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The plush Cuddle Clone was our flagship product but we now also offer 3D-printed sandstone figurines and ornaments of your pet, as well as several memorial products. What inspired you to begin your company creating custom Cuddle Clones?

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I had a harlequin Great Dane named Rufus, who was white with very unique black patches all over and two different colored eyes. I remember one day thinking that I could never find a plush animal like him on the shelf in a store and thought it would be neat to have a custom stuffed animal version of him.

How did you practically go about starting your company creating Cuddle Clones? Starting the company was a pretty difficult process and still is! We had several prototypes made in the USA and China. The ones in the USA were actually pretty bad in quality and also cost a fortune.


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We chose China because of the availability of materials, the talent of the plush designers, and the fact that we could produce Cuddle Clones hopefully at a price that was not prohibitive to the customers. What is the process from start to finish, including the time involved, to create a custom Cuddle Clone? First, a customer places an order on our website.

We ask some questions about their pet, including name, species, breed, and approximate weight. Then, they upload up to 10 photographs of their pet. We recommend all angles and face close-ups, but we try to work with whatever the customer has.


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  • Ear position, tail position, and whether the mouth is closed or open with a tongue are additional customization options. Once an order is placed, we process the information and follow-up with the customer if anything is missing or we need additional information. The order information is translated into Chinese for the designers and airbrushers. Every Cuddle Clone is made from scratch by hand.

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    A plush designer starts by creating the custom pattern for the particular pet. Cutting and sewing are the next steps.

    A handwork person and an airbrusher put finishing touches on the plush replica. We have different quality control procedures in place at different points of the process. Once approved, a Cuddle Clone is either shipped directly to the customer from our workshop or to us first in Louisville, Kentucky and then back out to the customer. How do you find and hire designers and artists to create Cuddle Clones? This was one of the early challenges. We were able to work with our great network in China to hire our first few plush designers there and now we have 16 plush designers.

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    A plush designer usually gains experience through an apprenticeship — there are rarely schools for plush design. We have regular training programs in place so that our less experienced designers can learn from our folks that have been making plush designs for years. I think the number one reason people buy a Cuddle Clone is to have a huggable way to remember a loved pet that may or may not have gone over the rainbow bridge. Whether the person is purchasing one for themselves or a friend, Cuddle Clones provide some comfort to a pet owner who has lost a beloved member of the family.

    There are several other reasons why people get a Cuddle Clone made — the full, somewhat amusing list, can be found here. Among the more serious reasons are students heading off to college that have to leave the family pet behind or military personnel who are deployed and want their pet to hold while they are away.

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    What is the most rewarding part of your job as an entrepreneur and CEO of your Cuddle Clone business? I do love that I get to look at cute pets all day! I really like that I have built Cuddle Clones from scratch and that we seem to be doing a-ok so far. From day one of forming our company, we have donated a portion of our sales to charities as well — we like helping individual pets on IndieGoGo as well as different nonprofit organizations throughout the world.

    You can read about all of our donations here.

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    I always had that entrepreneurial bug and probably have about 30 business ideas. Cuddle Clones was definitely one of the ideas that I thought about the most. What inspires you to keep going and what keeps you motivated? I believe that we are nowhere near hitting our potential of what Cuddle Clones can become.

    Not many people know about us, so we definitely want to increase awareness. We would like to be known as the place to go, not only for great unique products but a place to go for a community around the rainbow bridge and when your pet passes away. As a way to keep a special pet close, this is one alternative that seems to resonate with so many people. Perhaps the next best thing to having your pet forever. Skip to content Search for: Ranger with Cuddle Clone All photos: Taco hugging Taco ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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