Our Town Edgewood: Meet Mr. Smiley

Now at 19, Aidan owns Mr. Smiley's Creations, with space to display his work at Edgewood Signs and Designs on Washington Street.
Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 6:19 PM CDT
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EDGEWOOD, Iowa (KCRG) - A simple smile can make a difference in someone’s day. But for Aidan Bailey, a smile is at the heart of who he is.

Born with no palate, Aidan developed lung issues when he was young. Under the care of his grandma and grandpa, Aidan has had several surgeries and scares, but he’s also learned how to do things on his own. “I wanted to learn how to sew,” he says. “I just wanted to do something, and I just wanted to learn how to sew.”

Not only did he learn, he found a demand for what he could make. His sewing teacher suggested the name that’s become well known in Our Town Edgewood, Mr. Smiley. Now at 19, Aidan owns Mr. Smiley’s Creations, with space to display his work at Edgewood Signs and Designs on Washington Street. He donates most of his profits to charity and also makes baskets to support non-profits. The goal is a new workshop, built at his home, to give him more space to keep sewing.

Adian’s positive spirit runs in his family. This past spring, Aidan’s grandma was diagnosed with cancer. “I’ve gone through two rounds of chemo and another one is coming up and we’ll just have to see what happens,” says Lori Gearhart. “We just believe that God has us on this path, you know, for a reason, and hopefully it leads the way we want it to.”

She and her husband continue to support their grandson. “This is Aidan’s dream, Aidan’s dream can not stop, you know? We don’t know what’s gonna happen, but Aidan’s dream needs to go on. "

They’re thankful for the community, that also supports their family and many others. “You do not fight alone. And it doesn’t matter what it is. You could have a house fire, it could be an accident, there could be cancer, whatever it is, you will not be alone, they will be there with you,” says Gearhart.

“I just love the people. I mean, if you got any problem, they’ll be all right here if you need them,” adds Bailey.