Supporting local artists is very important to me. I can remember assisting my mother at the region-wide Arts in Celebration as a youth, so that love for local art was discovered early on. Handmade Happy Hours and Saint Louis Made events are well-known and respected in St. Louis as a place for local artists to connect with the public and sell their wares, and there’s a St. Louis product you can’t miss at the upcoming A Maker’s Pop Up on Thursday, March 12, 2015.
A must-see is Throwboy. You will instantly fall in love like I did. After seeing the colorful, plush pillows all around the VIP event for TEDxGatewayArch Confluence II, I had the privilege of meeting Justin Blanchette and there was no way I could not check out what this product was about. Seeing Throwboy involved with another local event warmed my heart to know a company with such a wide reach of influence and world-wide fan base chose St. Louis and is dedicated to being an active part of our community.
You can read the whole story behind the creation of Throwboy here, however the inspiration is right out of a geeky, comic book romance:
“In 2006, I hand-sewed 7 pillows shaped like Mac icons as a gift for a geek girl. The tech company she worked for blogged about them, and the post went viral. I had the idea to create a unique pillow brand for people like myself who wanted to express their love for technology in their homes and lives, and so I founded Throwboy to create fun, geeky, high-quality throw pillows.” -Roberto Hoyos, Founder & CEO of Throwboy
Justin kindly took some time to answer some of my questions about Throwboy.
How far have your Throwboys travel? We saw they were in NYC…
Yes we were in NYC for Toy Fair. We have sold Throwboys to over 60 countries. Our biggest market is the US and after that Australia.
What are some of the notable partnerships?
We have done some custom Throwboy pillows for companies like Microsoft, Twitter and Pinterest. We are now starting to reach out to local companies about partnerships. We also have a licensing deal that we are going to be announcing in the next couple months.
Which is the most popular Throwboy emoji?
The POOP EMOJI is our most popular. We knew it was a popular in texting but had no idea how big it would be for us.
Which is your favorite Throwboy?
I would have to say the Wink Emoji. We actually just went through a which emoji describes you the best conversation in the office and that is what each of us had to put on our business card.
Where can people purchase – besides great local markets?
Currently the best place to purchase is on www.throwboy.com. We are working with a distributor now and should have a map of all the stores Throwboy is available in the next couple months.
With such growth in production, Throwboy is contributing to St. Louis in even more ways by bringing top tech talent into our metropolis. Roberto Hoyos, Founder & CEO is moving into St. Louis from Seattle, and North Carolina-based Molly Williams is moving here to fulfill her role as Content and Community Manager. By creating a unique, pop-friendly product, strategically bringing their startup to the Silicon Prairie STL and supporting the local scene, there is a lot more to Throwboy than just a super-cool toy.
Make sure to check out Throwboy at the Maker’s Pop Up STL. Saint Louis Made is a collective of innovators, artists, disruptive thinkers and creative entrepreneurs. It’s a playground for innovators, makers, artisans and manufacturers to feature their products, build relationships and connect with local consumers.
Join more than 300 innovation enthusiasts, members of the media, community leaders and local-focused St. Louisans on Thursday, March 12 from 5:00-9:00pm at Ely Walker Lofts in Downtown St. Louis for the first installment of Saint Louis Made. This event is FREE to join, but make sure to RSVP here.
You will with a smile on your face. Throwboy and I promise.
Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.