This week, we’re looking at FLATOUTaustralia, creators of the wonderful FLATOUTbear. The company was founded in 2002 by two sisters from Sydney; Sarah and Prue. Prue had just returned from spending two years in Asia and decided to ease herself back into Western society by selling FLATOUTbears online. Originally thinking that it would be a fairly quiet business, it soon exploded into a busy, full-time job when the bears started to be sold in stores across Australia. Nowadays, FLATOUTbears are available as far afield as Norway, the USA, Japan, Sweden, France, Italy and, of course, right here in the UK.
The FLATOUTbear itself is made from 100% Australian sheepskin which makes them so unbelievably soft and cuddly. As their names suggests, they’re almost completely flat and floppy. In fact, they’re about 5cm thick. This makes them fantastic for children and babies as they’re more like a comfort blanket than a traditional cuddly toy. FLATOUTbears measure about 30cm by 25cm for the regular size, and 18cm by 16cm for the baby version, but this can vary as they’re actually cut by hand. Their eyes and noses have been tested to ensure that they’re completely safe for babies (But as with any toy, the FLATOUTbears should still be used with parental supervision, following SIDS guidelines). As an adorable finishing touch, they even come with a “please phone home” label for your telephone number should your child’s FLATOUTbear be forgotten or dropped somewhere.
FLATOUTaustralia also work to help the children of Cambodia by donating directly to CEDAC: Cambodian Centre for Study and Development in Agriculture. Prue spent a year living as a volunteer in the country, where she fell in love with it and its people. During this year, Sarah visited Prue and the two realised just how much help the children needed. The money raised by FLATOUTaustralia is used to help provide fresh food and water, shelter and school books, as well as an educational programme to help raise awareness of hygiene, nutrition and basic health skills.
Between their charity work and beautiful bears, it is no surprise that FLATOUTbears are steadily becoming a bit of a phenomenon worldwide. Their celebrity fans include Hugh Jackman, Sarah Jessica Parker and even Tom Cruise. In fact, we even see children saving up for months on end to be able to buy their own FLATOUTbear from our two stores. They even make beautiful gifts for adults, too.
We simply love the FLATOUTbears here at BirdKids, and we’re sure that plenty of other fans will be reading this. Perhaps you bought one for a new arrival and it’s never been put down since, or maybe you’re an adult who can’t sleep away from home without it? We’d love to hear all of your FLATOUTbear stories, so leave a comment below, chat to us on Facebook or mention us in a Tweet!