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Budsies is a Lake Worth, Florida-based company that turns children’s artwork into custom stuffed animals. Budsies was founded by serial entrepreneur Alex Furmansky, who noticed the very short lifespan of his younger sister Michelle’s drawings. Her dozens of drawings went from being displayed on the refrigerator to being kept in a box in the basement. Furmansky didn’t like how Michelle’s creativity was being forgotten. When he saw his sister hugging her stuffed animals and tucking them in at night, he thought, “What if I could turn a drawing into a stuffed animal friend that would last forever?”

Furmansky brought Michelle’s artwork to life and Budsies was born. It wasn’t long before her friends and everyone in the neighborhood wanted their own Budsies, too. Today, Furmansky is sharing Budsies custom plush toys with kids around the world.

Customers send their artwork to the company via web, email, or text message. Each drawing is then inspected by Budsies’ art director and interpreted by a designer. After the right colors, features, and materials have been selected, the toy is hand-sewn by a seamstress. Each completed Budsie must undergo creative approval and stress testing before being shipped out. The entire process takes approximately five weeks and according to the company, “It’s the only way we can ensure the quality standard we live by.”

Each Budsie measures about 16 inches and is made from all-new hypoallergenic materials. In addition, Budsies is registered with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and its products are tested by an independent CPSC accredited laboratory.

Budsies has partnered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Easter Seals of Southwestern Indiana to bring Budsies to kids in need. Furmansky had limited toys when he was growing up and knows that there are millions of children out theres who have it far worse than he did.