The original design of Strawberry Shortcake and her cat, Custard was done in 1977 by Muriel Fahrion during her time as a greeting card illustrator at American Greetings' Juvenile & Humorous card department. After the idea was presented to Bernie Loomis of General Mills and became a licensing entity, Fahrion designed a subsequent thirty-two characters for Those Characters From Cleveland (American Greetings' toy & licensing design division).
Cindy Moyer Patton and Janet Jones designed the other later characters of the classic Strawberry Shortcake line. Lyn Edwards was the editor of the line and along with brainstorm group developed the personality profiles and the story line and philosophy. The first doll was a rag doll directed by Muriel Fahrion and created by Susan Trentel, Fahrion's sister.
The Strawberry Shortcake line of characters each had their own fruity or dessert-themed name with clothing to match, and they each had a dessert- or fruit-named pet. Like the Strawberry Shortcake doll, all the other characters' dolls had hair scented to match their dessert theme. The characters lived and played in a magical world known as Strawberryland.
During the 1980s, Strawberry Shortcake became a huge fad for children throughout the United States. At the time, there were many related products, such as sticker albums, clothes, a video game by Parker Bros. entitled Strawberry Shortcake Musical Match-Ups for the Atari 2600 , and numerous other products. Several TV specials were made featuring the characters, one each year between 1980 and 1985, when the fad had waned. Kenner produced no new dolls or toys thereafter.