Soft toy hospitals: Meet the 'doctors' who repair childhood plushies in Singapore

[As featured on CNA Lifestyle]

Letting go of your first love is hard, especially when it’s soft, huggable and cute. But what happens when said love becomes lumpy and grey? 

Childhood plushies, affectionately known as “chou chou”, carry years of memories that make them difficult to discard. To preserve these cuddly creatures, soft toy “hospitals” in Singapore come into play.

The “hospitals” are home-based businesses that offer soft toy repair services such as cleaning, stitching and stuffing. Whether it’s a broken nose or missing tail, the “doctors” aim to fix the plushies without them losing too much of their original form.  

For Jane Cher, the story of starting Stuffed Toys Hospital is a little different. The 24-year-old stumbled upon the website of a Japanese soft toy “hospital” in 2018, and was intrigued by its concept. 

“Looking through the before and after photos felt like magic to me, and reminded me of how my mum repaired my favourite Pooh bear for me when it was dirty, torn and thin,” said Cher. “I then pitched the idea to my mum, who was a housewife at that time with some extra time on her hands and relevant skill sets, and she said, ‘Why not?’” 

She then launched Stuffed Toys Hospital by setting up a Facebook page, and ran an advertisement to attract customers. “Shortly after, our first customer approached us for repair. I still can remember it very clearly - it was an Eeyore that needed addition of stuffings,” said Cher.

[Read the full article here.]

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