SEASON 6 EPISODE 24
turns kids drawings into a custom stuffed plush animal dolls
$100,000 for 5%
Children are very creative with their imaginations and this creativity got Budsies founder Alex Furnmansky to work. He thought of making memorable and treasured drawings because paperwork gets easily forgotten and decided to come up with his company Budsies. His products are now found in millions of homes worldwide.
Budsies Founder Story
Alex started the company in 2013 after he saw his little sister’s passion for drawing. Though the sister drew a lot, her drawings got quickly forgotten. Alex also saw how passionate the young lady was while playing with her stuffed animals and the idea of bringing the drawings to life came up. He wanted children to have both the drawings and their live drawings in stuffed animals by immortalizing the artworks. The platform gives kids a chance to upload their creative pieces on the company’s website, after which Alex and the team of designers stitch the customized plush toy.
Intending to get a boost of $100,000 for 5% equity, Shark Kevin offered Alex $100,000 for 50% equity, which Alex denied and got no deal. Alex studied the shark tank effect on previous entrepreneurs and how it got many ideas positive reception whether they got a deal or not and decided to use the platform as an opportunity to thrust his business to the markets. With approximately 90 servers running to handle the load, the company received 100,000 visitors on their site that same weekend with a dramatic 100% uptime.
Creating plush animals from children’s drawings, Budsies had managed to build a global supply chain by 2013. Kids (and parents) love Budsies because it is the only company that lets them design their toys. It gives the young ones’ artworks life.
Budsies After Shark Tank
After being featured in season 6 of the televised program and the founder refusing Kevin’s deal, Alex’s business is still thriving. Before making an appearance in the show, Alex stated that he had already sold 2000 Budsies in seven months and was hopeful of selling 6000 in the holiday season, with each costing $69. After the show, Budsies was crossing over to the 13,000 mark thanks to the Shark Tank effect. The company also won over four production lines supporting almost one hundred designers, stuffers and seamstresses. Budsies received a massive reception from the market and the company had to move to more prominent offices to accommodate its ten corporate employees. Budsies also got to partner with The Gap, Mayo Clinic and Joe DiMaggio’s Children Hospital.
Alex had a dream of making his product become a staple keepsake in homes worldwide and did not mind whether he received a boost from Shark Tank or not. After a ‘No Deal’ from the investors, the company raised ample capital at an actual valuation. The amount raised was enough to optimize Budsies operations and push it to the markets.
The founder’s advice to future Shark Tank contestants is, have fun. Do the preparations at home to enable you to relax on set and talk to the Sharks like you would to another potential investor.Visit the Budsies website