Muriel Fahrion is an American illustrator and the original designer of the famous girl's toy, Strawberry Shortcake. She is married to Michael Fahrion and has two adult children.
Early life and education
Muriel Fahrion grew up and went to school in Cleveland, Ohio. After high school, she went on to get an associate's degree in illustration at an art school in Cleveland.
Immediately following art school, Fahrion was hired by American Greetings as a greeting card designer. She worked in Juvenile & Humorous greeting card department where she created upwards of 6,500 greeting card designs.
In 1977, during her time as a greeting card designer, Fahrion came up with the original idea for Strawberry Shortcake and her cat, Custard, along with 32 other characters in the line. Fahrion’s sister, Susan Trentel, also of Cleveland, crafted the first Strawberry Shortcake doll based on the original greeting card design. This design made a big impression, and in two years, Strawberry Shortcake went from a simple concept to an entire line of books, clothing, dolls and other toy creations. The line became so popular that a new toy and licensing division, entitled "Those Characters from Cleveland" (TCFC), was spun off from American Greetings.
While working for Those Characters From Cleveland, Fahrion also worked on several other toy design teams, including the teams which designed The Get Along Gang and Care Bears. Freelancing for Fisher-Price, Fahrion developed illustrations for the Puffalumps. Like the first Strawberry Shortcake doll, many of these designs were first prototyped by her sister Susan Trentel who also worked at TCFC.
American Greetings' toy division eventually shut down, and Muriel Fahrion moved on to become senior art director for Enesco in Chicago. After working a few years at Enesco, Muriel Fahrion became Creative Vice President at United Design in Norman, Oklahoma, in which position she served for six years.
Fahrion now lives in semi-retirement in Medicine Park, Oklahoma, with her husband, Michael Fahrion, and their two dogs in a house which they designed themselves. They both work part-time, doing freelance graphic design and web design for their studio, Big Rock Works. In 2007 she designed Skamper PD, a mascot for Super Kids, Spirit of Survival Marathon for the Cancer Center of Comanche Memorial Hospital. They are both active artists and are involved community members assisting with planning and preservation to working with the Wichita Mountains Arts Council and the Medicine Park Marauders, a local wild west performance troupe.
- Fahrion, Muriel (September 2005). "Muriel Fahrion". Oklahoma Living. (cached link)