Toy companies like Lego have experimented here and there with crowdsourcing, listening to customers’ input and churning out products they’re looking for. But it’s the core of Squishable’s mission.
The New York startup allows fans to choose and design plush, furry stuffed animals. Led by a husband and wife, the 11-person team uses social media to build a dedicated following, turning its 850,000 Facebook fans into active participants in the creative process, engaging with customers on every aspect from design to color.
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When was the last time you went to a party that had a ball pit made out of stuffed animals?
This was one of the draws of an open house at Squishable, a stuffed animal company based in Chelsea. The conference room in the 900- or so-square-foot office was filled with 175 or so squishy, ultrasoft, oversize stuffed animals. Many were prototypes, overstock or samples, and guests were invited to jump and play around inside.
“Everyone loves to come for the ball pit,” saidAaron Glazer, who co-founded Squishable with his wife, Zoe Fraade-Blanar, in 2007. “You just missed a bunch of fashionable ladies in stilettos jumping around in it.”