A Brief History of Stuffed Toys & the Creation of the Most Lovable Children’s Step Stools in the World
Hello plush-loving pals! Thanks for visiting the home of the most lovable, comfortable, adorable children’s step stools on the planet! Long ago, when children’s step stools were centuries away from being fun and furry, stuffed animals were making their way into the world. It’s hard to believe, but stuffed toys have been around for a lot longer than you and me… in fact longer than our great, great, great grandparents! Children’s step stools have been around for a long time too, but most accounts of the first stuffed toys date back to the days of the Egyptians, with evidence of stuffed animals found in ancient hieroglyphics. It wasn’t until around the early 1800’s that these collectible furry friends resurfaced. Not unlike most children’s step stools we see today, the first commercialized stuffed animals weren’t the soft and cuddly plush pals we have come to love. Back then, they were mainly filled with cloth, beans or straw. It wasn’t until about 50 years later that new fillings were discovered that made stuffed animals the plush, lovable, irresistible characters found in our homes today. Those fillings have advanced even further, helping make Step UP Pets children’s step stool characters more comfy and cuddly than any children’s steps stool in the world! Ever wonder where the “Teddy Bear” got its name? The story goes that they were actually named after President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt after a man by the name of Morris Michtom, founder of the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. Michtom saw a political cartoon of Roosevelt and asked permission to use his name. One of the original teddy bears, believed to have been made by his company, is displayed in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Around the same time, German-based stuffed toy company, the Steiff Firm is said to have also created its own version of a stuffed bear, which was exhibited at the Leipzig Toy Fair in 1903. Now… on to how the next generation of children’s step stools came to life.
The Step Up Pets® Story
They say that time flies when you’re having fun, but believe it or not, striving to create the planet’s best children’s step stool isn’t all fun and games! One thing is for sure. Any great idea that remains an idea, means the world may be missing out on something very special. If you have one of those ideas, you owe it to yourself, and to the world, to take the next step. Whether your idea turns into the next big thing or not, doesn’t really matter. What matters is being brave enough to spread your wings and take flight. Sure you might fall, but you will most certainly will succeed as a person. By simply taking a chance on YOURSELF, trying, learning, growing, falling down and dusting yourself off, you will achieve more than you ever thought possible! The Step UP Pets children’s step stools adventure started this very same way, back in 2011 when Adam Schechtman, an everyday dad, stumbled upon one of those “aha” moments. As a small business owner and struggling entrepreneur, Schechtman had been involved in several business startups since his mid-20’s, from senior health care services to marketing and advertising services for fellow small businesses. Blessed with a wonderful wife, Suzanne, sensational son, Chase and delightful daughter, Milana, Schechtman was no stranger to being surrounded by cool kids products. Like most families with kids, the Schechtman household contained several children’s step stools throughout the house. The birth of Step UP Pets began one evening while Schechtman was helping his kids prepare for bed. During cold weather nights, he noticed that Milana had a habit of covering her hard plastic children’s step stool with a towel before STEPPING UP to the sink. When he asked her why she did this, her answer was simple… “I just like the way it feels!” Almost immediately Schechtman began thinking about different ways to cover children’s step stools differently. He asked himself, “How do I take a basic children’s step stools and make it more comfortable, more fun and more desirable for kids to use?” As they walked back into Milana’s room, Schechtman glanced over at the smiling stuffed animals sprawled about her shelf, her bed, and of course her floor! It was at that moment, the Step UP Pets children’s step stool idea was born! Prototyping begin that very month and five years later in August of 2016, the first Step UP Pets children’s step stools were”born,” with the first being adopted into the home of Timmy Lipinsky, a 3 year old boy in York, Pennsylvania. As our plush children’s step stools enter homes across the country, our mission is to support growth, build confidence and inspire independence through innovative “Plush with a Purpose” products that encourage children to achieve small goals, every day! .
Of course, collectible stuffed animals have been the rage for several decades now, but it wasn’t until around the 1990’s that a major shift began to happen. Rather than just being cute and taking up space on shelves, companies realized that some stuffed animals could be created with more practical purposes Step UP Pets coined this new wave of plush products as “plush with a purpose.” With this in mind, Step UP Pets children’s step stools became the one-of-a-kind, “have fun and get it done” plush partner, inspiring and helping kids develop life skills in a fun loving way. Their double as an adorable stuffed toy that’s great for pretend play, combined with a safe, comfortable step stool that they can take anywhere to help them do more on their own. Whether it’s brushing their teeth, washing their hands, tying their shoes, helping out in the kitchen, or setting up a snack on their Step UP Pets “snack table,” discover what your child can do with their Step UP Pet!
For those that might be interested, Step UP Pet’s isn’t the first kid’s product developed by Schechtman. While focusing on research and development for his children’s step stools, Schechtman found himself growing more and more frustrated with the the way that work, video games, cell phones, TV, and other distractions were stealing time away from his kids and family and he wanted to do something about it. So, while perfecting Step UP Pets, Schechtman created a unique board game called, Q-Time. With Q-Time, parents and kids perform fun, crazy “silly stunts” in order to earn time (Q-Time) that could be spent outside of the game, doing fun things as a family, like making ice cream sundaes, going to the park or making up a home movie… almost anything that kids and parents love doing together. The game sat on his shelf for two years until 2014 when Schechtman brought it to the New York City trade show called “Toy Fair,” while also promoting prototypes of his children’s step stools. He pitched the product to about 20 gaming companies that day and brought back several contacts to follow up with. By 2015, Schechtman had reached a licencing agreement with worldwide manufacturer, Intex to produce and market the game and to this day, he’s waiting to see if it will make the cut to be launched as part of their upcoming game line. Like most “simple” ideas, the road from concept to kid’s homes can be long, winding, and full of ups and downs.
Thank you so much for visiting. It’s people like you, who care enough to learn about our products and story, that make it all worthwhile. It’s the children who’s faces light up with smiles when they choose their Step UP Pet, feel their soft fur, name them that special name, then “stand tall and do it all” that makes us want to grow our family of children’s step stools to the moon and back. If you’d like to learn more about Schechtman’s ongoing journey to make Step UP Pets the world’s most awesome line of children’s step stools, or want to share your own journey, connect with him on LinkedIn or send him a message through our contact page. Please Sign Up as a SUP Insider to get the latest pet promotions, priority alerts on upcoming step stools and other new products, vote on new step stool designs and more!
A Very Special “Thank You” to the People Who
Helped Us and Believed In Us from the Beginning
Barbara & Harvey Finkelstein
Bonnie Rosenberger Caton
Chris and Anne Kelly
Dave and Mary Brown
Eliot and Nicole Wagonheim
Hilary and Eric Schaefer
Jeff and Elisa Schwenk
Dr. Jonathan Kaufman
Dr. Leonard Schechtman
Lou and Michelle Dimitri
Luis and Malina Colon
Mary Lou and John Coyle
Mom and Pops
Nicole and Bryan Kelley
Tim and Paulina Lipinski
Shawn and Courtney Bokasan
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