Behind the scenes of a mother & daughter's 
 humorous journey in creating new characters, writing, illustrating,
and publishing a children's book. 

A Shout-Out to American Greetings, Licensing Agents, & Triplets in Toe Shoes.

The only thing I remember about that day is that my feet hurt. I was on my way to my appointment with my licensing agent, and I couldn't find a cab. So I walked. Never walk New York City in pointy, too short, too tight shoes. Never EVER.

 

I met my agent the previous day at the Licensing Show (for those unfamiliar with the show, it is a worldwide event connecting manufacturers, designers, entertainment companies, agents and innovators all under one roof. Famous products often start here as a conversation between partners and dealmakers. Licensing agents present their client's idea to a company for an agreed amount of time and compensation). 

 

 2016 Licensing Expo, Las Vegas

That year, and upon opening my presentation, the licensing agent immediately slammed it shut.  My stomach lurched. Was it that bad?  

 

Instead, she said, "Don't show this to ANYONE else! Here's my card." 

 

Thanks to American Greetings and their invaluable feedback during my horrendous appointment with my first character (Blog~Puppies, Perverts and Ponytails), this is what the agent saw in that presentation: 

 

The triplets now had names: Research showed that humans respond most favorably to the sense of taste, especially something sweet (we needed a study for that?) Therefore, the triplets' names were inspired by what I loved best: cookies, candies-especially chocolate-and a comforting cup of cocoa. Their names became Cookie, Candi, and Coco Sweet Stockings.

 

At last, a copyright: The U.S. Copyright office had originally turned us down. Apart from different-colored attire, the triplets required more distinct characteristics. My intellectual property attorney suggested I make each section of the triplets unique: something distinguishable on their heads, their midsections, and feet. I already had a good start by placing sweets in their stockings. Next, I added the symbols of their names on their midsections and designed bows that represented their names.

 

The U.S. Copyright office was now happy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Friends:   

 

 

 

 Prototypes: Sweet Stockings Ragdolls and Puppy

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the term of the agreement with my agent, I found her to be hardworking and ethical.  Sweet Stockings generated interest from toy companies, one with a division that hoped the parent company would make a deal, as they couldn't wait

to design the game; and another offering a multi-million dollar investment in the development of the property.  

 

At the 11th hour, the deal fell through.  Although disappointing, we later learned that the company had run into a patch of financial challenges, so we were grateful to have avoided it. However, a bright spot: During that year, Sweet Stockings could be found on note cards and posters worldwide.

 

 

 

Top-selling poster

The final month of our agreement was fast approaching. It was becoming harder to market the triplets as three blond dolls with the only difference being their clothing. I also felt it was time to move forward with other projects. I said goodbye to Cookie, Candi, and Coco, boxed them up, and placed them on the shelf, only to have them taken down, many years later, by my daughter Kelly.

 

Together we would...

 

make the triplets older with distinctive personalities celebrating

 

BEING BRAVE...

 

 BEING OUR BEST...

 

 and BEING KIND...

 

 ...attract a worldwide Facebook following of 17,000 fans and counting...

 

 

 

develop an innovative concept... Each morning, Candi, Cookie and Coco Birthday dance into one of their Granny Rosie's magical adventures to find that special someone who sits alone on their birthday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

create a magical place to live...

 

 

write and illustrate their first picture book in the series (new edition: April 2017)...

 

 

 

and in future animations, introduce children to beautiful classical music.

 

 

 

 

But we didn't take this journey alone. Each milestone entailed endless decisions, revisions, generous feedback from those in the industry, and most of all, tenacity.

 

Next up: Kelly. 

 

Irrelevant Quote of the Week: "You should eat waffles. You can't be sad if you eat a waffle!"Lauren Myracle

 

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Author, Kelly Tooman with illustrator, Lynn-Tooman Cser

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