About Douglas The Boy Wonder
Douglas The Boy Wonder was discovered in a little antique shop in deepest, darkest Norfolk. His fur is patchy, his stuffing is loose and his wheels are missing. Douglas (never Doug), loves the beach, long walks, flea markets, good quality sausages and a nice bit of cheese.
He has a penchant for neckerchiefs and a bit of an obsession with all things red. Especially balls, rarely leaving home without one. Douglas knows very little about his past but he is on a mission to find his original wheels. This partly explains his love of flea markets and car boot sales. However it doesn’t really explain his frequenting, testing and rating of the good, honest, quality pubs of Britain.
By day Douglas The Boy Wonder is the face for “the little dog laughed”promoting all their latest products with style and originality.
By night he is just a little dog standing in front of the world wanting nothing more than to be loved and adored by all. Or he’d settle for a bowl of sausages. He’s not fussy!
About The Creation Process
My goodness it has been a long old road from the simple sketches of my much loved antique toy dog to the complete Douglas The Boy Wonder collection. 18 months of highs and lows with a steady line of frustration running through the middle of it all.
Product delays, daily courier fibs, the “Douglas Blue”. So many issues out of our control that have held up design, manufacture & stock delivery. Blue. Who knew a simple muted petrol blue would turn out to be such a difficult colour to create. Seven strikes in total which equates to over 6 months of no, no, no. I very nearly gave up.
However it wasn’t all grind, some product lines were amazingly simple, which might be why they are my favourite. The PU glasses case was a dream to design, sample and approve. We’ll conveniently forget the angst over the right red for the cleaning cloth! And some products were a first in my design repertoire. The umbrella designs were such fun to create until you discovered how much the construction of the panels dictates the finished design. It seems the KISS principle works best when designing umbrella prints. Keep It Simple Stupid, I WILL remember this next time!
A bit more about The Boy Wonder
But back to Douglas The Boy Wonder, why have we given him his very own collection? We promised ourselves after the failure of our Really Likes card collections that we wouldn’t divert time & funds again with new brand ideas. There just isn’t enough working hours to do justice to our existing brands “the little dog laughed” & Rufus Rabbit.
So why did we ignore our own rule? Do you know, I can’t honestly answer that.
I had sketched Douglas when he first came into my possession and I thought he would make a nice collection of greeting cards. Like many of my 3am ideas, this looked amazing in my head but rather awful in the harsh light of day. So the sketches lay unseen in my design drawer for well over a year. Then after one of my infamous tidy ups they sat on the design table for a number of weeks and were commented on by all who saw them. Uplifted by this, the Douglas sketch became the new company logo and as a smidge of designer indulgence I created a limited edition birthday tote bag for our favourite trade and retail customers. This proved so popular we decided to sample him up on textiles. An alternative contemporary, fresh look to our sophisticated colouring and fine detail in the Digs&Manor collection. We showcased these samples at the Spring Fair 2016 and the reaction sealed the decision. The big red Douglas The Boy Wonder button was pressed, woohoo!
What Next For The Boy Wonder?
Well he’s had an incredibly positive first year and I am delighted with the way many retailers have displayed him in their shops. From country estate farm shops to small independents to Centre Parc gift shops. All have done Douglas proud. Yet there is still SO much to achieve.
Phase 1 & 2 are complete and Phase 3 – Douglas Down Under is on the design board as I type. Having just paid a flying visit to Sydney and squeezed in a quick “walkabout” he has returned utterly inspired by the wildlife, flora and fauna. So keep ’em peeled because things are about to get really interesting!