There aren’t many gifts that truly fit the definition of “one of a kind,” but a company in South Florida is an exception — their stuffed toys are as unique as the person who drew them.
That’s right, we said “drew.” Budsies are plush toys that are made from drawings, bringing children’s artwork into bright, vibrant, and cuddly life!
Alex Furmansky got the idea for Budsies back in 2013. He jotted the idea down on a paper napkin then got to work in the spare bedroom of his home.
After sinking his life savings into the business and working hard to find investors, he got his big break by appearing on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2015. Thanks to that television appearance, the Budsies website received 100,000 visits that weekend, and the company was officially up and running!
Since their humble beginnings, the company has expanded exponentially and has turned more than 200,000 drawings into adorable stuffies.
In 2021, Scott Meier took over as CEO. When asked about the company’s ultimate goal, his answer was as simple as it is sweet.
“The goal is to make the world more huggable,” Scott said.
Judging by the adorable reaction videos the company shares on social media, we’d say they’re doing an excellent job!
“It is elation,” Scott said about watching children receive their Budsies. “Seeing these kids, and their faces — they’re so happy. I’ve never been Santa, but it’s kinda like, I’ve got a little taste.”
Each Budsies toy costs $140, but the company often teams up with community organizations to give toys to those in need. Their flagship philanthropic effort Budsies Pals donates free plushies to sick children at hospitals like Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Budsies has also expanded their product line to include Selfies, which are made from photographs of anyone, and Petsies, which use drawings to create lifelike plush toys that look like your four-legged friends. Some of the Selfies toys have the option of adding a voice recording, too.
Now even adults can experience the thrill of getting a totally unique gift. They really are fun for all ages!
Wow, these are so neat! We’re so glad Alex believed in his incredibly cool idea back in 2013. Now, if you’ll excuse us… we’ve got some shopping to do!
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