Kimberly Arezzi was happy working in the toy industry. Her job – product development, sales and marketing for licensed toys for companies such as Disney, Sanrio and Nickelodeon – was cushy, but the former journalist felt something was still missing. Her aha mooment came when she was on a conference call with a major licensor and realized that her 70+ hour work weeks could be better suited to bringing her own vision for a toy to market.
That toy was My Cow Moo, an adorable little blue and white plush cow who has silly adventures. Meant to encourage kids to get off the computer, Arezzi wanted kids to enhance their language art skills and cognitive thinking through play. Books featuring the cute little bovine quickly followed. “In book form, Moo could live out the adventures of an average child…and some really over-the-top escapades, too,” says Arezzi. Hoping her stories would inspire children to write their own, parents and kids can take pictures with their Moo or Moolette (which are pint-sized versions of the plush) as they explore and play, then write and share those stories with their families.
The return to imaginative play was welcomed by the toy industry, and Arezzi soon found herself (and Moo) in one of the premier toy stores in the world: Toys R Us in Times Square, NYC. In honor of her city status, Arezzi created the “Liberty Cow”, a Statue of Liberty-esque version of Moo. She also wrote a children’s guide and activity book to NYC called Moo York Adventures: A Bovine’s Guide To NYC. “It was our proudest mooment,” says Arezzi, who has funded the entire line by herself. “In a store that has thousands of toys to choose from, every day at least one little cow got a new home somewhere in the world.”
The future is looking pretty moovelous for Arezzi, as she prepares for the birth of her first child in September. Says Arezzi: “I’m beyond excited that Moo will be a big sister cow!” She plans on penning another book; this one will be about – naturally – becoming a sibling. And the sky’s the limit for Moo. Being a little cow in the huge (and well-funded) toy industry hasn’t deterred Arezzi from taking Moo to the next level; she’s currently considering offers from investors who are interested in buying Moo. “To think that someone is interested in my little cow is just mindblowing,” says Arezzi. “But my main priority will always be for Moo to continue spreading laughter and smiles to children everywhere.”