The Bright Eyes story started long, long ago and far, far away … Okay, it was just a few months ago at a Qdoba in Seattle. Over lunch one day, Weston told me about a brilliant idea his wife Natalie had:
Why not take black-and-white patterns, which have long been known to encourage babies’ visual stimulation and development, and put them on baby blankets?
I have a background in soft-good product design and development, Weston is a gung-ho entrepreneur and we both have young kiddos … so this was right up our alley! A few brainstorming sessions later (which also took place at Qdoba – that Queso Burrito is amazing), we had a name, a logo and some designs put together.
Weston and I knew from the beginning that we needed to build an amazing team if we were going to make this happen.
First up – Stefan Hofmann! I had known Stefan for quite a while and I knew him to be one of the most creative, forward-thinking people around. Plus, he had strong connections to production teams in Bali. Working with some wonderful folks in Bali meant we could get our product made in small quantities without sacrificing quality.
Next up - Marketing and Operations!
In a power play of a move, we brought on both Molly Hawkins, the marketing guru, and Aaron ‘Mango’ Manganaro, the operations and sales director expert, at the same time. They each brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, and with that, our team was complete.
Together, we are a team of creative, driven and inspired individuals who have joined forces to create beautiful products for families, which will help play an integral role in the growth of the next generation – starting with our black-and-white baby blankets and playmats!
We are fueled with the passion to create things we are proud of. We are utilizing Bright Eyes as a platform to inject artwork into the world of familial growth in a unique and functional way. Best of all, our products are designed for our favorite kind of people - babies and kiddos! We love the newness of life and the warm spirit they bring into our homes, and we want these precious young ones to have every opportunity to grow and develop as wonderfully as possible.
We’d built our team and our product, but up to this point, we had run only basic design patterns: checkers, chevron, dots, etc. While these are beautiful and have been well received, we all felt like we needed to add another dimension – something that would make our business outreach truly outstanding.
Each of us has a profound love for art, so the answer was automatic: combine the artwork that we love with the products we were making. We needed an Artist Series!
To kick off this exciting idea, we landed a deal with outstanding artist Parker Jacobs – the creative genius behind Yo Gabba Gabba, the The Aquabats! Super Show! and The Goon Holler Guidebook!, among several other successful endeavors of his! I’ve known Parker for several years now, having worked with him at Paul Frank back in the day. Needless to say, he was completely on board when he heard of our plans for a Bright Eyes Artist Series!
Just a few days later he sent over these concept sketches:
Not long after that, he sent over these polished versions:
How cool are these?
Let’s recap: We have our artwork, we have our product design and we’ve seen amazing prototypes. Now, we’re ready for that final boost toward production! Your contribution will help us jump-start our Artist Series by raising the necessary funds to place our very first Artist Series production run!
$5 :: STICKER
Our stickers are 3" x 3" digital die-cut on white vinyl and are outdoor-rated for three to five years. Each sticker features an original design by Jacobs. Supporters at this level will receive one sticker picked at random.
$10 :: STICKER PACK
The sticker pack includes the entire set of four 3" x 3" digital die-cut stickers on white vinyl and are outdoor-rated forthree to five years – each featuring an original design by Jacobs.
$25 :: YOUR CHOICE OF SWADDLING BLANKET
Our swaddling blankets are made with cotton knit jersey that is soft and extra gentle on newborn skin. Each blanket is 39” x 39” and has a slight stretch that makes swaddling quick and easy. As with all Bright Eyes blankets, these feature high contrast black-and-white patterns designed to encourage your baby's visual stimulation and development. Each blanket is made by hand in Bali using safe, non-toxic ink and is pre-washed to prevent shrinkage.
There are four swaddling blankets to choose from!:
$50 :: YOUR CHOICE OF TUMMY TIME PLAYMAT
Our playmats are designed especially for Tummy Time! Each playmat is 39” x 39” and is made with soft, smooth fabric that is extra gentle on newborn skin, yet extremely durable and wear-resistant. As with all Bright Eyes playmats, these feature high contrast black-and-white patterns designed to encourage your baby's visual stimulation and development. Each playmat is made by hand in Bali using safe, non-toxic ink and is pre-washed to prevent shrinkage.
There are four tummy time playmats to choose from!:
$75 :: BLANKET SET
NEW REWARD LEVEL! The blanket set includes one Swaddling Blanket and one Tummy Time Playmat! Get your Underwater, Space Adventure, Food Party or Forest Friends set now!
$150 :: ARTWORK SET
These prints feature all four original designs by Jacobs and are signed and numbered! Each print is part of a limited edition of 50!
$300 :: BLANKET & PLAYMAT COLLECTION
FULL SET – backers at this level will receive all four Swaddling Blankets, all four Tummy Time Playmats and the sticker set!
$450 :: ENTIRE COLLECTION!
EVERYTHING! Backers at this level will receive all four Swaddling Blankets, all four Tummy Time Playmats, all four artwork prints (SIGNED & NUMBERED) and the sticker set!
We plan to have all rewards in the hands of our backers by mid-June!
If you’ve been around any sort of creative media in the last several years, chances are, you’ve come in contact with Jacobs’ work. His matchless creative ability is evident in his work in character design, animation direction, set design, color styling, writing, composing, voice-overs, art direction and costume design on the well-known children’s program Yo Gabba Gabba!, which has earned him four Daytime Emmy Award nominations.
Parker also serves as Creative Consultant on The Aquabats! television series The Aquabats! Super Show!, contributing ideas and bits of writing to each episode. In 2012, Parker created The Goon Holler Guidebook, a children's book about a Bigfoot and a wizard, which is slated to become a television series in upcoming years.
Since 2008, Parker has posted a drawing every day on his website in a feature he calls "Daily Doodles." Check it out and get a glimpse into his world:
Research has proven that black-and-white contrasts register powerfully on a baby's retina and send the strongest visual signals to their brain, playing a major role in a baby's development.
According to an article in “Ask Dr. Sears,” an online medical question-and-answer source for parents managed by a family of MDs who specialize in childcare, “While baby’s vision may be one of the least developed senses at birth, visual input during the early months may have the most profound effect on baby’s developing nervous system.” The article goes into detail about the fact that while an adult can enjoy and distinguish between many colors, a baby will only see these colors blurred together. However, a baby will be able to see large contrasts between light and dark colors. If a parent “provides constant visual input into their baby’s eyes … then the visual part of baby’s brain thrives and develops by leaps and bounds.”
So, what’s the best way to stimulate a baby’s visual recognition? You guessed it: black and white!
Visit our website to learn more about how black and white can help your baby's visual stimulation and development: www.brighteyeskids.com
Risks and challenges
Our project has mainly two possible challenges/risks:
If our campaign goes extremely well, we might face longer-than-expected lead-times during production. In the event that our quantities are higher than expected, we will communicate openly with all backers and will do everything in our power to get everything here as quickly as possible, including sourcing other facilities to help, airing the goods over and expediting shipping out to our backers.
We are shipping these internationally, and with that situation, there is always a chance for shipping to be delayed. Reasons for delay can include anything from US Customs screening to weather-related issues. In the event that we hit a shipping snag, we will communicate openly with all backers and will expedite shipping out to our backers once we do receive the goods.
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