Knuffelmakers make memories tangible with their handmade huggable portraits of people and pets.
Meet the knuffelmakers
Knuffel Makers consists of Liesbeth Kruijs and Caressa Thera. Based in the Netherlands, they make memories tangible by creating “Knuffelportretjes” (huggable portraits) of people and animals, all handmade by the pair and only from the highest quality materials. The pair used to make plush dolls for family and friends and say it was great fun to ‘recreate’ people and see if they really resembled them. At some point however, they found out that people started to attribute more value to them, and that it wasn’t ‘just’ a plush toy but that there was a story behind it… and a tangible memory.
In 2017 Liesbeth Kruijs came up with the idea to make cuddly toys based on people. Her son Jip collects dolls (Funko pop) of famous people and figures. This suddenly gave Liesbeth the idea to make cuddly toys of people and pets.
Even after making hundreds of hugs, they say they also feel really honoured to be able to do this work. Because every hug has a story and those stories are very beautiful, special, but sometimes really heartbreaking. Children who have to miss their father or mother because they work abroad a lot (think military). But also heartbreaking situations in which a father or mother has to say goodbye to life much too soon.
These kinds of stories affect Liesbeth and Caressa enormously and they really think it is an honour that they can use their skills in this way.
7 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR LOVED ONE’S MEMORY ALIVE
Losing someone we love is one of the most heartbreaking and difficult events we will ever face in life. While death deprives us of a loved one’s physical presence, that doesn’t mean we’ve lost everything we love about the person. Our relationship becomes one based on memory rather than physical presence. The grief journey is a meandering way, filled with many steps. And part of the journey is traveling back into our memories in order to move forward toward reconciliation with our loss. That said, our loved one may be gone, but their memory need never die. Here are several ways you can remember and honor your loved one’s memory long after they have gone on.