"What if I could turn a drawing into a stuffed animal friend that would last forever?" That was the question that entrepreneur Alex Furmansky asked himself as a teenager, watching his baby sister tuck her dolls into bed at night. That idea would later blossom into his company, Budsies, which does exactly that: They take children's drawings and turn them into customized plush toys.
What's great about Budsies is that it allows children to really participate in their creation: seeing their two-dimensional drawing actualized into something that they can hold, snuggle, and play with can really only encourage their imagination and creativity.
But that's just part of what's great about the company. The other part is how they give back.
"When I was a child, my parents struggled to make ends meet and my toys were quite limited," founder Alex Furmansky explains on the Budsies website. "I'm incredibly proud of their accomplishments, but I equally remember them working night shifts and cleaning houses. I know there are millions of people today who have it far worse than I ever did. They deserve to smile."
"We work with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsilvania to sponsor Budsies for children going through cancer treatment," Furmansky continues. "We also donate Budsies through Easter Seals Rehabilitation Centers for kids with disabilities as well as an LLS Foster Home in Toy, Michigan where we literally bring the kids' imaginary friends to life! There are kids who could really use a friend to keep them company. A buddy that will stay with them through thick and thin."
Check out some of Budsie's little creators and their creations.