Idea Bank: In the Driver’s Seat
Women in Trucking empowers girls with a truck driver doll.
What’s the great idea? The 13-inch Clare plush doll
Who’s doing it? Women in Trucking Association, Inc.
What’s involved? Creating a truck driver doll had been a dream of Ellen Voie, CAE, founder and CEO of Women in Trucking, for a long time. She’d pitched her idea to several toy companies to no avail, until one fortuitous day she found herself seated next to a woman wearing stylish yet comfortable-looking shoes in the Delta Sky Club Lounge.
“I asked her what she did for a living, and she said she was the president of a toy company,” Voie says. “I asked her if she could create a truck driver doll, and we worked on it for over a year. By the way, I ordered the shoes as well.”
The plush doll, named Clare (a family name), is 13 inches tall and has windswept blond hair. She wears a Women in Trucking hat and an “I Heart Trucking” T-shirt, and she comes with the story of her road to a career in the driver’s seat of an 18-wheeler.
“The world is wide open for girls today, and I’m thrilled to be providing a toy that tells them that whatever they want to be is just great—whether that’s a teacher or an ad exec or a professional driver,” Voie says in a press release.
The dolls are sold on Amazon; through the manufacturer, HABA USA; and at select truck stops.
“I would like Clare to be only the first in a series,” Voie says. “I’d like to see a maintenance technician doll, a safety director doll, and much more. I’d like to have more ethnic diversity as well.”
What are people saying? “I am so thrilled that so many truck drivers, men and women, are already buying the doll,” Voie says. “We sold over 70 online in our first week!” Women in Trucking has started a #WheresClare campaign, so people can share and follow the doll’s travels on Twitter and Facebook. Voie takes Clare with her everywhere and posts pictures of her, even on a recent trip to Australia.