A nice interview to learn more about the woman behind, House of Ingri. Enter your name and a way of contact here for your chance to win a House of Ingri toy, Francis Love Bunny! Winner will be announced on Dec. 18th! My sister AND brother in-law's birthday. OH AND their dog.
S- Can you give us a little background on the House of Ingri?
HI- I had just graduated college and was working in animation when I made the first dolls. I’ve always been a bit of an obsessive doodler, and my little drawings were all over the office. One night I was trying to think of something nice to make my co-workers for the holidays and was digging around the attic looking through my scrap materials and craft supplies… I found a couple old vinyl table cloths and remembered a Naugahyde Monster that a friend of mine had found at a thrift store- I thought the idea of making vinyl stuffed toys out of my characters would be cool, I had some acrylic eyes and noses that I had bought at a craft store a few months before laying around, so that was the inspiration… the first dolls I made were pocket sized Francis Love Bunnies and Marty dolls.
S- What made you decide to relaunch House of Ingri since you started?
HI- I was a 22 year old fresh out of art school when I launched the company the first time. I loved the challenges of running a business but had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way… I mean, I offered free international shipping… ha, ugh. I needed to step away for a bit and figure out how to build a strong foundation for the company and get a game plan together. I spent a few years working as a Producer at a very smart New York design agency and gained a lot of valuable experience there. I also have amazing friends who kept me inspired. When I married my husband Brian and became pregnant with my daughter, I knew the moment was finally right.
S- Tell us about each character.
HI- I have a whole world for the guys in my head… Francis Love Bunny is a nurturer- he has a garden and likes to bake, Marty is the attention-seeking troublemaker, Picco Panda is handy with a hammer, Moki Monkey is an adventurous thrill seeker, and his brother Miko Monkey is an artistic introvert. They all live next door to each other beside a lake, along with a bunch of other characters that live there too.
S- How did your work appear on Oprah?
HI- They were doing a show on women entrepreneurs, and featured an online store where the House of Ingri dolls were sold, the dolls were on the homepage- it was random and lucky and very exciting.
S- What are you most looking forward to the relaunch of your toys?
HI- I can’t wait to introduce a broader audience to the world of Francis & Friends- we’re manufacturing the characters in fleece now so that they are both more huggable and at the same time affordable. There are more characters in store for 2011 and we’ll be introducing some great new books featuring the guys too… life is good and I’m very grateful- there’s a lot to look forward to.