Back To Blog

Some of you may have read my article on Maria Schriver’s website about how I struggled to turn my passions into a real career. It’s been a tough journey, but it’s been worth it!

Well, entrepreneurship must run in the family, because my wonderful niece, Hannah, is starting on the same adventure herself! She has an amazing idea for a fun new children's’ toy called Snapdragons, stuffed animals that have mix-and-matchable parts. I thought I’d find out more and share her story with you. 


Deeanne: How did you come up with the idea for Snapdragons?

Hannah: The idea for Snapdragons came from a book I used to read with my grandma when I was a kid. It was called Croc-Gu-Phant, and it was a spiral-bound picture book. Each page had a picture of a different animal standing on its hind legs. The pages were cut into thirds, and they all flipped independently, so you could have a crocodile head on a jaguar body with elephant legs. There were so many different combinations you could make, and my grandma and I never got tired of playing with it!

Well, I took that idea and thought, "Why couldn't we make that 3-dimensional?"

Deeanne: Starting a business, even as a side project, is usually considered a risky move. What motivated you to start your own business?

Hannah Alvarez. Inventor of SNAPDRAGONS.

Hannah Alvarez. Inventor of SNAPDRAGONS.

Hannah: I'd been dreaming up the idea for Snapdragons for a few years, but for some reason, I had just never gotten up the nerve to go out and make it happen. Last fall, though, it hit me: if I don't get going now, I may never do it. I have this idea, and the only thing stopping me is my own doubts. I thought it would be so sad if one day I woke up and realized I never even tried to make my dream come to life. So I got to work!

Deeanne: Did you have a favorite stuffed animal as a child that inspired Snapdragons?

Hannah: I loved stuffed animals so much as a kid... and I still do! I was an only child, so my stuffed animals were some of my best friends! I had plush rabbits and dogs and tigers and every animal you could think of. But I could never pick a favorite, which is part of the idea with Snapdragons. Kids don't have to stick with one favorite; they can keep mixing them up and rearranging them whenever they want.

Deeanne: Mix-and-match stuffed animals are such an interesting idea! You have to tell us, which creative creature combination do you like best?

Hannah: I've been having a ton of fun playing with the Snapdragons prototypes at home, and I thought I had made some pretty cute combinations, but I didn't even realize how fun they could be until I actually watched kids playing with them. They're way more creative than us grownups! One of the little girls who playtested the prototypes made a lion with six legs, a tail on its head, and horns on the side like spikes. I had never thought of that combination, so that's got to be my favorite!

I love this! Such a neat idea! If you want to learn more about Snapdragons, or see them in action -- CLICK HERE