When Dan Stoyan, the founder of SonoHealth, first reached out to us about creating a custom bear for his company, we were incredibly touched by his company’s innovative ways of helping people live healthier, happier lives. In addition to SonoHealth’s life saving mission, Dan has created a company that actively gives back to the local and global community. We helped Dan create the SonoBear, an extra-cuddly plush bear who will serve as a symbol of hope to the older and younger generations facing health issues.
SonoHealth’s Incredible Mission
SonoHealth manufactures medical devices to provide a more holistic, accurate representation of a patient’s overall health. SonoHealth’s products allow patients to self-monitor their health conditions in real-time. The devices keep a record of the data that can be shared with one’s doctor to achieve “a better diagnosis, prescribe better medication and provide better care,” according to Dan.
Before starting SonoHealth, Dan worked as a nurse. During this experience, he saw firsthand the emphasis put on treatment of health problems over holistic, preventative care. When Dan’s grandfather sadly passed away due to heart complications, Dan decided to create a way for people to be more connected to their daily health, instead of waiting for major issues to arise.
“If we [are able] to provide tools to consumers to prevent them from getting into the hospital, that [is] the best case scenario. It’s going to save them money, save their lives, and [provide a] better quality of life,” Dan said about his vision for the company.
The Desire to Give Back
Dan said that from the beginning, a major aim of SonoHealth was to discover in which ways they could give back as a company. They began by donating medical devices to missionary doctors working in African minute clinics. Later on, Dan had an idea of how SonoHealth could help connect the older generation, his largest customer pool, with the younger generation who was also suffering from health issues. Dan decided to create special teddy bears to donate to children’s hospitals and nursing homes as a symbol of hope that could connect the two generations.
As he began to explore options for how to manufacture these bears, Dan quickly realized this would be like creating a new business with a new product, complete with the supply and sourcing issues that come along with any new venture. Luckily, Dan happened to come across Bears for Humanity in a google search. He was excited to see that Bears for Humanity already has an established supply chain and we specialize in creating Fair Trade and organic custom stuffed animals. This set Dan’s teddy bear mission off on a new ethical, eco-friendly path.
We loved SonoHealth’s vision, mission, and desire to give back and wanted to help him on his path of spreading hope. We worked together to design the perfect plushie for his 5000-piece teddy bear donation.
Dan chose which materials would be used to make the bear from our GOTS certified organic cotton and eco-friendly textiles. SonoBear is stuffed with recycled PET, dyed with water-soluble eco dyes, and made in Fair Trade facilities. The unique SonoBear shape was especially designed to be extra cuddly and less stiff or stuffed than a traditional teddy bear. You can’t help but feel warm when looking into his smiling face.
We helped Dan design the hang tags for the bears which include a QR code with a $50 off voucher for a SonoHealth product. We also created promotional materials and helped him craft his strategy for sharing these bears with the world.
Dan says that for him, Bears for Humanity’s connection to notable charities and organizations is even more important than the high-quality, custom stuffed animals we make. “For me that was going to be the hardest part - reaching out to hospitals and having connections. But Bears for Humanity is already connected to these people and already has that channel…where we can partner up to donate our bears,” Dan said.
About a year has passed since the initial design conversations, and Dan now says the SonoBear and its mission are “becoming bigger than he ever thought they could be.” SonoHealth has discovered an effective way to help people get healthier while giving back to and connecting communities.
When asked if he would consider future donation campaigns, Dan replied enthusiastically, “I think this is going to be something that's a part of our brand.” With the bears complete and a growing list of charities interested in accepting donations, Dan’s caring gesture is set to evolve into a permanent part of SonoHealth’s path as a company.
Sharing Bears and Spreading Smiles
With the bears now complete, SonoHealth is in the beginning phases of divvying up the donation to be delivered to hospitals, charities, and retirement homes around the U.S.
This is just the beginning though, according to Dan. He said his dream is that all SonoHealth medical device purchases will have a portion go towards a SonoBear donation
When we asked Dan what his favorite part of working with Bears for Humanity was, he said, “The energy and excitement of everyone I worked with. It gets me excited too. For me, that’s one of the best parts of working with Bears for Humanity: how supportive they are of my company and our partnership together.”
We’re so happy to have supported Dan and SonoHealth. We look forward to helping him continue his intention to spread smiles with each SonoBear shared. Visit our custom manufacturing page to see how your brand or organization can make their own Fair Trade and organic custom stuffed animals and apparel.
If you are a representative of a 501(c)(3) recognized non-profit children’s hospital or nursing home and would like to be a recipient of these bears, you can request a donation at sonohealth.org/sonobear.