What do Anne Curtis, Coco Martin, Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto have in common? They have vegetable stuffed toys named after them, thanks to Plush & Play.
French entrepreneur Fabien Courteille learned to unleash Genius of the Poor at the GK Enchanted Farm. As a volunteer at the farm, he met the community’s unemployed mothers. Most of them learned were laid off from the nearby garment factories because their jobs were outsourced to other countries. With business acumen and the mothers’ expertise in sewing, they developed the first Filipino brand of handcrafted stuffed toys, Plush & Play.
Inspired from his experience in the farm, they hand-crafted a stuffed toy collection of fruits and vegetables and developed each character from local celebrities. Anne Kamatis (Anne Curtis), Buko Martin (Coco Martin, and Tonyo Repolyo (Tony Meloto) and any other vegetable characters enchant children’s imagination. Plush and Play also makes cute monster collections and customized corporate giveaways.
Social Entrepreneurship is not just about employing the poor. Plush and Play respects its staff’s time as workers and as mothers. The mothers can work mostly from home, giving them more time to raise their children and care for their home. The company also teaches the value of hard work among the staff’s children. During school breaks, the staff’s children are allowed to observe and help their mothers make stuffed toys. In return for their work, their mothers give snacks and allowances to them.
Gaining popularity with the Filipino youth, Plush & Play is now in Toy Kingdom, SM Megamall. Plush & Play is not just growing stuffed vegetables. They’re growing children’s mind and heart through hard work and imagination.