Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up? We both did! In fact, we still do. Kendahl’s is a teddy bear that’s so beat up it lives in a pillow case. Bryan’s is a dog (we think). It’s been passed down to our kids who love it a bit less than Bryan did–but play with it all the same. Both our stuffed animals went everywhere with us. It’s why we so quickly identified with what Gaby, of GollyFamily, is doing in the handmade world. Check out what she has to say:
“I remember, while growing up, I had this special toy; the one that could not be left behind, the one that would make me feel safe. Golly Family has been created to bring those memories to life.”
One of our favorite business guys, Simon Sinek, is well know for his challenge to entrepreneurs to “Start with why.” We think Gaby nailed it! Why created stuffed animals for kids? To help kids have the same fond memories of a stuffed pal from childhood, just like she did.
A few months back, we asked Gaby to share her story. You’ll find it below. We hope you’ll read it and check out her website and Instagram. You won’t be disappointed by what you find!
Golly Family was created in 2015 to share my passion for creating imaginary characters and showing children the world I was fortunate enough to see. My handmade business is made up of a family of quirky soft toys and “Find” books for each of the members of this quirky family. My desire in making the soft toys is to recreate the special toy you had as a kid; that toy that could not be left behind, the toy that would become your best friend. To make sure each character is unique, I lovingly crafts each and every one of them.
It all started when my partner’s son had a bunny he loved. For his birthday, my partner made him a book, where he took photos of the bunny hidden in different locations around Auckland, New Zealand. The book was a success! Fast forward a couple of years to when I started creating different toys, each with their own “personality.” One night, while thinking about how to make them unique, I thought about the bunny’s adventures. Why not take each of the members of this unique, soft toy family to different countries? Through their journeys I could show children different cultures!
My grandma used to make most of my toys when I was a kid. She lived overseas and every year when she visited, she would open her suitcase and all these magical creatures would pop out! A few years ago I thought to myself: ‘maybe the ability to sew is genetic!’ so I decided to give it a go. In the process I discovered the ability to sew is definitely not genetic, but after some practice I can now create toys I am proud of as well. You can see each of the members of the family plus the books currently available at www.gollyfamily.com -Gaby