“I love the embroidery world. It’s an amazing world of creativity. I bring my love of toys to that world.”
Embroider Buddy® creator Donna Kotzer Jacobs
Embroiderers needed a bear like Embroider Buddy® and it took someone in the toy business to create him.
Embroider Buddy®’s story began when inventor Donna Kotzer Jacobs joined Parkdale Creature Comforts, the plush toy business her father Morris started in 1944 in Toronto.
“My father Morris Kotzer started the Parkdale Novelty toy company with his brother Sam in 1944. He was always working, so to spend time with my Dad you had to be with him at work. It was an adventure to go into Dad’s truck when he made deliveries to the C.N.E. or Niagara Falls. I loved when he brought home samples of toys or novelties being developed to go to market. I was a popular kid with my vast array of toys. The Kotzer house was a fun place to be!”
Working alongside her father, husband and brother Rob, Kotzer Jacobs put her passions and talents to work, and soon developed a successful line of stuffed bears and “Whatzupwiththat!® Bearwear” for the custom-imprint sector.
But Kotzer Jacobs always kept her ears to the ground, and she quickly realized embroiderers needed something more. They wanted a stuffed toy with a large area to embroider, and stuffing that could be removed and re-inserted quickly and easily.
There was nothing like it on the market at the time, so she decided to invent it!
“I spent three years working and re-working prototypes,” Donna explains. “At first I was going to use Velcro. However, someone questioned whether the design would be childproof…so I tried a hidden zipper.”
She also garnered feedback from embroiderers.
“I sensed they were not too keen on having to stuff the bear with handfuls of loose stuffing, so I decided to create a ‘pillow pouch’ in the shape of the bear’s belly that can be inserted and removed easily.”
Thus, the Embroider Buddy® original line of stuffed animals was born! Its simple, innovative design makes embroidery as easy as 1-2-3!
And as part of the Parkdale Creature Comforts™ family, Embroider Buddy® comes with more than 70 years of toy-making experience. You know you can trust us to give you soft, well-made, whimsical stuffed toys to embroider for any event or special occasion.
We provide the canvas. You work the magic!