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    Organic kibble, expensive veterinary bills, countless squeaky toys, personalized Tempur-pedic pet beds and of course that adorable Halloween costume your puppy just had to have...our furry friends are expensive. According to CBS News, Americans alone will spend nearly 60 million dollars on their pets this year. This kind of outpouring of financial affection towards a pet is common; which speaks volumes about how important our animals have become to us. Thanks to one Louisvillian, animal-lovers can now honor their furbaby with a custom stuffed "clone" animal from Cuddle Clones.


    Image: Cuddle Clones

     

    In 2011, University of Louisville student Jennifer Williams was working towards her Master’s Degree in Business Administration when she had an idea that would eventually snowball into what is now her company that, in its third year of business, has served countries on every continent.

    “At the time I came up with the idea, I had a large Great Dane who was white and black and he had two different-colored eyes, and I was lounging on him one day and thought it would be so cool to have a plush version of him,” explains Williams. “I kind of forgot about the idea until we had to list business ideas in one of my classes. My group in that class had to pick one [business idea] that we thought would be good to pursue further. My team liked it [her business plan for Cuddle Clones] so we went with it.”

    After carrying out the business plans for this particular class assignment, Williams and one of her group members quit their jobs after graduation to actually start Cuddle Clones. They opened the company's permanent office in Louisville in early 2013, and the very first Cuddle Clone was created shortly thereafter. 

    But after inspecting the first small Cuddle Clone, which was created by an American designer and resembled a TY Beanie Baby and cost a whopping $200, Williams decided on a different approach to the design. She wanted each of her trademarked custom plush products to be identical to the real animal its design would be based on. So after searching the world for the most talented artists, she hired several remarkable designers in China who currently produce the Cuddle Clones in the business’ own production facility. These plush creations are so intricately designed, they’re almost too realistic to keep at your bedside at night.

     


    Image: Cuddle Clones

     

    It's because of the extremely realistic nature of Cuddle Clones that Williams receives a daily overflow of feedback. “Some people think it’s creepy, some people think it’s awesome, and some people have written to us to say that we’ve helped them heal so much after losing their pet.”

    Cuddle Clones now produces plush animals and memorials. If you’re interested in getting one of your own, you can easily place an order by selecting the type of animal, uploading pictures of your pet and specifying any of its particularly distinctive traits. A designer will then work diligently towards matching your pet’s features to the Cuddle Clone and send you a virtual demonstration for your review and approval. Once the design is approved, the one-of-a-kind Cuddle Clone will be created. The creation process typically takes two months to complete, however rush options are available.

    For more information about Cuddle Clones, visit the website

    Images courtesy of Cuddle Clones.

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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