Shark Tank episode 629 features Alex Furmansky pitching Budsies in the hope of securing an investment from Sharks.
Furmansky was inspired to create Buddy after watching his sister cuddle with one of her plush animals.
It was natural for Alex’s sister to enjoy drawing. The old box she kept her drawings was a waste, so Alex devised a way to bring them to life, and by doing so, Budsies was born.
The first Budsie he made for his sister was very basic. Currently, he employs designers who specialize in hypoallergenic fabrics.
You can order a Budsie by uploading an image of a child’s drawing; the designers will choose colors and create a pattern based on the image; the toy will then be assembled, stuffed, and mailed. It is a delight for children to see their artwork in three dimensions.
The Budsies toys are pricier, at $69 per toy, but they’re worth the price because they’re customizable. These toys are currently available for purchase on the company’s website.
Maybe Mr. Furmansky wants assistance in expanding into retail. What are the chances that Budsies can negotiate with the Sharks, or will they order Alex stuffed?
What Is Budsies?
You’ve probably wished that your child’s drawings would come to life. A company called Budsies might be able to help.
The Budsies have developed a service that converts drawings into plush animals.
Budsies accepts artwork via their website, and their creative minds transform the designs into stuffed animals.
|Product||Creates custom plush animal dolls from kids’ drawings|
|Investment Asking For||$100,000 For 5% equity in Budsies|
|Final Deal||No Deal|
|Episode||Season 6 Episode 24|
|Business Status||In Business|
Who Is The Founder Of Budsies?
Alex Furmansky is the founder of Budsies. He was a scholar before he became an inventor.
He had previously earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he holds a master’s degree in business administration from Wharton University.
He almost certainly used this background to spur his entrepreneurial endeavors.
He also founded Sparkology, a dating website for young professionals, in addition to Budsies. He now serves as Budsies’ chief executive officer.
Budsies Before Shark Tank
Alex Furmansky is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Wharton School of Business.
Budsies was a fortunate break, as are most inventions. Alex discovered his younger sister’s creative side while living with his family. She drew animals.
He founded the Budsies Company in August 2013 when he was still a resident of South Florida.
Alex Furmansky came up with the idea for Budsies after observing his younger sister drawing frequently but rapidly forgetting the designs.
He also observed that his younger sister loved her stuffed animals, and he created Budsies by combining both the artistic drawings and the stuffed animals.
Her sister’s artwork was transformed into an animated video when Alex had a Eureka moment. His family and friends ecstatically received the prospect of manufacturing plush animals.
They encouraged him to leap, and Budsies was born.
Budsies’ mission is to immortalize children’s artwork by transforming it into plush animals. Children can upload their photographs to the Budsies website, and Alex Furmansky and his crew will stitch and sew a bespoke stuffed animal for them.
He established a website for children to post their artwork. Then he engaged designers who attempted to duplicate the drawings by sewing stuffed creatures.
Even kids with allergies can have a Budsie friend because Alex chose hypoallergenic textiles.
Budsies was already making sales before his appearance on Shark Tank due to his ingenuity and compassion.
Alex Furmansky is no stranger to entrepreneurship or working for other businesses. He also owns Sparkology, a dating service geared toward young professionals.
Additionally, he has worked with OpenPeak, a company that sells consumer technologies.
He has also worked at Evercore FinTech M&A, UBS, and Lockheed Martin and consulting for new companies that required his assistance at the time.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Budsies?
Alex comes to the Shark Tank stage and begins his pitch, asking $100,000 for a 5% stake in his “heartwarming” company.
He then displays a display of customized Budsies and distributes samples.
He describes the design and “build” processes. The product is priced at $35 per unit and retails for $69.
The Sharks take issue that it takes four weeks to deliver a product. Regrettably, Budsies has only raised $94K in seven months.
Mark is out of the business because he believes it is too “duplicatable.”
Lori is out because she believes it is not scaleable.
Mr. Wonderful is unsure how to generate money, but he offers $100,000 in exchange for 50% of the business.
Alex informs that Budsies makes pet replica plush toys and human replicas.
He distributes variants of each Shark. Daymond then calls the valuation into question, and Alex informs the Sharks that “this is how angel investing works,” The Sharks laugh.
Robert believes Alex has no idea how he will survive the next 12 months now that he is out.
Daymond offers $100,000 in exchange for 40%. Alex claims he requires additional funds to obtain a bigger proportion, Daymond leaves.
Mr. Wonderful declines Alex’s offer, and Kevin adds “your deadline to me.”
Result: No Deal between Budsies and Sharks.
What Happened To Budsies After Shark Tank?
Alex was not having financial difficulties with his business and did not require a bailout investment.
He required capital to scale and make Budsies at a reduced cost and a faster rate.
Each Budsies is made in about four to five weeks and has a profit margin of about 50%.
There is no mention of Alex’s items being the greatest or worse on Shark Tank, except for Daymond John’s description of him and his business ideas as ‘crazy.’
The Sharks were not interested in investing in Budsies because several believe the company is too small and see no way to profit from their investment.
Alex has expanded his production by diversifying his company’s offerings. Now, individuals may order Petsies and Selfies, which are stuffed creatures depicting their pets and selves.
All of his items are available for purchase at www.budsies.com. Budsies has appeared in numerous publications, including BuzzFeed, Hallmark, and CNBC.
Budsies items have a high number of positive reviews on its website, yet on third-party websites such as Yelp, they receive a high number of one-star ratings.
Many customers claim they received the incorrect order or that their stuffed animal does not match their drawings, despite providing a comprehensive description.
Others have complained about having to wait months for their Budsies to arrive.
Budsies could have benefited greatly from investment to accelerate production and establish their factories, where they could supervise manufacturing, rather than outsourcing to a random facility in China.
Budsies must be struggling with sales since Alex said on Shark Tank that it takes four weeks to manufacture one stuffed animal, but it takes six weeks, according to the Budsies website.
Budsies Shark Tank Update
Budsies is still in business and going strong. In his eighth year of operation, Alex Furmansky, the company’s founder, stepped down in March 2021, succeeded by Scott Meier as the new CEO.
Most of Budsies’ revenue comes from its website, with the core business of translating children’s artwork into plush toys remaining mostly untouched.
Furthermore, you can now design bespoke photo pillows, pet replica plush toys, and stuffed animals that mimic selfies.
The company now delivers internationally and recently passed the 100,000 mark for bespoke toys created.
Additionally, it has teamed with children’s hospitals to distribute toys to cancer-stricken youngsters.
They also received a promotional endorsement from Walt Disney for Pete’s Dragon.
Make My Plush operates on a nearly equivalent principle, allowing youngsters to draw a custom toy replica for payment.
You can design your drawing online or order it from a commission with Bespoke Plush, another competitor.