Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers, welcome to another interview in our interview series! For this interview, we were able to sit down with Ramy Badie, CEO and creator of the Mom’s Choice Award-winning product, TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies. TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies are super-soft stuffed animals that are perfect for showing the world how you really feel. Teeturtle Reversible Plushies have become quite the viral sensation, with over 40 million collective views across TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. Find out what all the fuss is about as well as the story behind Teeturtle Reversible Plushies’ creator below!
MCA: Hi Ramy, congratulations on your Mom’s Choice Award as well as all your viral success with Teeturtle Reversible Plushies! Teeturtle Reversible Plushies are not only adorable but can be a great tool for those who deal with anxiety or trouble communicating. I would first like to start the interview by hearing a little about the man behind such a unique product!
Ramy: I’m a 32-year-old child with a very active imagination, and I still can’t believe I get to create toys and games every day! My parents are both Egyptian, and we moved to the US when I was one and a half. My parents are a true American Dream story, after starting with nothing when I was a child and building lives and careers for themselves. I owe so much of what I’ve built and what I’ve become to the example they set for me.
When I’m not designing new products, I like to decompress by playing volleyball in the park, reading young adult fantasy novels, and snuggling with my two cats, Calvin and Penny.
MCA: Tell us about the creation of your company!
Ramy: When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist, but my parents thought that was an unrealistic plan and nudged me in the direction of a career in medicine. I held onto my dream, though, and began selling prints of my artwork and making products for a number of online retailers while pursuing my Neuroscience degree. Six months before starting med school, I decided I wanted to go all-in with no regrets, and I officially started TeeTurtle. For months, I was a one-man show in a one-bedroom apartment in Baltimore, Maryland. I designed shirts, ran marketing, answered customer service tickets, fulfilled packages, and I loved every minute of it. Nine years later, I am so grateful to my past self for taking that risk.
MCA: That is quite a backstory! When you truly follow your passion in life, your dreams will eventually manifest into reality. What needs were you trying to fill when you created TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies?
Ramy: Walk down a toy aisle and count how many plush toys you can find with frowns on their faces. From a young age, we’re taught to smile and tell everyone that we’re fine. But not everything is sunshine and rainbows, and I wanted to create a healthy (and adorable) way for kids and adults alike to express negative emotions. That concept was a perfect match for a cute and cuddly toy that’s fun to flip, fidget with, and squish.
MCA: That is a great concept that you’ve been able to bring to life with TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies. What is the TeeTurtle mission?
Ramy: Our mission is to create products that help people express themselves, bring people together, and give people genuine moments of delight. We are a team of creators down to our core, and we’ve identified four core values that serve as our guiding principles: curiosity, compassion, community, and integrity. These values have helped us at every turn when collaborating, pushing our creative limits, and building our brand.
Curiosity: Because our passion for progress outweighs our fear of failure, we always choose to listen actively, seek opportunities to learn, and challenge accepted thinking.
Compassion: Because we believe every person is undeniably and inherently valuable, we always choose to act with empathy, lean into vulnerability, take care of ourselves, and celebrate the success of others.
Community: Because we believe in the importance of meaningful connections, we always choose to bring people together and build relationships through shared experiences.
Integrity: Because we believe there is never a reason to compromise on our ethics, we always choose to do what we believe is right, even when faced with a compelling reason to do what is easy.
As we grow, we find new opportunities to test and strengthen these values. These values have meant turning away opportunities that aren’t aligned with who we are, always questioning ourselves to see if we can be better, and putting an emphasis on the input of our fans and followers to help shape what we become.
Ramy: Thanks to their adorable faces, their patented design, and the creativity of our fans on social media, our Reversible Plushies have gone viral, accumulating over 40M views across platforms in less than a year. And it helps to have an absolutely stellar team at TeeTurtle to make all of it possible!
MCA: Forty million views, that is very impressive! What kind of feedback have you received about TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies?
Ramy: I couldn’t be happier with the response we’ve gotten on our Reversible Plushies. With a 4.8 star rating and over 15,000 reviews (and counting) on Amazon, it’s safe to say the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. I love hearing about all the ways our Reversible Plushies are making people’s lives better, from helping couples communicate with each other about their feelings to helping children on the autism spectrum express themselves. And, of course, I keep a couple on my own desk to let my team know how I’m doing!
MCA: What is next for TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies?
Ramy: Our incredible creative team is collaborating on tons of new characters, colors, and emotions that we hope will delight our fans around the world and continue to help them express themselves. Plus, we have a few new surprises in store, but I can’t give too much away! You’ll just have to trust me when I say they’ll be worth the wait…
MCA: We’re sure they will be, please be sure to keep us posted!
You can learn more about Ramy Badie and his award-winning product, TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies, by visiting his MCA Shop pages.