9, and Alexia Kempe, 7, Maryland Avenue Montessori School
fourth-grader and second-grader respectively, are as bright and bubbly
as any Milwaukee children their age. At first glance, these two kids
may not seem much different from their peers ó yet they have one
extra-super-special-fabulous-amazing addition to their curricula
vitae: The Tagie Award 2012 for Young Inventor of the Year.
The duo won the
competition in the 19 years and under category for its invention,
HoodiePet, a hybrid clothing-meets-toy. The tyro inventors emphasize
their hoodie is not just something to wear, but includes a collectible
puppet. Each of the 11 personable animal characters even has its own
biography. Children can print adoption certificates and learn more
about each animal at the HoodiePet website, www.friends.hoodiepet.com
Mom Louise Kempe
acts as CEO for the product line, launched in 2011.
youngsters were honored recently at an awards ceremony in Chicagoís
Field Museum, an event organized by the Chicago Toy and Game Group and
toy maker giant Hasbro.
M: How were you
inspired to come up with HoodiePet?
love stuffed animals and I donít want to carry around a blanket, so
thatís why HoodiePet is so awesome. Itís a hoodie of a blanket
with my best stuffed animal."
M: What did you
do to earn the award?
design the pets and come up with the colors. My favorite is Screamie
the Ape and Alexiaís is Speedie the Cheetah. You can see and learn
more about the different pets on the Internet."
M: What were
some of the challenges in making and marketing your product?
"Seeing what colors everyone would like best and which pet. It
was not a challenge because it was so much fun."
M: What did you
do when you heard that you won the award?
just froze. I was speechless and then I had to give a speech in front
off hundreds of people."
M: Do kids at
your school know you won this award?
of our friends know about it and think itís really cool. One friend
said, ĎThat is awesome,í and he has been wearing his HoodiePet
every day since that day I told him. So that is great."
M: What is fun
about being an inventor? Would you like this as a career?
was great to see everyone wearing our invention. That makes us happy
and proud. Would I like to be an inventor? Yes, I believe so."
M: What will you
Seth and Alexia:
"Wait and see!"