Teri the Pterodactyl is perhaps the most feminine and refined of the three Munch Stix® characters, but she is also the most misunderstood. We regularly get orders for the "pelican", the "flamingo" and even the dismissive "just give me 50 of the pink ones." Her uber popular siblings, Chum the Shark and Al the Alligator, out sell her each week, yet Teri remains proud as she is the most "chopstick-like" with a smooth bill (and no teeth) to help train the young chopstick hopefuls of the world.
Our all-time favorite Teri story came during the 2013 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago. If you've ever been an exhibitor at a trade show you know that you pitch at least 20 times an hour (assuming good foot traffic which IHH always has) to prospective retailers, distributors and press. An Asian mother and daughter (80-ish years old and 50-ish years old respectively) walk up and I, of course launch into the pitch like the good exhibitor I am not knowing if they own a small kitchen store, are buyers from Bed, Bath & Beyond or writers for the New York Times. While the daughter is politely listening, I see her elderly mother, who does not speak any English, carefully and diligently trying out each Munch Stix® in our interactive display - filled with candy of course - to see which is easiest to use. The daughter explains that her mother, who has a brace on her right hand, has advanced arthritis in her wrist and can no longer use chopsticks to eat. At this time I look over at mom who has probably the BIGGEST smile on her face as she holds Teri the Pterodactyl in her wounded hand having captured the candy in its beak. Mom may not be able to use traditional chopsticks anymore, but darn it if she didn't go back to Asia with a free Teri the Pterodactyl in her carry-on. Good stuff.
This week the design patent for Teri arrived, giving Rush3 the equivalent of a product design hat trick with Munch Stix®. It's always an exciting day when the ribbon copy arrives - we blame it on the shiny, gold seal regally acknowledging the years of blood, sweat, tears and laughs involved with bringing a product to market. Perhaps even more exciting is how something that used to be a thought in Rush3's head and a drawing in his sketchbook is now a small part of people's lives. Here's to the many colleagues, friends and retailers that have helped along the way.