘I don’t solve this for you.’”

Now that Ross has a child of his own, he has even more respect for his dad’s parenting style, which he describes as “supportive, but not always there to push you...That will be super influential for years to come.”

At the end of the episode, the conversation turns to Ross’ late grandmother and what his father would have said to her about his sons. It’s at this moment that the emotion breaks through. With a slight tremble in his voice, Ross says, “He’d say, ‘Mom, I’m really proud about the type of people that my sons are, more than the things that they’ve accomplished.’”

Ready to celebrate your own dad with an Artifact? Start here.