The original creator and designer of the Strawberry Shortcake character was Barbi Sargent while she was a contracted freelance artist for American Greetings. The character first appeared on a Laurel Valentine’s Day Greeting card in 1973. At the time, the character was simply called Girl with a Daisy and was a picture of a cute little girl who wore an orange bonnet with strawberries printed on it and held a daisy. Rex Conners, American Greetings’ staff art director, knew this card was very popular and realized what made it so popular were the strawberries. He requested Barbi to create four cards with a “strawberryish” outfit for the Mega Test Market. So, in July 1977, Barbi Sargent received an assignment which was completed in early July 1977 and that she tendered to American Greetings on July 7 that year, four “leader cards” depicting the Strawberry Shortcake character in full color. (“Leader cards” are used by American Greetings for consumer test purposes. ) The first time the public saw Strawberry Shortcake in her new outfit with her pink cat, Custard, was in that national test. There was a very positive response by the public once the cards were released.

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