Inspired by a desire to see children engage in more imaginative play, Kimberly Arezzi created My Cow Moo…and a brand was born. We spoke to Kimberly about My Cow Moo, building a brand, and inspiring kids everywhere to just play.
How did Moo come to be?
Moo was a simple cut-and-sew plush toy that I acquired through my work. She was so cute, and I decided to give her a name and a life. Through work, I had to travel a lot, and Moo became my travel companion. As I would travel all over the country for sales meetings, I would call people and say, “We just got here”, and they would say, “Who’s we?” I would say, “Me and the cow.” I would take photos of her in different places and send them to people. It was silly but it made my day, and people loved it. I began to wonder, “What if I do something bigger with Moo?” That’s how she came to be.
Your creation of Moo ties in closely with your beliefs on how children should play. Let’s talk about that.
Kids are being put in front of computers even before they can walk. It seems sometimes that little thought is being put into the cognitive thinking and language art skills that we’re depriving kids of. Play is about free expression. I wanted to create a toy that was a throwback to those days, where imaginative play and co-creation were more valued. Moo is definitely not a collectable; she’s a playable. She’s your cowpal!
In addition to Moo being a plush toy, there are also Moo books.
I wanted to have storybooks because I felt that it would drive the line. Parents read together with their children, so it’s a great bonding time for them. Also, the book is written with lots of fun words, like, “cowlebrations”, and things are “moorific”.
The scrapbooking aspect of the books is great, too.
This is another form of self-expression. Taking a photo shows your perspective of the world. The books encourage you to bring Moo along as your cowpanion. As you take photos of Moo in different places doing different activities, these become your moomeries. It brings a different twist on scrapbooking, because it’s also about storytelling. There’s no right or wrong in imaginative play.
Let’s talk about Moo Becomes a Cash Cow.
With this book, I wanted to do something that dealt with want vs. need, and saving for a bigger goal. For Moo, that was opening her own food business, Snackage By Moo. Moo believes that food is love, so she bakes and gardens. She grows her own food to reduce her cowbin footprint. And she donates to the Great American Bake Sale.
How old is Moo?
Moo is about 6 years-old. She’s at a great age of self-exploration and discovery. She’s also a self-starter. She believes that no one gets anywhere resting on their hooves. You gotta bust a hoof if you want to make a difference in this world.
What are future plans for Moo?
My background is in branding, so when I think about Moo, I think about a full line. In addition to the books, she’ll have clothes to wear. Eventually, there will be Moo totes, key chains, tee shirts and more books.
Most recently, Moo became available for purchase in the Toys R Us Times Square location. For the store, we created a Liberty Cow Moo, so she has a NY feel. You can also buy the book, Moo York Adventures: A Bovine’s Guide to NYC. It will not only chronicle her adventures, but yours as well. When New York customers go online, they can download a special story: Moo Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple.
Kimberly, what does Moo represent for you?
Moo believes that food is love, sharing is caring and caring is fun, and safety first. These are the tenets in my life, too. Moo has given me a lot of confidence. I had an idea, and I followed through with it. Moo has become inspirational for me. I see how the kids love Moo, and how proud they are of me. It shows them that if they work really hard, they can have it, too. If you hold true to your voice, your voice can be inspiring to others.