Wee Ninja + ThisNext- 11.01.06
I know i’ve told you about the Wee Ninja before, as well as ThisNext (the tags down at the bottom of the page, my consulting for them, Digital Life, etc) ~ but here’s one of those exciting design/shopping related stories i had to share!
I’ll put it out there, i’ve had my doubts about how social shopping and recommendation sites would really impact designers and smaller stores that we love to feature here at NOTCOT. So check out the latest NYTimes article on “Word of Mouth” Shopping… particularly ThisNext’s impact on Shawnimal’s Wee Ninja.
“It’s been a big start to the holidays for Shawn Smith, his wife and creative partner, Jennifer Brody, and their Wee Ninja doll. Ever since the third week of August, when the new social shopping site ThisNext.com spotlighted the Wee Ninja — “Can’t resist his tractor beam of cute,” wrote one contributor — the couple have been unable to make enough of the cuddly black dolls with the cream-colored faces.
The retail Web sites that the couple rely on to help sell the Wee Ninja — ThinkGeek.com and MyPlasticHeart.com — are already out of stock. “From October through December last year, we sold a total of 200,” said Mr. Smith, who designs and assembles the $19.99 dolls in the couple’s five-year-old Shawnimals studio in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. “From October through December this year we’ll sell at least 600, and probably 800. That’s huge for us.”
Mr. Smith credits the online trend spotters at ThisNext.com, and more recently at Stylehive.com, for giving the doll a holiday boost. “Until August, we were just getting our normal orders of a few dozen at a time,” Mr. Smith said. “Then came the mention on ThisNext.com. All of a sudden, stores are ordering hundreds at a time.””
So let’s just say that this story just makes me light up (esp since i’ve been in love with the wee ninja since July 2005… and will it surprise you that i was the first of 18 recommendations of the little guy?)… and i have renewed faith in Social Shopping. So go recommend your favorites and use your power of word of mouth, because Holiday shopping is around the corner, and it looks like this is the best way to support your favorite designers/stores in addition to buying from them!