Monday, September 15, 2008

Beatrix - Entrepreneur

Peter Rabbit Race Game

Beatrix was not only a great artist, writer, conservationist, scientist and farmer. She was an astute business woman & entrepreneur.
Of course when no one would publish her Tales of Peter Rabbit she privately printed herself along with some other titles.
It wasn't long before Beatrix had ideas about games and toys and all manner of things related to her stories. She created a board game surrounding Peter Rabbit only to have it shelved by Warne & Co. Oddly enough when the going got tough at Warne (And it got seriously tough) the board game was brought back to light and ended up becoming a company saving item.
Beatrix created a Peter Rabbit doll. As Warne & Co had not copyrighted Peter Rabbit in the US, cheap knock off dolls were being created. She made a superior design and received a patent for it. She prodded Warne but ended up finding a manufacturer herself and then took control of the derivatives or in her words, "side shows", that included items like painting books, dolls, games & wallpaper. Today upwards of 2000 products a year bear the likeness of Peter Rabbit.
The books continued and in all some 23 were published over her lifetime. Peter Rabbit alone has sold an astonishing 40 million copies printed since 1902

The Folio Society has a lovely duo boxed set (11& 12) of the tales, lovingly recreated. A link to an interesting audio interview with Judy Taylor (Author and Beatrix Potter collector) by Don Swaim of CBS about Beatrix Potter

Let's rest Miss Potter and go onto something else unless you want more.