Wednesday, September 27, 2006

In my research for the book I befriended Craig Wolfe, founder of Celebriducks. The man who took a chance that character ducks immortalizing celebrities would be a hit. Yup, you guessed it, they are! Story has it that Craig and a friend got the idea while in a hot tub. Appropriate...

Craig started his Celebriducks line with such caricatures as Mona Lisa, Betty Boop, Santa Claus and the Three Stooges. The line has since gone on to popular sports figures, music icons and even Jesus himself!

Always supportive of my vision and sure of my drive, Craig was ready to help when I finally decided to take the leap to design my own duck for production.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

That first effort was created using FIMO, which proved to ill-afford the detail I was after. I made further attempts with self-hardening clay, such as those seen here.

Meanwhile my rubber duckie book was accepted by Running Press--the editor raved over my proposal.

The book became the Rubber Duckie Kit: a pop culture book about rubber duckies packaged with a very generic, readily-available duck. The history of rubber ducks fascinated me, and together with the current rubber duckie collectors and makers served up a rich history and interesting and hilarious text.

The book was condensed into a Rubber Duckie Mini Kit which resides in a display by the check out counter at major booksellers.

Still, no rubber duckie of my design, but with over 100,000 copies sold in the first year, my notion that rubber duckies have tremendous appeal was confirmed. With thirty books to my credit this was my bestseller. Oh yes, there is a market for things rubber duckie!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

This blog is dedicated to the realization of my dream to design, have manufactured, and distribute a rubber duckie.
Having collected rubber duckies for several years, I gained an appreciation for old ducks, made in the 60's. As I researched the makers of these collectibles for a book I wrote (my best seller out of 30 to date!) I became more and more fascinated with them. For example, the Rempel ducks were made by a Russian immigrant who arrived here in the States with nothing. This husband/wife team recreated his idyllic childhood with a book brought to life by the rubber characters he sculpted. These were pretty ducks made by entrepreneurs who loved what they did. Why couldn't I do the same today?
In my research I found several modern-day entrepreneurs who were making rubber ducks , much like toymakers of four decades previous, only the manufacturing is taking place in Asian countries whereas the toy business was centered in Akron, Ohio previously.
As a quilt designer my medium is fabric, so as I set about sculpting from clay my first attempts were scary. Over time I made a few decent duckies. Also, I worked out characters in quilts, honing my idea of what a rubber duckie is.
Of course, on the surface this got me nowhere in my pursuit of bringing my own duckie to market.
Or so it seemed...