Behind the Scenes: Couple finds internet fame via bunny dresses

By Columbus Alive
From the January 17, 2013 edition

Annie and Scott Kiener won the internet the third day of 2013; however, that’s not the couple’s most unique bragging right. That can be found in how they won.

The newlyweds own three pet bunnies named Pancake (the secret favorite), Hopkins and Finley. They mostly belong to Annie, a 26-year-old photographer who also works at Beechwold Veterinary Hospital, but there’s no denying Scott, 25, loves the furry guys, too: He designed and built the bunnies a wooden pen that takes up a good chunk of the pair’s campus apartment dining room.

Unsatisfied with the clothing options for her brood, Annie made a pattern for a bunny dress. She would dress up her animals for photo shoots and such. For example, the couple sent to family for the holidays a particularly adorable Christmas card with a bunny elf. Awesome, yes, but nothing too serious.

Then, on an early January day, Scott joined Reddit, a website where registered users submit content — like a photo of Pancake the bunny in a cherry dress and matching hair bow. Users can then up-vote a post or not, meaning it is left to die in internet oblivion or be shot to the homepage because viewers like it or are talking about it so much.

Pretty Pancake did the latter.

Within 24 hours, the picture had 30,000 up-votes, making it the most viewed photo on the website. For those non-versed in Reddit, that’s huge. The Kieners stayed up until 3 a.m. answering email orders for the dresses from around the world. Scott went to Cincinnati the next few days to pick up his grandma’s antique Singer sewing machine and to learn how to sew.

The British newspaper Daily Mail called for an interview, a woman in Germany rang for a bunny bridal dress — with veil! — and tux.

Still in the cutest shock ever at her idea’s overnight success, Annie and Scott now work side-by-side after work and school (Scott’s studying Spanish at OSU, Annie to be a vet technician at Columbus State) and sew the $30 dresses, which are available on Annie Elle Bunnies’ Etsy page. A matching bunny hair bow is included.

“Maybe we’ll take a honeymoon now,” Annie said, smiling.

Photos by Meghan Ralston