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