The iconic teether that has taken the baby world by storm – we check out Sophie La Girafe’s new collaboration with JoJo Maman Bébé
Barely a day goes by when a Sophie la Girafe teether isn’t seen in the clutches of a child’s grip. The iconic animal can be found in babies mouths around the globe, and we have Monsieur Rampeau to thank for the tonnes of tears she has saved.
Born in France in 1961, Sophie hasn’t aged in over 50 years of business. Proud of her French heritage, the giraffe’s first day of production was on 25 May 1961, which falls on St Sophie’s Day, in homage of Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart – hence the name, Sophie la Girafe.
The 100% natural rubber toy stems from the Malaysian hevea tree. Each morning, before the daytime heat hits, a milky liquid is produced from the cells beneath the bark, known to us as latex. An expert in transforming the sap from the tree, Rampeau used the rotational moulding of rubber as a toy-making concept, before coming up with the idea of designing a toy in the shape of a giraffe. The perfect size and shape for baby’s hands, and totally safe, using flexible, renewable materials and non-toxic paint.
Standing at 18cms tall, the exotic creature has fashioned quite the loyal following, with sales reported at over 50 million units. She has become friends with the likes of Sir Elton John, Uma Thurman and Halle Berry, not forgetting a strong royal backing and an abundance of industry awards, too.
Although the toy itself may not have changed in over a century, the Sophie la Girafe brand has come on leaps and bounds to include an organic skincare range and a variety of teething rings. But the latest advance, launching this spring, is really set to turn heads. Mums’ favourite JoJo Maman Bébé, now with 71 stores across the UK and Ireland, is the latest to be lured into Sophie’s gazing eyes, teaming up to create a new layette range.
JoJo Maman Bébé was one of the first retailers to bring Sophie la Girafe to the UK. Laura Tenison, founder of JoJo Maman Bébé, was initially attracted to the brand more than 20 years ago. “Sophie la Girafe has a fantastic history of offering a really high quality, fun yet practical teether that babies adore and parents thank the heavens for,” she says. “There has been a real loyalty to the teether throughout the generations and the brand has built up additional products to keep babies happy, and that’s what we are all about.”
A natural movement for both parties, the teams sat down and had a mutual discussion about how they could do something exciting together to bring a new range to their shared customers. “There is a joint heritage and belief in beautiful design, quality manufacturing and giving our customers something they can enjoy and use,” explains Laura. “We are the experts in beautiful babywear, so it made sense to combine our skills.”
Sticking to what they know best, the small newborn collection comprises a sleep sack, three sleepsuits and a reversible bib in beautifully neutral colours. Both brands wanted to create a range that gives parents the chance to treat themselves, or find the perfect gift. A seriously powerful partnership, both are hopeful about the launch. “We expect the layette range to be well received,” says Laura. “With adorable prints and embroideries in soft natural colours, we’re hoping customers will love it,” she adds.
All super-soft to touch, babies will love snuggling up in the new collection; the only difficult choice is which pieces to choose. “For me, the striped appliqué sleepsuit is my favourite,” explains Laura. “It is the best of JoJo – Breton stripes and sweet appliqué, and all the extra care that makes our clothes special.” A real sweet treat, indeed.
The Sophie la Girafe loves JoJo Maman Bébé range is available in JoJo stores and online. Available in 0-12 months, prices range