Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What's a Fobbie?

What's a Fobbie?
Something helpful, creative, and a lot of fun!

No, a Fobbie is not a character from a Tolkien book or the “Harry Potter” series. It is a tool to help you add a decorative element to packages, book arts, and other creative pursuits.


Liz Mrofka, who invented the Fobbie, explains her concept and its creative possibilities in this Q&A.

Q. What’s a Fobbie and how did you come up with it?

A. I had the idea for the Fobbie® a few years ago when I was reading a magazine that showed how to make homemade gift tags for your packages. At the time I was recycling pest-killed trees on my land by making rustic ornaments that were stamped with images of moose and bear. I thought they would look good as package décor and wondered how I could incorporate ribbon into the ornament to tie it to a package. Many hours later in the middle of the night, I woke up with the idea for my parallel slot system. After many prototypes and ideas, it developed into the patent pending product you see today.

Q. Why is it called a Fobbie?

A. The Fobbie name comes from the word fob whose definition is “an ornament that hangs at the end of a ribbon,” which describes it perfectly.

Q. Once you had the idea, how did you turn it into a product?

A. I started by attending a meeting at my local inventor’s club, the Rocky Mountain Inventor’s Association. I learned about the process of patenting a product, manufacturing, marketing and more. If this is something others are interested in, there are many organizations on the web that can help, starting with the United Inventor’s Association or the Inventor’s Digest.

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A beaded pin makes a focal point on a package. A pin cushion with tape measure “ribbon” is the perfect presentation for someone who sews. Photos by Liz Mrofka.

Q. How can mixed-media artists use the Fobbie in their work?

A. Lots of ways! You can write or draw on them, glue things to them, stamp and emboss them, punch them—use your imagination. The Fobbie is an easy way to attach an artistic element to a collage or book, as well as personalize a gift with your creative touch.

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