A Childhood Reminiscence Helped This Founder Discover Her Ardour

Marissa Louie, CEO of stuffed animal firm Animoodles, discovered her path because of a cherished toy that belonged to her late sister.

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This story seems within the
January 2019

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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.

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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.

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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.

Author: Maxwell C.

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