The truth behind toy repairs

A Labour Day tribute

Stitching process Stuffed Toys Hospital

Back when I was just handling the administrative work for Stuffed Toys Hospital, I would always side with the customers. “Christine, this customer said the price is too high, can we give a discount?” And she would always give in.

Back then, I had the same thoughts as you as a customer, “It’s only addition of stuffings, there is no need to charge so much right?”

Back then, I had no idea at all.

Common misconceptions of our services

  1. Addition of stuffings: open toy up > add new stuffings into parts that lacked stuffings.
  2. Cleaning: dump the entire toy into water with soap > dry it.

Not wrong, neither is it entirely correct - just missing a few more steps.

The reality check

  1. Addition of stuffings: open toy up > remove all the stuffings > re-fluff all the original stuffings > mix new stuffings in > add into toy > stitch up. This is to ensure a consistent feel throughout the toy.
  2. Cleaning: open toy up > remove all the stuffings > deep cleaning for only the “skin” of the toy with specially formulated cleaning agent > left to air-dry for days > re-fluff all the original stuffings > add into toy > stitch up. This ensures that the stuffings remain dry and in good condition.

Magically pieced together

Stuffed Toys Hospital on Instagram @stuffedtoyshospital_

Many marvel at how it feels almost magical to see our before and after photos, but nobody really pats us on the back for the work that goes on behind the scenes. And that’s okay, because we understand that no one really knows what happens at all.

My experience

I only understood what Christine meant when she said it’s tough work, ever since I started doing the repairs myself around January this year. I have been through desk jobs, but I have to say that nothing beats manual work. Going through the repetitive motions of re-fluffing stuffings really just made me feel dead and tired after just 1-2hours. Top it off with the frustration of sometimes not being able to get the stitches right, and having to undo and redo the stitches time and again - it’s not a lie to say that I wanted to give up all the time. (And then there is the horror of facing customers and just praying not to get the worst reactions post-op...)

If this is how I felt after learning all the know-hows from Christine, I can’t imagine what kind of hell she must have been through when she first started with repairs all on her own in 2018 😟

Glorifying manual work?

Maybe it’s only because I have been so used to working on the computer all the time, that this repair job still feels super exhausting to me. Definitely not undermining desk jobs - all jobs are tough in their own ways.

Shoutout to everyone who has been working your asses off

Amazing if you are doing it out of passion, and congratulations for that - not many are able to do what they love! Whether you are doing it for the money, for the job scope, for the job title, to pay off your bills/debts, to learn, to feed your family - great job for working for whatever reason it is! You deserve the break today ❤️

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