The BuddyBagz idea was created in the summer of 2014 when we had our first summer vacation with three kids- all under the age of 6. Kids like to bring STUFF everywhere they go….they like to have their stuffed animals, their nightlights, little toys, their blankie, and anything else they can convince us is a necessity to make the trip a success. We as parents pack their toiletries, clothes, shoes, pillows and other necessities and before we know it, there’s no room left in the car for the kids. That’s how BuddyBagz was created. We paired functionality with fun and created an all in one sleepover solution. Our Buddyz each have a Buddy stuffed animal that our kids can cuddle, a pillow, a sleeping bag, a night light in the tail of the Buddy, and a secret compartment to hold little toys. The sleeping bag gets easily rolled around the overnight bag (which includes a toiletry bag), and the kids can carry this cute little buddy as a backpack!
I knew this was a solution to an inconvenience that our family had and it was something our kids would love it….what I didn’t realize was all of the incredible life lessons we would learn along the way.
I learned that when you have an idea pursue it….even if you have no experience and limited time to do so. The confidence and knowledge you will gain when you build something from an idea to a product and all of the steps along the way is invaluable…you will also learn how resourceful you can become!
I learned that involving your family in your adventure makes it that much more fulfilling. Our kids helped me design and cuddle test our BuddyBagz, and their their friends give me honest criticism; in turn their pride in the products that we have created is worth every minute and every penny we have put into this project. It’s taught them that they can do anything they put their mind to if you are resourceful and determined enough. That life lesson is invaluable.
I learned that the vision for your idea will go in many different directions and some of those unexpected turns will be the most rewarding!
Here are a couple stories that have stuck with me:
-At one of the holiday boutiques where we were selling BuddyBagz, a divorced mother came up to me with tears in her eyes and said “as silly as this sounds I think your product is going to be the solution for my daughter’s distress when she moves between her father’s and my home” BuddyBagz became her daughter’s “consistent bed” regardless of where she slept.
-A month ago a family friend’s young son was diagnosed with leukemia; he was starting his treatments and would have to be in the hospital often. We gave him our Baseball Buddy to travel with to and from the hospital so he and his parents could carry his belongings but also have a friend for him to snuggle and a comfy blanket to sleep on. Turns out that this “project” that my family and I started gave this sweet little boy some comfort when he needed it most… I can’t put into words how rewarding that is to us.
The fact that our product has given kids fighting all sorts of “battles” a little comfort, parents an easier and more practical way to travel, and children the independence to pack and carry their own belongings makes us incredibly proud and overwhelmingly happy! For all of the wonderful paths that BuddyBagz has taken us on and all of the ways that our Buddyz have created at least a small place of comfort in these children’s lives, we will be creating a “Brave Buddy” that will be designed for any child who is battling any fight where they need a Buddy by their side.
Thanks for your interest in our Buddyz and Sweet Dreams from our family to yours….
Mike, Carly, Taylor, Keira and AJ