I was always the “stuffed animal kid”. There was something stuffed and fluffy in my hands at all times. My favorite, of course, is Rabbit (you’ll hear about him later.) I always took care of my stuffed friends, but thoroughly enjoyed playing with them to the point where I’d see stuffing falling out. In a panic, I’d take them to my Mother and she would always (and very lovingly) stitch them back together with whatever thread we had lying around. She’d always take the stuffing and say “we can’t forget it’s memories!” before placing it back inside my stuffed companion. I always admired how my Mom could take something that looked so raggedy and make it like new again. My precious Rabbit (remember him?) began to fall apart eventually, and yet my Mom would continue to sew him over and over again - to the point where I wondered how there was still anything left of him. She never once told me he was too old or worn, and never once questioned me about getting rid of him - she knew how special he was (and is) to me. This held to my heart my whole life (as Rabbit still sits on my dresser drawer at 34 years old).
As I got older, it took it upon myself to fix my stuffed animals myself, and soon I got good at it. I even had friends admire my work and ask me to fix their friends. It soon became a hobby for me. When I had my daughter back in 2011, I knew my craftiness to fix things would eventually come in handy - and it did. My sweet daughter turned out to be just like me - a stuffed animal always in her hands, asking me to fix it for her. With my Mother’s teachings, and my desire to always care for my Daughter’s needs - a passion was reignited.
Fast forward to 2020. The pandemic hit and I lost my job temporarily because of the lockdown restrictions. I was devastated. Out of work and needing to help provide for my family, I attempted to find ways to supplement my income. It was then I realized my restoration services were needed now more than ever. People turn to the things they love the most when they feel lost and lonely - and want them to last as long as they possibly can. I knew I could help!
I made a flyer about my restorations on facebook and posted it publicly, hoping it would gain some traction. It didn’t. Months went by without anything. And then one day I get a random message from a woman in Illinois who wanted her boyfriend’s stuffed dog restored as a present. I was elated and happy to help. As he was arriving, I decided it was time to finally make videos of a restoration (I am sad I never did with all the others!) I posted it on TikTok not thinking that it would go anywhere either - but I was very wrong. Within hours the video was viral, was shown on US Weekly, and posted all over other forms of social media. I had many new followers, millions of likes and shares, and most importantly - hundreds of messages asking me to help them with their stuffed friends. I knew this all happened for a reason, and I took the opportunity and ran with it.
What started as mending fabric and thread has QUICKLY turned into mending hearts. This restoration process of stuffed animals helps heal people as well! The reactions I see when a stuffed friend is reunited with their owner makes all the hard work worth-while. Throughout this exciting time, I have also been able to create various ways to help others in need, and get other businesses excited about wanting to join in!
I have worked very hard to make this opportunity a reality. And with the help of other creative friends, this website and artwork came to life! I truly feel so blessed to have this incredible opportunity, and I cannot and will not let those who need me down.
This is a journey I never thought I’d take, but I am so glad it’s here.