Deb Hoffmann (born March 27, 1965) who resides in Waukesha, Wisconsin is recognized by Guinness World Records as the having the Largest Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends Memorabilia Collection.
In 2008 Hoffmann submitted her collection for adjudication to World Records and on January 17 received her first certificate for a collection totaling 3,891 unique items. The collection consists of items including clothes, jackets, watches, clocks, figurines, dishes, mugs, toys and plush stuffed characters. One plush in particular, a pre-Disney Piglet, was purchased from Victoria Price, the daughter of actor Vincent Price.
In deciding to keep her record current each year and because Guinness World Records only acknowledges uniquely different items, her husband Gary created a database and app which Hoffmann uses to catalog her collection.
As a child Deb Hoffmann lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She remembers always having had an affinity for Winnie the Pooh receiving her first stuffed plush Pooh when she was two years old. It wasn’t until her twenties when the collection started to take on size.
In 1987 Deb married her college sweetheart, Gary. She many times refers to him as, “the best part of her collecting”. Gary has not only supported Deb with her collecting but has also encouraged her and aided in her never-ending search for unique items.
Besides the passion for Winnie the Pooh, Hoffmann has always been involved in activities that brought people together. Her first job after graduating from Carroll University (then Carroll College) in 1987 was running the marketing department for an insurance company where she developed programs to help agents locate new customers. After several years she then took that experience and went to work for an advertising agency in Pewaukee, Wisconsin where she honed her ability to develop marketing programs to promote businesses.
With technology becoming more prominent in companies, Hoffmann felt she needed to gain experience with computers and went to work for a variety of software companies.
Hoffmann always wanted to start her own company with her husband who was a software engineer. In 2000, with the increased use of websites, the Hoffmanns joined their strengths of marketing and technology together and formed TechAnalysts, Inc. a custom software and website design company. They also started a mobile DJ company, A Special Request.
Hoffmann volunteered to play Winnie the Pooh for Sears and Roebuck, who at the time, had a licensing agreement with Disney to sell Winnie the Pooh merchandise.