As Sophie la Girafe celebrates her 60th anniversary with a special limited edition, we caught up with Lorraine Ashton, Managing Director of its UK distributor, 1 Two Kids.
We started by asking what makes the iconic French teether so unique and so enduringly popular with families:
“Sophie la Girafe is an established household name for anyone who has had or is about to have a baby! Who doesn’t love a giraffe – and there are lots of reasons the design of the original teether works perfectly with all five senses even from a very young age.
The contrasting, attention-catching spots on Sophie la Girafe’s body provide visual stimulation at a point when a baby’s eyesight is still limited. Meanwhile her squeaker stimulates hearing, keeps baby amused and later helps them to understand the link between cause and effect.
Sophie is light and her long legs and neck make it easy for baby to grip, perfect for baby’s small hands. Her soft feel, like a mother’s skin, stimulates physiological and emotional responses that soothe baby and promote healthy growth and wellbeing.
Akin to the nipple of a feeding-bottle, Sophie la Girafe is made of 100% natural rubber and food-grade paints and is completely safe to chew. Her soft texture and numerous chewable parts (ears, horns, legs), makes her perfect for soothing baby’s sore gums during teething.
Finally, the singular scent of natural rubber from the Hevea tree makes Sophie la Girafe very special and easy for children to identify amid their other toys.”
Tell us more about the 60th anniversary limited edition
“This is a wonderful occasion and such an incredible milestone for this year and for the first time the Sophie la Girafe community was asked to vote for a design for the Limited Edition set. From a choice of 12 patterns in 5 different colours totalling 60 different designs, thousands voted all around the world and a winning design was announced on 25th May – Sophie’s birthday – and is now available online and through selected retailers. But underneath Sophie la Girafe’s new birthday outfit is still the leading design teether with all the features to help babies cope with the teething period.”
Why should a retailer stock Sophie la Girafe?
“Sophie la Girafe is an iconic nursery character and an essential accessory to all babies, the original teether, an ideal purchase for a parent’s own baby or as a gift to someone else. The range also offers alternative products to coordinate with a nursery, buggy or bathroom, keeping that brand familiarity and confidence that consumers have in a brand they trust.”
Is Sophie la Girafe a bath toy?
“The original teether is not designed to use in the bath as to enable the squeaker there is a breather hole which if submerged will allow water in. There is a bath toy especially design to overcome this issue and its even made of natural rubber!”
What three words sum up Sophie la Girafe?
“Iconic, Reliable, Life-saver!”
How is the French brand communicated to retailers and consumers here in the UK?
“1 Two Kids are the sole distributors of Sophie la Girafe to the UK & ROI. Through managing the supply to retailers, the B2C website and social media pages, we deliver the same message to all customers regardless of size and we’re always available to give advice. We also attend trade and consumer shows and are constantly looking for new avenues that fit with the brand.”
Can you share any specific plans or developments for the year ahead?
“There are some exciting new products coming for 2022 and we hope to be out again and in front of the customers.”