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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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In Kids & Family

It's a hoodie! It's a pet! No, it's the HoodiePet!

In Kids & Family

The toy Velcros to the pocket.

Milwaukee mom invents the HoodiePet


Louise Kempe came up with one of those ideas that make other people, particularly moms, wonder why they didn't think of it first. Kempe's creation, the HoodiePet, is a hybrid of a fleece, cuddly hoodie and a plush toy that Velcros to the pocket of the jacket.

The HoodiePet makes sense because most kids go through a long phase of wanting to bring dolls or stuffed animals with them wherever they go and this item makes that desire easier to placate.

Kempe, who has three children, says she got this idea from her daughter, Alexia, who is now six.

"My daughter loves her plush animals and wished to include them so that's how I got the idea," says Kempe. "All of my children love to snuggle in soft material and wear it everywhere, not just to have as a blanket at home."

A HoodiePet fashion show launch event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Discovery World, 500 N. Harbor Dr. It begins at 4:30 p.m. This will be the first public preview of the item.

The HoodiePet is made from 100 percent polyester fleece and come in sizes 1-2 years, 3-4 years, 5-6 years, 7-8 years and 9-10 years. They come in blue, pink, turquoise, red and black. As of Nov. 1, they will be available at a kiosk in Mayfair Mall next to Santa. They cost $29.99 for one HoodiePet fleece coat and one HoodiePet animal friend. Additional animal pets are available for $7, two for $12 or three for $15.

There are nine animal friends and two smaller friends for the toddler sizes. All HoodiePet friends can also be used as finger-puppets.

"Of course they can all be collected and traded," says Kempe.

The HoodiePet website – which will launch on Nov. 1 – will sell the product, of course, and will also have activities for kids that allow them to learn the story of HoodiePet Island, discover facts about each animal friend, the chance to re-name their friends and the opportunity to print out an adoption certificate and pictures to color of their new plush friends.

Kyle Cherek will host the launch event at Discovery World. Kempe says she asked him to emcee because he is a friend, but also because she is a fan of his work on "Wisconsin Foodie" and because he is a dad.

"I dig the HoodiePet because it started as a DIY by a Milwaukee Mom and my 5-year-old loves it," says Cherek. "The 'pet' part is a kind of buddy that goes with them where ever they are. I would imagine some kids would trade them, but moreover, when you are little, some days you want to be be a lion, some days you want to be a monkey. I get that, I feel the same way, except I would end up at our dubious County Mental Health facility if I acted out on it."

Kempe describes HoodiePets as a "hybrid toy" and a "clothing-meets-toy" that allows kids both extreme comfort and the chance to be creative and expressive.

A "dream team" of HoodiePet representatives will be at numerous events this winter to introduce the product and to help out in local communities.

Kempe, who is originally from Sweden but lived in Germany before moving to Milwaukee in 2004, is very optimistic about the success of her product.

"I believe the HoodiePet is a very unique product in the market," she says.


Talkbacks

KyleCherek | Oct. 25, 2011 at 5:11 p.m. (report)

Cory, my apologies if the "County Health Facility" comment in any way offended you. More over I hope it did not tarnish your interest in the Hoodie pet. Though I think it is a great product, and was flattered to be asked to comment for the article, I do not in any way represent the opinions of the Hoodie pet designer or the company. Glib and potentially offensive as I may be, I remain alone in that. Thank your sincerely for the feedback. Kyle Cherek

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LisaLis | Oct. 12, 2011 at 1:33 p.m. (report)

It would be cool to find out how to put ideas like this together. What's the process? I bet lots of people have great ideas but don't know the steps to take to put their idea to life.

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corygrassell | Oct. 12, 2011 at 8:38 a.m. (report)

Note to the editor: Could've done without the "County Mental Health facility" comment.

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jakkalope | Oct. 11, 2011 at 11:40 p.m. (report)

So it's a snuggie with a stuffed animal's head attached. Do we get the 2nd one free when we order NOW?

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