kids could use the Velcro straps to hook the Floppets together, so kids can wear them as bracelets and necklaces.
Where did the funding first come from?
To get the funding to prototype the product and design the first characters, I put together my savings and some of my prized items like jewelry and sold them [she started with $10,000]. It soon became apparent that a larger sum was needed to manufacture, set-up a website and create the 200 characters that I envisioned. Friends, as well as people I worked with in the community and at schools were helpful. I got to know some of the parents and they became some of our private angel investors.
Who was your first customer?
The first customer, aside from friends and family was the Children’s Discovery Museum [in Chicago]. They placed an order for nearly 300 Floppets. It was a very exciting and vindicating moment for us. It has been catching fire since. It is an easy product to sell because when you see it you know what it is, and the price point is right there.
When did you know the company would be a success?
We knew the company would be a success when we had a booth at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair[which is open to the public] and sold a Floppet every 60 seconds for two days straight. Kids and parents could not resist a cute and cool character that they can wear for $2.
We are looking to bring Floppets to an online world called Floptopia, which will feature interactive apps that are both fun and educational, and a web-series cartoon of our characters. Since the Floppets concept is so universal in appeal we are signing on licenses from a couple of movies, high profile web-series, and entertainment properties such as Star Trek to tap into the pop-culture collectors’ market.
Follow Jessica Naziri on Twitter @jessicanaziri