Remember how cool it was to get mail when you were a kid? Addressed to you, and with your name on it?! And what about your favorite joke when you were seven? Or your top three favorite flavors of ice cream? Or the number of steps from your bed to your front door? These are just some of the joys of childhood that are captured in a new series of books from the creative team at Wee Society. Known for their apps, art, and activities — and smile-inducing designs — the creative studio has branched out into books with An Incomplete Book of Awesome Things, Me: A Compendium, and Go! My Adventure Journal (available in red, blue, and yellow!). We caught up with Wee Society co-founders Jill Robertson and Rob Alexander to learn more about Wee Society, the new books, and the very special kid moments that motivate them.
Wee Society is such a fun name. Can you tell us a little bit about where the idea for the name, and the company, came from?
Jill: The name came from a misunderstanding. My husband (and Wee Society co-founder) Jason Schulte and I were driving down a street in San Francisco when he spotted a sign outside a sewing shop and said, “Aw, man — Wee Society. That would have been a perfect name for our kids’ brand.” Turns out, he misread the sign — it actually said “Wee Scotty.” And fortunately, Wee Society was available. To us, it sounded like something you wanted to be part of. Less about stuff, and more about experiences. And that’s part of our mission: to create learning experiences for kids that spark imaginations, inspire creativity, encourage kindness, and induce giggles.
How did becoming a parent motivate you to start Wee Society?
Rob: When my son Finn arrived, it’s like the gravity shifted in my life, and suddenly I saw everything through a new lens (including creative projects). The ideas that would come in downtime were always around things I wanted for him. Plus, I love drawing breakdancing pandas, and this was a way to fold that into my day job.
An Incomplete Book of Awesome Things is exactly what it says, a book filled with an assortment of cool stuff — like confetti and camouflage and Pluto. Was this a list you guys had been keeping, and adding to, for a really long time?
Jill: We started the list of awesome things three or four years ago, and we’ve had some pretty serious discussions about what makes the cut. The best ideas have come from seemingly boring everyday stuff our kids noticed and were fascinated with. To date, we have a list of approximately 107 awesome things. It’s still incomplete.
As a kid, there are few things as exciting as getting mail. The Wee Alphas letters-of-the-alphabet postcards come ready to send. Which letter would you send first?
Jill: “Y”. I love Yolanda the Yeti.
Rob: I’d send Riley Raccoon because he’s been my favorite from day one. “R” rocks.
Me: A Compendium is a fill-in journal for kids to record and preserve all the little things that make them, them. How did you come up with the concept? Which are things you thought about when you were a kid?
Jill: One of my favorite books as a kid was Dr. Seuss’s My Book About Me by ME, Myself — especially the silly questions! Similarly, we wanted Me to get kids and parents giggling. (What’s a better way to bond than sharing a laugh with your family?)
We know that positive identity development is incredibly important (supported by studies on self-confidence and bullying prevention), and the foundation for that starts at a young age. There’s an inherent desire — even among the shyest kids — to have an opportunity to talk about themselves and reflect on what makes them different from and similar to others. And we want them to understand that what makes them unique is what makes them awesome. Kids deeply want to be seen and heard — “Hey, mom! Look at me!” — and an entire book about them is a pretty fun way to get at that. (We’re finding that our 5-year-old sons are into it as much as our 11-year-old niece.)
And finally, we’re pretty sentimental around here … and we wanted beautifully designed keepsakes that capture who our kids are today. (Grandma Patty wants one filled out for Christmas!)
Rob: As a kid, I would have been all over designing stickers for my skateboard.
Books by Wee Society: