Marissa Louie, CEO of stuffed animal firm Animoodles, discovered her path because of a cherished toy that belonged to her late sister.
three min learn
My youthful sister, Lauren, and her boyfriend, Leonard, had been college college students with shiny futures forward of them after they each died in a automobile accident in 2007. As I grieved, I attempted to make sense of the loss. And that led me to this thought: I’m going to do what I would like now. This is perhaps my solely probability. Life could be so brief.
Bother was, I wasn’t certain what I actually needed. I used to be a 24-year-old tech guide, which I didn’t love. So I give up to be taught design, which I used to be extra enthusiastic about, and finally grew to become a senior-level designer for Apple after which Yahoo. However even then, there was one thing lacking. I needed to really feel like I used to be doing significant work.
One morning, I awoke holding a teddy bear in mattress. That’s when issues snapped collectively.
My sister and I had a deep bond over stuffed animals. We had a whole bunch of them rising up, and my household nonetheless has my sister’s favourite, a brown little teddy bear named Puffy. As I sat desirous about Puffy, I remembered how my sister and I at all times wished we might enhance stuffed animals. The shape issue of basic stuffed animals was so restricted: They couldn’t be posed, and their appearances couldn’t be modified. We needed to pose them and commerce their physique components — a frog’s legs on a unicorn, say. I’d forgotten all about this; they had been concepts from when life was easy, and I wasn’t nervous about what was sensible. However who was to say I couldn’t return to it?
In 2016, I linked with Dan Holland, an artist and a designer at Pixar. We determined to revamp basic stuffed animals, with poseable arms, legs, and even heads that may combine and match. Within the fall of 2017, we raised $100,159 for our model, Animoodles, on Kickstarter — the best for a basic toy on the platform that 12 months. Quite a few awards adopted, and we’ve already bought many occasions over our authentic gross sales targets.
Now after I take a look at Puffy, and I consider the brand new toys I create, I lastly perceive what I used to be in search of initially: I needed to search out my ardour, and that’s not at all times one thing that comes simple. It’s OK to search around for it — to attempt new issues, and discover outdated components of your life, as a way to discover it. The way in which I see it now, I’ve reconnected with a ardour — and located a option to transfer ahead, devoted to my sister’s reminiscence.