Our Story

Kabooter Knomes has been in the works for over 10 years and was conceived and created by the founding partners and long-time friends Jody Pihl and Joanne Willmott. Jody and Joanne raised and watched their children grow together and explore the world. Through sharing their quirky sense of humor and passion for imaginary fun, the Kabooter Knome play concept was born. For years, Jody and Joanne fostered this magical world of Knome adventures with their kids and their kids’ friends. It didn’t take long for Knome fever to catch on and they were bombarded by parents sharing their child’s excitement about Knomes and seeking information on how their family can participate. The overwhelming interest Jody and Joanne experienced in engaging and all the encouragement they received from early fans, proved to the pair that they had captured lightning in a bottle. What started years ago as a book project has since grown from a shared passion to share this fun and rewarding experience with other families.

The full truth is, and Joanne (who never minces her words) readily admits that she didn’t just use Knome play to benefit the kids. The pair used Knome play daily to distract and entertain their kids when they were grocery shopping or waiting for a doctor’s appointment or to get their kids excited about taking a walk in the woods. The pair quickly learned that Knome play was also very effectively when the two families wanted to share dinner and the two group of adults hoped to share some rare peaceful adult time. It was not unusual for Jody and Joanne to conspire during the work week and come up with a plan for Saturday night. Their partners also had a ton of fun participating in the magic! When Saturday evening arrived, and the families joined for dinner, the doorbell would ring, the kids would run to answer, and outside the front door would be a Knome, some jellybeans and a note. The note, from a real Knome, would introduce the Knome and ask the kids to help him out with an activity or a quest, or to make him something, like a house for his pet slug. Within seconds the three kids would be bouncing off the walls, discussing between themselves how they were going to help this Knome and off they would go to problem solve, create and build, and then, for one or more glorious hours, Jody, Joanne and their attractive husbands, would sit on the deck and enjoy a peaceful adult beverage. Sounds like the end of a modern fairy tale.

Joking aside, there is a lot to be said about the value of adult time while parenting as well. Be sure to read our 6 part blog – Parent to Parent.

A little about Us

Kabooter Knomes were conceived and created by the founding partners, Jody and Joanne, who have been friends since the 90’s (not since they were in their 90’s). They share a strong work ethic, healthy sense of humor, and passion for imaginary fun as they watched their children grow and explore the world.

Jody Pihl is a married mother of twin 15-year-old boys. She has her B.Comm. in entrepreneurship from McGill University and her LL.B. from Dalhousie University. Jody has worked as in-house counsel for a software company, as a civil litigator, and most recently as a solicitor in Kelowna, B.C. In her free time (LOL) Jody volunteers and contributes in her community. Jody has extensive experience building teams and boards and in board governance. Jody is deeply committed to contributing to her community and has been actively supporting many initiatives locally and internationally for the last two decades.

Joanne Willmott is a married mother of a 16-year-old daughter. Joanne is a successful realtor of over 18 years, in Kelowna, BC. While Joanne’s career is more than full-time, Kabooter is a big priority in her life. She’s passionate about sharing its vision with the world.  Joanne is a proud supporter of many charitable initiatives in her community.

In early 2014, Jody and Joanne invited artist Helena Ruiz to illustrate and design The Kabooter Knome Fieldguide by bringing their vision to paper.  Helena is a brilliant illustrator who now works for a leading global interactive entertainment software company. Helena lives with her partner in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

In 2015, Shelly McLaughlin, businesswoman, mother of three children and professional mediator, joined the executive team to help prepare to launch the magic of Kabooter.  Shelly admits she loves playing with the Knomes and doesn’t have an “e” in her first name. As of the date of publishing this web site Shelly has not submitted her paperwork to the Kabooter headquarters so we don’t know how old she really is. She looks good though. She’s probably in her late 40’s.

Interesting Facts About Us (but you were scared to ask)

1.  The pair have known each other since the 1990’s (not, since we were in our 90’s)

2.  Joanne and Jody’s husband’s have been best friends since Kindergarten. That’s how Joanne and Jody met.

3.  Joanne and Jody coined the knome expression the “benvenguts” in Barcelona Spain while travelling in Europe as a foursome to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversaries together.

4.  Jody only has 1 and ½ thumbs.

5.  Joanne has a sister and ex-business partner both named Jodi/Jody

6.  Shelly’s husband is our “supplier”.

7.  Jody lives like she was raised in a barn –  on a farm.

8.  Joanne broke all of Jody’s pinwheel crystal that was a wedding gift and had been in the family for years.  She broke it on Jody’s wedding weekend.

9.  Jody’s husband met Joanne’s husband in kindergarten when Jody’s husband wet his pants doing the move Salutation to the Sun, before yoga was even a thing!