With the turn of the year Katie has found in Caitlin her new best friend. Caitlin took her to school the other day and introduced her to all her classmates. It was such a memorable fun day for everyone!
Caitlin also now wants to go to all the places in the Plushkies Book and is planning to tag along with Katie on her next world trip magical adventure, where Fabio, Mei Mei and Pepe will be waiting to show them around.
Although it’s really fun meeting people and being “on the go”, Katie has discovered how much she gets to reenergize when staying over at Caitlin’s home. The fireplace is her own place of honor where she can be as much warm and cozy this time of the year as she would anywhere else in the world!!
These words actually came in Spanish from the mouth of Iguácel, a three year old Spaniard girl living in Switzerland. From what her parents told us, Iguácel’s words spontaneously came out in Spanish like this: “A Katie la
If there is one belief that holds at the core of the Plushkies ‘World Friends’ is that the best way for a kid to learn about a country is having a friend from that country.
Cheers to Iguácel and her loved friend Katie! And cheers for many such friendships in all languages across the world!
At Khabelestrong Incubator, a school in Austin, Texas with an emphasis in social entrepreneurship, a group of four middle school students partnered with Plushkies to get a taste of how business is done in the real world by helping the company open retail accounts with some local vendors.
The students founded a company called KSI Plushkies headed by 6th grader Yazzen Turk –holding China Plushky in the picture. Yazzen is the CEO of KSI Plushkies Sales team and is assisted by 6th grader Kade Barber and 7th grader Van Baronofsky –to his left- and 8th grader Jesse Holcomb –to his right-.
The KSI Plushkies team specializes in sales, accounting and marketing, and chose the Thinkery as their first client. The following is how CEO Yazzen recounts how the they made their first sale:
“I went to the Thinkery and asked to meet with Aaron, the store buyer. At our first meeting, Aaron asked about the products. I showed him some samples and explained how I am doing this for social entrepreneurship. He was enthusiastic about both the Plushkies products and the idea of children engaged entrepreneurship.
The store buyer had a few questions about the products so I reached out to Ricardo Jiménez, founder and CEO of Plushkies to help answer them. After I got the answers I met again with Aaron who asked for a PO (purchase order). After the second week of meetings and phone calls we then scheduled a final meeting with Ricardo, Aaron and I on Saturday, that week we sold the Plushkies and books. But best of all we finished the process of making a retail sale!”
What challenge and frontier could be next in spreading the idea for this special group of amazingly talented entrepreneurial driven kids?
Kids from all ages, sharing their Christmas presents. We will be sharing more pics soon as we receive them from families all around the world and as we give away the much awaited Plushkies book to our backers. As you may remember at the beginning of last year we closed our Kickstarter campaign to crowd fund the book and we have just started giving those out.
More on the book really soon. Stay tuned for the Plushkies book marketing campaign and it’s official release date!!!
What do you think about the Plushkies Interactive App?
We are most grateful to the collaborations/partnership with our friends and Austin videogame gurus Jim Cherry -from Service Media- and Finn Staber who built together the first Plushkies app -already available for free in the Apple App Store.
The coolest feature is the Augmented Reality (AR). Point the app to an image of our US Plushky Katie –or the plush toy itself- and you will see Katie pop up! Tap on her AR image on your phone and let her introduce herself!
You can also click on the Flash Cards feature to find out what is Fabio’s favorite food, Mei Mei’s favorite animal or Pepe’s favorite place.
And of course, this is just the beginning. These are some of the things we are looking into incorporating in the upcoming version:
- Puzzles with different levels of difficulty
- Customized mini-games for each Plushky to be unlocked with the purchase of the physical Plushky
- Connect Kids who own the same Plushkies to they can play against each other
- Language learning
- Augmented reality into the pages of our upcoming -and much awaited for- Plushkies book and the Plushkies audio book in multiple languages
What other features do you envision in future versions to connect the online and offline worlds? and how will they help raising and connecting global kids from all over the world?
“Children are not small adults” is our favorite quote from Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas because it expresses the sensitivity of the organization towards the unique needs of children.
After meeting several members from the staff including Kim Korte, Dr. of Child Life, we quickly realized how Dell Children’s understands the emotional component –of both kids and family- in the recovery process towards kids health.
For them a 6 year old is not 1/3 of an 18 year old. That’s why Plushkies is a good fit and partnered together right away.
So what do we intend to bring to the table by being in their Treehouse Gift Shop?
HOPE, donations and fundraising.
All net proceeds in the gift house are donated to support the Dell Children’s Medical Center. And all the hope we can help build is for the kids to keep to recover quickly and joyfully and come back home inspired with one more thing to look forward to in their wish list.
Where will they go when they leave the medical center full of hope- Mexico, Italy or China perhaps? Or maybe travel throughout the US?
There is much praise to be given and lessons to be learned from Lake Travis STEM Academy kids who realized their “hot internet spots” were not sufficient for their learning needs and through the guidance of the culturebooster company decided to raise funds towards a faster and more secure internet “so we can learn more!”
- Lesson 1 – Awareness to understand the importance of a fast internet for them and their peers.
- Lesson 2 – Can do attitude and ownership to improve the internet services themselves.
- Lesson 3 – Solid Planning and Execution to put together a business plan, marketing materials and an awesome 2-minute promotional video campaign.
- Lesson 4 – Love of Learning. Not only in the future with their new internet but also during their campaign learning lifelong valuable lessons of business and fundraising skills.
“We have raised $745 and we’re still selling Plushkies, and people LOVE IT!!!!! :D” – STEM Kids Savannah Strader, age 8; Guy Phelps, age 10; Ryan Strader, age 9, Christina Ling, age 9 –from left to right in the picture- plus Julianna Saint-Orenz, age 9 –not pictured.
We are thankful these inspiring kids chose Plushkies for their fundraising and glad for playing a part in their success. Looking forward to helping these kids in the future and any others in the world who want to work hard to improve their education for their love of learning!
We are thrilled to finally introduce to our dear fans a lovely Easter treat – the upcoming addition to our “World Friends” family! This is our first public online showing of our new designs. Our new countries – Spain, France, Germany, and Australia were first shown at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany and Toy Fair NY earlier this year.
While attending these shows, we had the incredible opportunity to make new world friends ourselves (we do live our brand!) who were buyers from multiple countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. These interested buyers immediately requested new Plushkies for their regions. You can see our very first proposals here -pending your feedback!!
To start warming up for the World Cup and for the love of the country, we have also added one more design: Brazil. We will be sharing more as soon as they are ready! In the meantime, let us know what you think about our new “World Friends” before we go into production and dare to suggest a name for these little guys!
Note: New Plushky of Singapore added in August 2014