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Adopt the French attitude

French Fashion Blog

The struggle of Sophie the Giraffe

Claire Obry

What makes this big circular eyed rubber toy with pink cheeks, a little mouth, and stands only 7 inches tall, so special?

Meet Sophie the giraffe, a now inevitable purchase for babies. She is everywhere, you must have seen her in tabloids, being photographed in a celebrity’s child hand such as Nicole Richie or Kate Hudson. She is starting to steal the fame, but what makes her so attractive to mothers?

Part of the appeal of Sophie is her French origin. First launched in 1961 by Monsieur Rampeau, she was named after the « Sainte Sophie », a Catholic celebration which honours every day saints.

She is to date 55 years old and became an instant hit where chewing on a Sophie had become a right of a passage for French babies.

40 years later a French young divorced mother, Helen Dumoulin from Denain (North of France) decided to import Sophie to America. She grew up with this teether herself and while living in Orange County California, it seemed impossible to purchase one for her daughter. Her obsession grew and she thus started to approach different boutiques trying to persuade them that this giraffe was unique. This journey turned out to be way more difficult and challenging than what she thought. She kept being rejected because of what was considered an outrageous price for a rubber toy. Sophie was worth 25$ with taxes and she was very limited. She was just a squeezable toy that would smile back at you. Helen confessed that « she had to have a lot of faith in that giraffe » to accomplish her goal. She never stopped believing and one day crossed Teri Weiss’ path.

Mrs Weiss was the owner of a chic boutique in Beverly Hills, Elegant Child, that only receives its clients with reservations. The owner, either visionary or just felt pity for Helen who traveled all this way from Orange County with her 6 toys, bought all of the items for a total of $60. Soon after that, Sophie was a real success becoming hugely celebrity endorsed.

From left to right: Teri Weiss, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Richie.

From left to right: Teri Weiss, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Richie.

Demand for the toy has continued to grow ever since, especially in 2007 after the « made in China » crisis, with the toxicity of their toys. Sophie’s French origin gave her major advantage regarding the competitors. But what really make her stand out and so special is her organic component. She is made of natural rubber and painted in food-grade paint. This had reassured numerous mothers, making sure that their baby weren’t putting anything noxious in their mouth. She is a safe toy !!!

Sophie’s potential has not gone unnoticed around America as she is now number 1 sales on Amazon, in the baby section. Purchase this Made in France friendly teether on our e-shop and let your baby create memories with Sophie.