Susan Orlean writes in The New Yorker about Steve Hollinger, the inventor of a new umbrella "that looks like a cross between a bike helmet and a sou’wester fisherman’s hat," and his collaboration with Rustan Booz and Andrew Farrar, principal partners in HandsOnToys (HOT):
“Speaking of which, where are we with names for our umbrella?” Booz asked. Hollinger showed them a list of names he had considered—Sou’wester, Windwalker, Stormwalker.
“I also have a possible patent for a golf umbrella called the Forewind,” he said.
“Sounds too much like ‘foreskin,’ ” Farrar said.
They talked for a moment about the two marketing approaches they were considering—through television infomercials and through high-end designers. The infomercials would appeal to people who want to buy something clever and useful, but the simple beauty and elegance of Hollinger’s design would also appeal to the fashion world. Farrar mentioned that he had a friend who might be able to get them a meeting with a prominent designer, and that if she liked the umbrella she might be persuaded to do a version for the fashion market, which would be sold through her line of clothing. Booz mentioned the name Bella Brella. He said, “It has a nice ring to it.”
“I like Forewind,” Hollinger insisted.
“I think the name Bella Brella is killer,” Booz said. “You’d get noticed. But what you really want is to have rain break out at the U.S. Open and then have everyone open one of the umbrellas—Poof! Poof! Poof! Perfect.”
Read the rest of "Thinking in the Rain."