A children’s show right from our hometown By Abigail Thorpe
A lively character dressed in bright pink and yellow has been making her way around the parks, businesses and streets of Coeur d’Alene over the past few months. Perhaps you’ve seen her with her signature colors, kat eyeglasses and warm smile? Her name is Mopsy, and she’s the star of a new children’s show “Mopsy,” an educational and fun TV show from husband-and-wife duo Matt and Lilly Edwards of Hitch N’ Go Media.
The inspiration for the show came from the Edwards’ own 3-year-old daughter. She enjoyed a similar character her older brother had grown to love named Blippi. But while the monster trucks, construction vehicles and airplanes Blippi highlighted interested her too, she wanted something less boy-centric ... a “Girl Blippi” so to speak. And so Mopsy was born.
“We really had an opportunity to add value to the variety of content out there,” explains Matt. The husband-and-wife team had long appreciated the educational and fun content Blippi brought to their children, in particular their son, and they saw a gap in the industry they had the skills to fill.
Both had met in Los Angeles while working on a show together, and Mopsy presented an opportunity to once again combine their skills and passion for film, while at the same time bringing fun content that would delight children throughout the country, as well as their own.
“We saw an opportunity here to create similar content that is equally educational, equally entertaining, but that caters to a female drive, but can still be enjoyed by both,” adds Lilly. The family creates and bases their content out of the Coeur d’Alene area, where they live. It was the perfect place to create a production company dedicated to bringing homegrown, healthy, fun content that focuses on the basics.
Matt and Lilly don’t put their kids in front of the TV frequently, and they’ve designed Mopsy with that in mind. They watched their kids’ interests and designed content around that as well as the fundamentals of what 2- to 6-year-olds are learning.
“We look to our kids for a lot of inspiration, just naturally,” says Lilly. “When we come up with an idea that has somewhat been sparked by one of their interests and carry it through—something that not only makes them excited but [brings] excitement to those in our community—we feel like we’ve done it successfully.”
For them, one of the most exciting things is having the opportunity to innovate and be creative together in an area that really deserves some homegrown feeling, adds Matt. “We’re doing what feels right; we have a direct connection to our audience. It’s so rewarding to ask, ‘What do people want, what do the kids like, and what are the fundamental things?’ It’s rewarding not to have to be in that crazy mindset that a lot of the bigger corporations find themselves stuck in.”
Matt and Lilly are a two-person team—they do everything from character creation, episode brainstorming, writing, filming and acting to editing and marketing. Why the name Mopsy? The name for the vivacious, fun, pink-and-yellow-clad character (played by Lilly) came from Lilly’s own great grandmother. It was a family name that was a term of endearment for her great grandmother, and when Matt and Lilly started searching for a fun name that was catchy and fit the happy, fun character, it seemed like the perfect choice.
The decision to base the production company and “Mopsy” out of North Idaho, and Coeur d’Alene in particular, was strategic. Not only is it a beautiful place to raise a family, there were less restrictions and more opportunity for the show to be filmed in a community that still functioned somewhat normally despite the pandemic. Because while Mopsy was born during pandemic times, they wanted to create content that would be evergreen and live on for years to come.
Research and planning for the show—which is available exclusively on YouTube—began last summer. The show came at a perfect time, as the pandemic created a need for more entertaining and educational content as kids were stuck inside at home more during the winter. Mopsy was a way to educate kids from home, while adding to the world of children’s TV in a positive way.
The first handful of “Mopsy” videos launched at the end of December, and Hitch N’ Go Media did a soft grand opening for the show in January of 2021. The Mopsy YouTube channel is now live, and new videos are released on a regular basis, covering a variety of topics that teach kids how to learn in a fun, creative way while exploring the world around them.
Mopsy even visits local businesses during some of the videos—just recently, she visited a local dance studio to learn ballet, and one of the videos was even filmed at a local pizza shop. Involving the businesses, parks and locations that surround them is important to Matt and Lilly. “We really do want to be connected to the area,” says Matt. “It’s important for us to have that connection here. We so appreciate being here and being welcomed on a personal level.”
In addition to the videos, Mopsy also has a storytime. An audio podcast, “Mopsy’s Storytime,” features Mopsy reading a variety of stories, folktales and rhymes, some timeless classics and others long-lost and forgotten stories children will love. The Edwards’ own children love listening to books on tape during long car rides, and Mopsy’s Storytime is a way to bring this joy to other children, while stimulating a different side of the brain and providing an alternative for parents who don’t necessarily love the idea of their kids having screen time. The podcast is available on Spotify, or everywhere you would get your podcasts, including YouTube.
Much of the filming for “Mopsy” is done around town, and Matt and Lilly always encourage people to come up and say hello if they catch a glimpse of Mopsy in her signature pink and yellow. As summer arrives and warmer weather permits, Mopsy will even head out on some adventures to nurseries, farms and even the Mudgy and Millie Trail along Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Down the road, as health conditions permit, Matt and Lilly look forward to possibly hosting meet and greets with Mopsy at various locations around town where they have filmed videos. While this is still in the works, there are still plenty of other opportunities to get to know Mopsy—either online in her videos, or in a chance encounter out and about town.
To get in touch with Mopsy, stay up to date and find out what’s new, like and subscribe to the YouTube channel, or follow Mopsy on Instagram @HeyMopsy.