Shoppy the rabbit was a concept that was imagined for the month of April to help with the participation of the members of the Fortuna Downtown Business Association. Trying to make a month-long event/campaign that anyone could participate in, by showing off their store online and sharing either some news about what's going on in their business or just popping by and saying hello.
I had been thinking about this for a while, and originally wanted to do it the year prior but had run out of time to get everything sorted out. The bunny was picked up from Walmart, and although you can't see it from the photos of the rabbit posed, the ears and the legs are extendable and retractable, allowing the rabbit to have long ears & short legs, or long legs and short ears (as it is displayed in the photo above).
But why name it Shoppy? Well, it is pretty simple. There was already a business named Hoppy's (Hoppy's Froyo), so it wouldn't make sense to name a rabbit the name of a business that is branded with a frog, and the main goal of this rabbit was to raise awareness of the local businesses that were in the Downtown Fortuna area, and promote shopping. Hence the name 'Shoppy' (because everything with a y at the end of it is immediately cuter) was born.
Here was Shoppy when I first saw her at Walmart and picked her up, I had been searching at some other stores looking for a rabbit that would hit the image in my head
but I hadn't found any at that point. I walked into the store and I saw the long-legged rabbit and knew that it would be perfect with some minor modifications.
So, after bringing it to Main Street I visited one of the local thrift shops (Cuddly Bear Thrift Shop) and went through baby clothes trying to find a t-shirt without a graphic on the front, that would match the cute, spring-ey theme that I was wanting to work with for the month of April. I ended up finding a really cute, frilly yellow T-shirt that I thought went with the theme of spring really well. So after I had acquired the shirt for the rabbit, I was still missing one major
factor. I wanted the T-Shirt to have #DowntownFortuna on it because it was the hashtag that was being pushed to promote the merchants in Downtown Fortuna.
So, I enlisted the help of Kathy from Fortuna Fabrics & Crafts. Knowing that if anyone was going to be able to help with this project she'd be able to get it done. What you don't see with the photos of the yellow shirt, was that it was folded in the photo that I took, and it actually fits more like a dress than a t-shirt. So quickly giving the rabbit a crop-top, Kathy helped by making a vinyl decal for the #DowntownFortuna hashtag.
While Kathy was working on the vinyl for the t-shirt, I was trying to find a way to recycle the fabric we had cut off from the t-shirt to make it look right, and what better than adding some scrunchies to the mix! Not only did they help support the ears of Shoppy, but they were oh-so-cute.
After Kathy got the vinyl done, I applies it and she got it ironed on to make sure that it was stuck and that it stayed. And the results are great! This rabbit has been all around Main Street in Fortuna and has visited so many businesses and met so many customers.
You can find the photos of Shoppy visiting businesses on the Fortuna Downtown Business Association Facebook & Instagram, each day of April a new photo will be posted of Shoppy visiting one of the local businesses!