All children try to draw what their small imagination conjure, using as little or as many colors as they’d like. And while some parents might proudly hang the colorful masterpieces on their fridges and walls, usually that’s all we can do to understand and appreciate their efforts. However, we live in the times where innovation is what everyone lives and breathes so it’s small wonder that someone has come up with the idea to turn all the cute, weird and seemingly-nonsensical kids’ drawings into real life plush equivalents. And the results are quite impressive.
Budsies was founded in 2013 by Alex Furmansky who was inspired by his younger sister’s drawings. After seeing his lil sis Michelle tucking her stuffed animals in bed he thought to himself “What if I could turn a drawing into a stuffed animal friend that would last forever?” It led him to ‘borrow’ one of Michelle’s drawings, one of a dog-like creature named Dongler, and have it turned into a stuffed plush in South Florida. And with the first Budsie being born, soon came the other.
“In the beginning, most of the orders were of kids’ drawings, doodles, and other artwork” Budsies representative Melissa told. “Now, we see everything from a child’s first drawing, to detailed original characters, author’s book characters, sports team mascots and more. The idea is truly limitless and that’s what makes Budsies so special” she added.
Their site claims that they’ve made over 76,000 Budsies since the first toy in 2013. People from over 60 countries have ordered their custom pieces, varying from such lands as Australia and India. Although the orders were first made of children’s drawings, soon artists and others joined the ranks, requesting fanart, people and pets to be made into plushies.
The growing business soon branched out and started offering custom plush toys created in the likeness of pets. ‘Petsies’ offers custom-made stuffed animals that are created as a mirror reflection of people pets. And if a plush doggie or a kitty is adorable, imagine how awesome one of your own pet would be?
Budsies site currently offers custom plushies that start at the price of $99. The final cost depends on what type of plushie one requests, the size and detail. The toys can be made from super soft plush or include faux fur and custom embroidery.
“We’ve had people cry, scream, lots of hugging their Budsies, and people who are just speechless” Melissa detailed people’s priceless reaction to their Budsies. “We’ve also made Budsies in honor of someone who has passed, and those are very emotional reactions that really touch our entire Budsies team and community” she continued.
Melissa also added that they have a program called Budsies Pals where they work with healthcare providers to give free Budsies to kids who will benefit getting a huggable plushie. “Some of the Budsies that we have made are from drawings of kids who unfortunately passed away and the Budsies are given to the family,” she explained. “It very touching knowing that we have given something to these families who have been through so much” Melissa concluded.