Finding the joy in a whoops
September 29, 2009
Many people start with an invention or product they’d like to sell and come up with ways to brand it, box it, design it and market it. In essence, people build a business around what they want to offer.
Maude Humphris is from Australia and doesn’t see anything wrong with doing things a little backward. She came up with a business, a brand, a logo, slogan and design before she had anything to sell. That was the easy part.
Whoops Bunny is a concept for a business. It’s inspired by a nursery rhyme her English mother-in-law taught her son. At first it seemed a silly bit of nothingness. Then on a five-hour car ride to Moab he wouldn’t stop saying it.
Humphris was already looking for something to do to stay stimulated while being a stay-at-home mom. She’d run supply chains, inventories and catalogues for major Australian companies for years. When her husband was called to Utah for work, the family of five learned to adjust and become American. Part of that, Humphris said, was adopting the frame of mind that anything was possible.
She liked the Whoops Bunny rhyme because it was about a rabbit slipping and making a mistake. That was part of her everyday life as a mother. What if there was a line of products to prevent or clean up the whoops that come along in life?
Unbreakable dishes, stationery and calendars to stay organized, galoshes and aprons to stay clean, and hypo-allergenic make-up and hair products were some of the first things that came to mind. More are in the works all the time, she said.
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A friend painted an adorable bunny dropping ice cream and Humphris designed prints of colorful hands (in the rhyme, the bunny slips on fingers).
She’d always loved Hello Kitty growing up, and its creators didn’t see the need to focus on any one market. She decided if you’ve got something useful that kids will love, parents will buy it.
A lot of thought goes into the lines offered by Whoops Bunny. They must be part of a story of preventing or fixing a whoops. They must be designed for kids and make life easier for parents.
Julianne Rosen-Carone, owner of Rocky Mountain Christmas on Main Street, already carries the line and is expecting to order more.
"The products are really unique they’re just thought through a little better," she said. "You can tell Maude’s experiences as a mom went into the products."
One of the notebooks is lined on one side, and has graph paper on the other. That’s so useful and clever that even her husband wants one, Rosen-Carone said.
She also loves that the products are eco-friendly. The cosmetics are so safe they’re practically edible. The paper is made from minerals instead of trees. The ink is from vegetables.
Recycled and environmentally-friendly products don’t have to be drab, said "hoppin’ designer" Lara Mullen.
"We want to make it fun and different, not traditional. We’re thinking outside the box," Mullen said.
"I like a lot of color," Humphris said. "The products are meant to make you feel good."
The wallets are a perfect example. No brown or black. No boring Louis Vuitton hexes. They’re designed to make you smile each time you pull it out, Humphris said.
"The more you have fun the better. Life can be so serious. Fun should be about jumping in a puddle feeling good and laughing," she said.
Each time customers see one of the bunnies in the design having a whoops she wants them to remember it happens to everyone and it’s best to just laugh.
Some Whoops Bunny products can be seen at http://www.whoopsbunny.com and should be available in multiple retailers soon, but the new online catalogue can be found at http://ipaperus.ipaperus.com/WhoopsBunny/Whoopsbunnycatalogue/ .