Do you believe in kismet? Or, if not the sweeping hand of fate, do you think that there is such a thing as a really, really special coincidence that happens at the most ideal time? I know I do! This week, I was doing some virtual desktop cleaning—it’s much easier to clear out, clean up, and empty old computer files than actual file cabinets—when I came across the image of an absolutely adorable plush pal. I didn’t recognize it as any I’d blogged about, and my curiosity was piqued. So, putting on my investigative “cub reporter” hat, I let my e-mail account and my keyboard unlock the mystery of who was that adorable pet: it was a Bellzi.
According to its official website, Facebook page, and some Kickstarter PR material (the company met their crowd-sourcing goal in 2015, to help make their production costs more affordable and more streamlined), Bellzi was founded by two siblings—they are only identified as N and C. Apparently, the pair was always intrigued by hugging and collecting their very own stuffed friends. However, as they grew older, they began to wonder about just how soft could a soft-art pal be! Obviously, the duo decided that they could try their hands at making super-soft creations, and the Bellzi brand was born.
Initially launched in 2013, Bellzi was begun as the antidote to “plushies” that were “too coarse and rough, cheap and wrinkled too easily, were not soft and were uncomfortable.” Designed in California, the Bellzi critters are made to be loved, hugged, and handled with care. They are birthed to become part of a grown-up’s hug, a toddler’s first menagerie of make-believe animal friends, and the perfect item to present at a third birthday party or even as a get-well gift. I defy you to remain gloomy or sad when you see these bright and perky pals.
The Bellzi company motto is “Anything and Everything Cute,” and the creatures really do live up to that philosophy. (Take that, Timon and Pumba from “The Lion King.” These Bellzi critters weave their own giddy spell of “Hakuna Matata.”) One of the first things I noted when I studied the Bellzi faces is that they don’t have lips or mouths. The animals that I had photos of were missing their plush “pie-holes”! That was a deliberate choice. Like their company’s creative team said: “Sometimes a person just wants a friend to sit and listen. No need to talk and speak, just listen!”
These characters do indeed look like the best listeners. With their wide open eyes and alert ears—if the breed has ears!—these plush pals are meant to be cuddled and confided to. The Bellzi lineup is diverse—dogs, cats, elephants, tigers, fox, and horses, but also cockatiels and narwhals, eagles and dolphins (the plush earless brigade). The large majority of the designs are named with cute-sounding monikers, all ending with the “i” vowel: Foxxi, Sharki, Tiggri, Tanuki, Terri, and Kitti, to name a few.
Every component of the Bellzi lineup is stuffed with that kind of commitment to cuteness and the “ah” moment. They are, after all, the brain-children of collectors themselves who own up to having amassed more than a hundred plush pals themselves. While they were collecting, their ultimate goal was to find the Holy Grail of plush pals: a critter that was the softest and the sweetest one imaginable. Eventually they realized they could actually make their dream come true by making just such a soft, sweet stuffed friend for themselves.
Now, in that kismet/fate/coincidence department, this week on Amazon, I discovered that a lot of the Bellzi beasts and critter babies are being sold with a 5% off coupon. When I took a cyber stroll through what Amazon was selling, lo and behold, the Bellzi offerings popped up, and many have a virtual coupon that can be attached to the sale! That’s a lucky coincidence, indeed. (Their Bellzi website also has coupon options available.)
So, vowing that their plushies are “157% cute and made with 100% Soft Cuddle Fabrics,” the siblings and their design team have unleashed stuffed animals that are adorable, huggable, and heartwarming.
Bellzi Plushies are super-cute critters, ranging in sizes from 4 inches to 30 inches. How fortunate that collectors have another jubilant brand to investigate and to love!