Back in the day, I collected Strawberry Shortcake toys. Today, Whiffer Sniffers are all the rage. They’re these amazingly scented collectible plush characters with personality and charm. Each character’s scent matches its appearance and is a hit with this generation of young children. This concept was born and designed OTP with their headquarters in Kennesaw, GA.
Brother and Sister Brad and Jamie have been immersed in the plush industry for most of their lives. Together with their parents Jim and Betty, they have owned and operated the plush company Bearington Collection for the past 20 years.
As kids, Brad and Jamie loved Scratch ‘n Sniff Stickers and wanted to combine the zany fun of Scratch ‘n Sniff with a collectible plush character. But they didn’t want to just sell scented plush — they wanted to create characters that had a definite personality and evoked a bit of tongue-in-cheek nostalgia. Finally, they decided that the characters should embody the smell they represent. For instance, Billy BLUESberry smells like a blueberry and has the jazz music theme.
A lot of thought went into picking the perfect company name. Ultimately, the Whiffer Sniffers came from asking their kids and their super cool friends for suggestions.
The idea had been born, but like any successful company, there were obstacles. First, the timing was bad as it was the recession. Then, they had to figure out how to attractively package the product so that the smell was contained in the package. Creating the scents were a challenge as well. (Brad blends each scent by hand to find the perfect representation!)
Another big challenge — though a welcome one — was keeping the product in stock as this item is hot, hot, hot! Just ask any kid!
When I asked about the positives of owning and creating your own company, Brad said that the biggest success is seeing kids’ love of Whiffer Sniffers. When he visited his daughter’s school, it first hit him that kids were embracing the product that he and Jamie worked hard to create. Kids in the class had Whiffer Sniffers all over their backpacks, and would enthusiastically show him their collections and offer ideas and names for new characters. As Whiffer Sniffers spread throughout the southeast, Brad helped organize and attend Whiffer Sniffer events in several small towns. He was blown away by the hundreds of kids that showed up to meet the Whiffer Sniffer characters and show off their huge collection.
The backpack clips are the most popular item. New series are continually introduced to keep collecting fun. Kids hunt for special limited editions and super rare gold packs in mystery packs. Follow them on Facebook for the latest updates and a little bit of witty humor too!
Whiffer Sniffers are sold at Learning Express and local toy and gift retailers. Here’s a few places OTP:
Alpharetta: Toy Mania
Canton: Three Sister’s Gifts
Cumming: Sweet & Sassy
Dallas: Love Street at Cedarcrest
Marietta: Signature Gifts & Interiors
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