Meet Betsy Fore, Founder and CEO of Wondermento
WHY AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE TOY AND GAME INDUSTRY?
It all started when as a junior at uni studying Industrial Design my class was taken on a tour of BMT, it was then as I saw the giant giraffe and elevated railroad above us that I turned to my friend and said “I’m going to work here someday!” I did some freelance work with RC2 and upon graduating took a solo trip through Europe for a few months. When I returned, I applied to BMT first thing and out of hundreds of applicants got my dream job! It was truly a magical experience and it set the course for my next big move to work for a digital startup in London, Mind Candy, making their online world Moshi Monsters a physical reality!
YOU ARE AN INVENTOR THAT WORKED FOR AN INVENTION HOUSE, THEN COMPANY AND NOW STARTED YOUR OWN COMPANY, WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART?
It is that one thing remains consistent throughout, coming up with the next big idea, that rush of excitement and discovery, the satisfaction from making it work, and the pure JOY from seeing others enjoy it as well. I am also fascinated with the digital component that we embed into all of our products at Wondermento. Wondermento is a digital based company firstly, so all of our entertainment brands and devices will start in app. Being able to create a low investment application that can help you gauge traction and fail fast is incredibly rewarding - the sheer speed of it all.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY OR GAME AS A CHILD?
My favorite toy growing up was a a stuffed rabbit my grandma had bought me from Goodwill and I was convinced was THE Velveteen Rabbit. He went every where with me for years, we would celebrate his birthdays, have a ridiculous number of tea parties and all with the hope that if I loved him enough he would actually become real. I am still enamored with this concept even to this day and I think it has always driven what I do - the emotional resonance, the love combined with a little magic that we are all able to project on things, places, apps, people, that is I believe the definition of “wonder”.
Still one of my favorite quotes…
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” — Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GADGET, APP OR PIECE OF SOFTWARE THAT HELPS YOU EVERY DAY?
I love Timehop for the nostalgia and Citymapper for directions (I have no sense of direction!) I think it’s time for the shameless plug as my favorite gadget of the moment is our WonderWoof Bow Tie we are creating that attaches to your dog’s collar and tracks your dog’s daily activity to be sure they are getting the proper amount of exercise. Super excited about releasing it and for every doggy to be wearing a Bow Tie very soon! Woof!
WHAT IS NEXT FOR WONDERMENTO?
We have just released our WonderWoof app on the iOS store and we plan to ship the first Bow Ties in the next several months! We are currently headquartered in London, UK and have been offered an Arch Grant to open up our US HQ out of St. Louis (I’m a Midwest country girl at heart, so this is right up my street). I am in the process of hiring on a US team while retaining the UK base as well and splitting my time between the two. It is definitely a wild ride!!