'Shark Tank's Budsies Are Available Now To Turn Your Kids' Refrigerator Art Into Their New Favorite Toy
Many entrepreneurs with products targeted toward children have walked through those big, scary Shark Tank doors during the ABC reality show's six seasons. However, none of them have filled me up with the warm and fuzzies quite as much as Budsies, which will appear on Shark Tank this Friday. What I'm saying is, if you buy Budsies, you may just feel constantly overwhelmed with joy.
Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that the sharks are going to be able to handle all of the adorableness that Budsies will bring to Shark Tank. Sure, Lori Greiner is a ray of sunshine, but even she needs more than those warm and fuzzies to invest in a product. I guess Budsies is just going to have to wow the sharks with the ingenuity of the product in addition to (hopefully) some strong sales and a solid plan for the future. Nothing melts a shark's heart like the prospect of raking in a ton of cold, hard cash, after all.
And when you finally read all about Budsies below, your heart will melt too. So what's the deal with Budsies, and why are they so amazing? Here are seven reasons why Budsies will continually make you say, "Awwww."
1. It's Like A Better Version Of Build-A-Bear
You know how Build-A-Bear lets you customize your very own Teddy bear? Not that any of us all-grown-up adults have any firsthand experience with this... Well, Budsies bring that to the next level. Budsies will take any drawing that you or, more likely, a child, has created and turn it into a stuffed animal. Now you can turn that refrigerator art into something your child will cherish forever. Or at least, until they become a pre-teen.
2. Buying Budsies Is As Easy As Sending A Text
While all of this sounds pretty magical, you'll only get Budsies into your life if you order them online, which you can do right now. Once you have taken a photo of the drawing you want to turn into a Budsie, all you have to do is head over to the Budsies website, fill in a description of the artwork, send the company the image by uploading, emailing, or texting it, select how many Budsies you want created, provide your email address, and purchase.
While you're there, you'll notice that there are a few downsides to Budsies. One is that each one starts at a price of $69, which can go up with add-ons like a super-sized version for an additional $29 and a printed birth certificate for an extra $5. It also takes about 11 weeks for your unique Budsie to arrive at your door. A high price and a long wait time? Buying a Budsie better be worth it.
3. Behind The Scenes, Budsies Are Complicated
It doesn't seem like making a one-off, customized stuffed animal would be easy, and it's not. As described on the website, a lot happens in between the time you order a Budsie and when it arrives on your doorstep. First, the team reviews the artwork you sent and reaches out with any questions they may have. Then, the designers choose fabrics and create a custom pattern for your plushie. The Budsie gets stuffed, sewn up, and inspected before it is packed away and sent off to its new owner. I don't know about you, but I now feel the need to lie down after just reading about this whole exhausting process.
4. The Founder Is A Serial Entrepreneur
Budsies is far from being founder Alex Furmansky's first foray into business. As he told the Sun Sentinel, Furmansky emigrated with his family from the Soviet Union when he was just 5 years old and now lives in Florida. Furmansky seems to have quite the drive to make his business dreams come true. After earning two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and working on Wall Street as an investment banker, Furmansky went on to sell consumer tech, as he describes on his website, for mobile platform OpenPeak before starting the dating site Sparkology.
5. Furmansky's Sister Inspired Budsies
Now that you know about Furmansky's background, it might seem kind of random for him to launch a company like Budsies. However, when you hear how he got the inspiration for the company, it will all become very clear. Furmansky noticed that after the drawings his sister Michelle, who is 16 years his junior, brought home from school, camp, and art classes were displayed on the fridge, they would end up packed away in some box, only to be forgotten. After he saw how much Michelle enjoyed hugging and tucking her stuffed animals in at night, Furmansky put two and two together. Budsies were born to give kids like Michelle a way to embrace their creativity and enjoy their artwork IRL.
6. You've Got A Friend In Budsies
Like many companies today, especially the ones that have appeared on Shark Tank, there's a philanthropic aspect to Budsies. The company works with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania and other organizations, sponsoring and donating Budsies for those children going through treatment so they can have a little companion to keep them smiling through the rough times. You'll also find stories about kids whose lives filled with some dark days have been brightened by Budsies. I'm not crying, you're crying!
7. There's More Where Budsies Came From
You don't have to come up with an imaginary figure to get your very own Budsie. You can also turn real people and pets into Budsies, aptly called Selfies and Petsies, respectively. I have to say, I find the Selfies more creepy than cute, but you're definitely going to want to get Petsies into your life whenever they officially launch.
We'll have to wait and see how the sharks feel about their specially made selfies, and whether that helps or hurts Furmansky's chances of scoring a deal.
Image: Budsies /Instagram