The youngest of six with a resourceful mother and sisters, Kate Karcher Clark, grew up in Memphis, TN, with a love of all things creative. From a young age, she developed a passion to combine sewing and art into fresh ideas and distinctly styled products. She attended and earned a BA in Fine Arts and English at William Woods University in Fulton, MO, while sewing, dyeing fabrics, patterning original outfits, weaving, printmaking, creating cards, and designing original appliquéd bed linens in free time.
Driven to make it in the art world, Kate sold her VW bug, packed her sewing machine in a suitcase with original handmade clothes, and bought a one-way ticket to New York City upon graduation.
She landed in the toy industry when a recruiter asked if she would interview with a toy company in search of a product manager. The toy company focused on mass and promotional toys, which gave her a solid foundation for the costing and manufacturing processes. However, she quickly realized her determination to enrich designs and add value to toys and gifts that would otherwise be ordinary and uninspiring playthings.
In 1995, Kate Clark founded YOTTOY (yàht • toy) - toy spelled backwards and forwards - with an unwavering mission to create artful, high quality character toys inspired by some of the most beloved storybooks in children’s literature. A tight-knit team of talented designers also led by co-founder, Peter Doodeheevfer, contemplates every design detail, character specific features, and only the finest material combinations to enhance the essence of each character. Each original toy is hand-sewn in YOTTOY's bright midtown Manhattan studio and carefully engineered with love and care from beginning to end. YOTTOYs have earned cross-generational appeal among parents, grandparents and great grandparents who value storybooks and companion toys for loved ones.
Today, YOTTOY’s specialty collection ranges from timeless classics including Paddington Bear, Madeline, Babar, Frog & Toad, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Little Prince, to contemporary favorites including Mo Willems, Eloise, Greg Pizzoli, Poodlena and Little Blue Truck. This year, YOTTOY has further expanded into early developmental toys with Paddington for Baby, proving once again that YOTTOY has special toys for every age.
Seeing toys come to life as children and adults interact in meaningful ways and learn as storybook pages turn is truly gratifying and uplifting. As a mom of two girls, Kate hopes to inspire and encourage them to follow their dreams and maybe one day too, become entrepreneurs!
You can find YOTTOY styles at specialty stores, boutiques, bookstores, fine department stores, museum gift stores, and online at yottoy.com.