Sue Shefman


Sue Shefman
Houston, Texas 77024
# in my collection - I am now the proud owner of 920 hippos (with more
coming from ebay!) They include figurines, pictures, stuffed hippos, lights,
plates, cups, anything & everything!  I first counted my hippos when I moved
8 years ago, and i’ve kept up with the number I get each time they walk in
the door.  That’s why I have such an accurate count.
The number of hippos I’ve gotten on ebay is around 60 (in only 3 months!
Yikes! I was better off not knowing!)
I’ve been collecting hippos for about 30 years.  Right after I was first
married I bought a cute little knick knack for the coffee table.  About a
year later I bought a large ceramic hippo (named him Hunk the Drunk - he
looked like the morning after the night before); then my mom bought me a
Fitz and Floyd hippo planter.  And when you have 3, you have a collection. I
was fairly rational about the way I collected for a very long time.  Then
when my son left for college he left a big hole in my life.  I filled it
with hippos.  Four years later my daughter left for college. You can imagine
what happened! I have gone absolutely crazy since then!
I have to admit most of my hippos I buy myself. I am always on a hippo hunt!
I ask everywhere I go.  But family, friends, and even friends of my kids
(who I haven’t even met) - they often add to my collection.
I displayed my hippos only in the kitchen. Kept adding shelves as I needed.
Took the doors off some of the cabinets to make room (I don’t really cook,
so I thought that was a smart use of the space).  But when I got some larger
items  I put them under the stairs.  As the collection continued to grow I
noticed that the hippos, on their own, started herding themselves out of the
kitchen and finding homes in every room in the house! Then I found a large
bronze and had to plant a garden so he would have a home. I put in a pond
with a hippo in it.  Then added planters and other terra cotta hippos. And a
hippo topiary.  I can see my hippo garden from my computer room.  It’s
I am still in the process of collecting hippo planters (altho the plants
need to be watered way too often for the time I want to spend!) And large
figurines I can put outside.  I have recently included stuffed hippos, just
because I found this great huge one at FAO Schwartz toy store. When I
actually checked, I discovered I already had about 20 stuffed ones (mostly
from friends). But there have been some cute ones on ebay I’ve bid on and
Favorite hippos? Too many to discuss (but I will anyway):  the very large
paper mache I found in Tuscon that had to be shipped in a huge crate, with
millions of packing peanuts that flew all over the neighborhood because I
couldn’t wait to open it and the day was windy; the small plexiglass clear
and black striped hippo that you can see through; the package of napkins
with Big Bertha on it; the topiary;  the little clay guys that I display
together and made up a story about; the disucs thrower and shot putter (my
daughter is on a track & field scholarship for throwing these items); the
paper doll book I got on ebay;....shall I go on?  Better not.
My exciting hippo sightings are the ones I see outside my window every day!
I am separated - have been for 8 years. My husband & I were together for one day
short of 22 years. He’s a nice guy; we’re good friends; we live separate
lives.  Works out well.  My son is 25, lives in Pittsubrgh. My daughter is a
senior at University of Arizona in Tucson.  They both support my habit.  As
a matter of fact, I think it has been a real blessing for me to have this
hobby because the kids always know what to get me and that I’ll love the
gift.  My son even keeps up with my collection with the pictures I send.  He
prepares his friends for the “hippo viewing” and brings them down to check
it out in person. Drew and Mandy always go on hippo hunts, too.  As a matter
of fact, my daughter was in London for summer school and within the first 3
days she’d already found me 5 hippos!!
I am a graphic designer - freelance out of my house. I also teach part-time
at different nursury schools; do birthday parties. I even went to clown
school so I could do some clowning.  My name - what else- is Hippi.  I have
a pet puppet called ‘Potomi.  Together we are Hippi-potomi.
Other hobbies include dancing.  All kinds: ballroom, swing, latin, square,
country, hula.  I LOVE to dance. (Almost as much as I love hippos!) I like
to wear hats.  As well as the “hippo lady” I am also known as the “hat
Can’t wait for the convention! Friday night dinner and getting to know each
other. Saturday at the zoo. Saturday night dinner, dancing, whatever. Sunday
brunch, swap and trade, picture sharing; plans for the next year. A great