- Renju Prathap
When I became a mother of twins 2 years ago, my worldview totally shifted. The only important thing was the health and well being of my two little ones. I wanted to give them the best; the healthiest organic foods and of course the safest toys and clothes.
My older brother started working and he bought me a white teddy bear with his very first paycheck. The bear’s special red ribbon and soft fur were very precious to me, and that gift has always reminded me of my loving family and the importance of generosity. So naturally it was very important to me to find the perfect organic Teddy bears for little Rohan and Arianna. I was incredibly surprised then to find that organic faux fur teddy bears simply don’t exist. When my husband Vijay found out, a curiosity was sparked. At first we were in disbelief. But the more research we did, it became clear that the large toy manufacturers just aren’t interested in investing the time and money to develop organic materials. Synthetic fur made from plastic is just so much cheaper and it turns out high quality organic faux fur is extremely difficult to make. That’s when we approached Barbara Filippone of EnviroTextile, the world’s leading expert on Organic Fabrics and an amazing materials scientist. Together we have spent the last 3 years tirelessly developing manufacturing methods to bring this technology to the world.
But developing the perfect teddy bear was only one part of our goal. The gift of a teddy bear changed my life. Now, I would like to do the same for the millions of children today who experience the hardships of loss and poverty. In the United States alone there are 3 million children living below the poverty line, 1 million in foster care, and nearly half a million Children without permanent homes. So, Vijay and I began to think of ways to do what we can to make their lives better. We thought, let’s find a way to give our bears to the children that need them most. And that is when we started working on our “Buy one - Give One” model. For every bear sold, we will donate a bear to a needy child through our wide network of giving partners.
We also understand the importance of providing for our families and supporting our community. That’s why it was so important to me to find a way to bring the manufacturing to America, and specifically to Northern California where my children will grow up. We have our facilities right in the backyard of Silicon Valley, and in partnership with the CalWorks employment program we will put at-risk Mothers to work.
We hope you will join us in our mission by choosing your teddy bear from Bears for Humanity. The bear you buy will give your loved one a lifelong memory, and the bear you give will bring joy to a child who desperately needs it.
With a heart of gold, Renju’s dedication to helping those in need led us on this path of discovery and the founding of our company
With a long track record of multi-million revenue generation and success in software sales, and a history of work in the non-profit sector, Vijay has the drive, energy and charisma to lead our team and inspire future entrepreneurs.
Debbie has over a dozen years of marketing experience at brands such as Expedia and Travelocity. She also serves as the Director of Social Media for Child’s Play Communications in New York, NY
Successful commercial photographer and visual communications expert, Thomas plays an integral role in marketing and telling our story visually.
Lisa of KidStuff PR has been helping small and medium specialty toy manufacturers and retailers grow for the past 21 years.
Jennifer has been helping design and create products for the toy, gift, and pet markets since 1992. Aside from her technical expertise, her work is just so darn cute!
Board of Advisors
Owner of award winning Wonder Work Toys in Charleston, board member of Toy Association ASTRA, Christine’s mission for empowering children makes her a perfect torch bearer for our vision.
Board of Advisors
Serial Entrepreneur, Peter has founded many companies such as Webmetrics, Collexion, and served as CTO of NaviSite, as well as taken many thru IPO. Peter advises and operates within many startups and mature companies.
Board of Advisors
Former Director of Retail Marketing for TOMS shoes, Garett shares the vision and has the experience to help us get to the next level.