The woman who originally started this website was, besides being talented, was also deeply against animal cruelty, so she decided to turn her hobby into a small business.
Her works involved sewing crafts, creating art, and raising money and awareness.
She also thought it was a great idea that when you bought them, 60% of the sale would donate to AAF, Animals Asia and China Bear Rescue.
This website previously sold stuffed animals named “Calhoun the moon bear”, “Theopolis the turtle”, “Mr. Percival Oinks”, “Cooper and Elsie”, “Danny the giraffe”, “Friesen the penguin”, “Pepper the cardinal”, and “Pheneas the lobster.”
Growing up, I was afraid of a ton of things. I was afraid of the dark, heights, sharp objects and large masses of water; amongst many other fears. My greatest fear was the fear of animals and insects. I was even afraid of gaining weight so I stuck to this specific meal routine… Crazy right? I guess I was the “coward of the county” of my time. My mother says the only way to get me to do anything when I was being stubborn as a child was to show me a picture of an insect, or bring a live one up to my face.
When I was in fifth grade, my grandmother who had mastitis breast cancer, and grandfather came to stay with us for two weeks. A joke he played on me on a certain Wednesday changed my life. He threw a rubber snake at me. I cried out so loud, the neighbors almost called the police. He calmed me down and held up the rubber snake.
He said softly, “You see Annie, it looks like the real thing, but it’s just rubber. The same goes for all those things that scare you. Learn to look past the outward appearance of people, places and things, sweet Annie. Not everything will kill you!”
He then handed me a cute stuffed elephant and told me I should always protect it. He said that from that day onwards, it was my duty to show it bravery. He gave the rubber snake to my younger brother. Since then, I learned to face my fears slowly, one at a time.
Creating My Own Stuffed Animal
I loved Nandi the elephant so much I wanted to make a similar one for my grandfather as a birthday gift. I took a keener interest in arts and crafts at school. I was a creative girl according to my teachers. They would always have me draw pictures on my books and write short stories to boost my creativity.
I signed up for sewing classes with my mother and we made my first stuffed animal together. I was just starting out so I am pretty sure what we made looks nothing like an animal but I tried and I was proud of myself. By my grandfather’s birthday, I had learned how to sew and stuff the perfect elephant.
He loved it very much and kept it on his bedroom stand. He asked if I could make another for his living room, which I did gladly. Before I knew it, all my family members and school mates wanted me to make them one. Soon, I was donating my handmade stuffed animals to children in church as well.
Why Do I Do This?
Stuffed animals are a source of many things including comfort and love. For me, my elephant gave me confidence and the willpower to face all my challenges.
I currently make my stuffed animals for sale and donate a third of the proceedings to the church. In conjunction with the church leadership in my home-town, we were able to set up a program where young girls and boys in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade come to learn how to make their own stuffed animals. We tap these children’s creativity and show them how to use it constructively.
We make a lot of these stuffed animals and then visit other children in hospitals, orphanages and on the streets donating the stuffed animals. For those that are able to learn, we teach them the easy way to make their own, either by sewing or using zipped material.
Just like my grandfather was able to have an impact in my life, my company’s goal is to brighten the lives of the children stuck on hospital beds, the streets or in orphanages. A great way to heal and move forward in life is achieving inner peace.
This is what we wish for the children. As we do this, we also empower the children making the donation animals to face their fears, chase their dreams and act as role models to their peers. There’s no harm in saying I am shaping the world one stuffed animal at a time, is there?
Crafts are often dismissed as time wasting. The reality is quite the opposite. Individuals, parents and guardians should use their own or their children’s creativity to their advantage. It can take you far; just look at me and the children I help.
But I have decided to stick with a website including all sorts of different arts and crafts, because it’s interesting, super unique and super fun to see what all sorts of people have created and come up with, which will also help you get some ideas!