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Cover Story

Walnut Animal Society

Lauren Bradshaw

Photo: Rob Bartlett, License: N/A

Rob Bartlett

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With their exquisite detailing – not to mention the $98 price point – these aren't impulse purchases, but usually "special gifts … for first-time parents, new babies, unique shower gifts." But Bradshaw was surprised to see, in February, adults buying them for each other for Valentine's Day; their long skinny arms and nostalgic floppy feel appeal to a certain kind of grownup. "Learning moment," she says.

Sewing machine, obviously, but also "my handy gigantic stuffing machine. … I used to spend 45 minutes hand-stuffing an animal – now it takes about two minutes. It's crazy, the amount of efficiency that gained us."

Joy Cho, of dominating grownup-cute blog Oh Joy (ohjoy.blogs.com) "put us on her site the first day we launched." Then, in June, design-oriented flash-sale site "Fab.com approached us … we had in our business plan to try to get a Fab sale after our first year."

Anna Bond (Rifle Paper Co.) is a close friend and mentor. "She's so encouraging, and I'm always learning from her."

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