The WightCOW brand is the inspiration of Island artist Angela Hewitt. Originally, some years ago while she was looking at
an old photograph of a Friesian cow, it suddenly dawned upon her that its white pattern resembled the Isle of Wight. When she adjusted her eyes and looked again the
similarities were tenuous and based more upon imagination—nevertheless a new idea was formed.
Angela painted some watercolours of Friesian cows with the Isle of Wight motif as its flash and sold them at the Garlic Festival. They went down so well that she had a
print made of the cow, together with some Christmas cards.
Then while on the Government-run "Passport to Export" scheme, Angela visited Boston and in particular Martha's Vineyard, a small island off the coast of New England.
The main aim of the trip was to attend a brand licensing show in New York where she wanted to sell her designs to manufacturers. She was making a pre-show detour to
Boston for research purposes. Disastrously, Customs confiscated her paintings at Kennedy Airport and told her she needed a broker to bring them into the country. Not to
be daunted she very quickly found a broker who said by the time she got back from Boston he would have her paintings. He asked her, as a favour, to get him a Black Dog
T-Shirt while on Martha's Vineyard. Angela wondered what was so special about a Black Dog T-Shirt. When she got to the island, she discovered the Black Dog
everywhere, the Black Dog bakery, Black Dog cafe Black Dog gift shop selling nothing but
Black Dog products, and even a Black Dog Inn selling fine food.
The Black Dog brand originated from an old fisherman who had a dog nicknamed, you guessed it, The Black Dog. He called his boat the Black Dog in memory of his famous pet, and
then opened the Black Dog bakery. A whole tourist industry, now famous throughout the USA, has grown up around this Black Dog brand.
It occurred to Angela that she could do something similar with the WightCOW. The story may be different, but the marketing ethos is the same. However, she thought it
would be more inclusive for other Island businesses to be involved by giving them the opportunity of promoting their own products by using the WightCOW brand.