When Alex Furmansky's little sister was born, he was 16-years-old. As an adult, he was able to watch his sister grow up, and over time, he began to have an appreciation for her creativity and artwork.
Alex began to wonder, instead of filing away her creative drawings into a box, what if he could bring her creative pictures and ideas to life? The first Budsie created was a plush toy version of his sister Michelle's drawing of Dongler, a red animal with a long nose and 4 blue feet.
It is now possible, using high quality materials, for kids to have a huggable, tangible toy that is made-by-hand, from one of the child's original drawings, sculptures, video game characters, or cartoons.
No longer does a child's creativity have to be stored away in a file folder or an archival memory box. Many people must think this is a phenomal idea, since over 23,000+ Budsie's have been created and mailed to at least 63 different countries.
With Budsies kids can begin to see how their ideas have meaning. Seeing is believing. Their dreams really can come true as a concept from their imagination is meticulously handcrafted into a reality.
Some kids are not as creative or into drawings and design as others. There is no need to worry, there are templates to help kids on the website. In place of a colorful drawing, photographs can be uploaded to the Budsie's website during the ordering process.
After providing a brief description, designers are able to create a one-of-a-kind plush toy or stuffed animal from the photo. Plush toys can also include Petsies, handmade stuffed animals that feature the family pet and Budsies Selfies, plush toy versions of people.
Selfies are great gifts. They might be of a happy couple who just got married, or a child dressed up with their favorite toy or posing in their superhero costume.
Some kids might even enjoy a Selfie that is made to look just like them when they are dressed in their ballerina tutu or sports team uniform.
Budsies Selfies are 16 inch toys with varying skin tones and eye colors.
You might be wondering if a look-a-like plush toy is enough to excite kids? The amazing part about Budsies, Selfies and Petsies is the attention to detail. We recently submitted a photograph to the company of my son wearing his soccer uniform. The final result we received is amazing.
The designers did not just match the colors for a generic rendition, they recreated the Major League Soccer logo and sponsor logo by hand, and everything is so realistic. Details that were not in the photo that I personally added in the written description were also perfect, down to the colors of the cleats and the number on the back of the jersey.
My son was extremely excited after opening the box screaming, "Oh my gosh! It's me! It's me!" "Mommy, how did you do this?"
When ordering and learning about the company, I initially thought about how much kids would love to see themselves in their uniforms and how excited they would be. What I was not prepared for was how it would make me feel as a parent.
There are some toys that are passed on from one generation to the next. Just like my mother has held on to my Raggedy Ann doll for almost 40 years, I will probably never let his Selfie go. That is until I am a grandparent and I can pass my son's Selfie along to his family someday.
Budsies, Petsies and Selfies are toys that can help children cope and heal. What better way to remember your beloved family pet who recently crossed the rainbow bridge? For kids dealing with life threatening illnesses, a Budsie can be created by the child herself, or one can be made for them by a friend or sibling. These special gifts could give the child the strength and support they need to persevere through difficult or painful treatments.
The ordering process was very easy online. Budsies will keep you well informed of the process, and you will receive multiple emails along the way.
Emails were sent when the order was received, when the designs were approved, when a drawing was being created of the Selfie, as fabrics were being chosen to create the Selfie, that the pieces were being hand cut and sewn together. The final emails included information that the Budsie had passed quality control and was being shipped.
From the moment the order was received until it arrived on our doorstep, the process took about 2 weeks. Budsies, Selfies and Petsies are made from hypoallergenic fabrics. The products are inspected twice prior to shipping. It is reported that Budsie's are best spot-cleaned and air dried.
Money from the sale of each Budsie also goes to helping children in need as part of the Budsie's Pals programs in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
For those who like to give inspiring gifts, more than just a gift card, there are Budsie's Creativity Kits. Drawing books, crayons, colored pencils, sketchpads, a 6 inch Dongler plush toy mascot and a voucher for a Budsie arrive in a package sent to the child.
For those of you with an Android or iOs phone, Budsies app partners include Monster Create, Behavior World, Drawing Desk and Art Kive. Budsies may also be available to use as a school fundraiser.
Visit Budsies.com for pricing and ordering information.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.