**SHREWD BUSINESS LEGEND WARREN BUFFETT SNAPS UP SQUISHMALLOWS**
Warren Buffett, the renowned business mogul, known for his strategic investments in companies like Dairy Queen and See’s Candies, has now added Squishmallows to his portfolio. Squishmallows made its debut at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, where shareholders quickly purchased 10,000 of these cuddly dolls, including ones modeled after Buffett and his business partner Charlie Munger. Berkshire acquired Squishmallows parent Jazwares through its acquisition of Alleghany in late 2022. Jazwares founder and president, Judd and Laura Zebersky, now report to Greg Abel, Berkshire’s vice chairman for non-insurance operations and Buffett’s successor. The Zeberskys, who are lawyers-turned-toy-entrepreneurs, are thrilled to be part of Berkshire and appreciate the autonomy they have to run their business.
**THE EXCITING PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN JAZWARES AND BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY**
Laura Zebersky expresses her excitement about being part of Berkshire Hathaway, stating that it is an amazing structure and better than they had anticipated. The Zeberskys are thrilled to be around such great leaders and are eager to explore synergies with Berkshire. Greg Abel, Buffett’s successor, is receiving high praise for taking on most of the responsibilities of the company. Under Berkshire’s umbrella, Jazwares is looking forward to continued growth and profitability.
**SQUISHMALLOWS: THE ULTIMATE CUTE, AFFORDABLE, AND ACCESSIBLE TOY**
With a staggering 100 million units sold last year alone, Squishmallows has become a global phenomenon. Laura Zebersky attributes this success to the nurturing and cozy nature of the toys, as well as their affordability and accessibility. She explains that Squishmallows appeal to a wide demographic, including both kids and adults. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated Squishmallows’ growth, and celebrity endorsements on platforms like TikTok have also played a significant role in its popularity.
**SQUISHMALLOWS’ GROWTH STRATEGY AND SELECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS**
Jazwares, the parent company of Squishmallows, is careful about oversaturation and prioritizes selective partnerships. The success of Squishmallows has contributed to 40% of Jazwares’ total revenue over the past two years. Laura Zebersky emphasizes the importance of sustainable growth and ensuring that each retail channel has unique styles and collectible elements. Jazwares recently announced a partnership with McDonald’s Happy Meal, which will be rolled out in 70 different countries throughout 2023.
**TAKING A UNIQUE MARKETING APPROACH**
Jazwares takes a non-traditional marketing approach, focusing on reaching their fans through various platforms and events. One such event was their participation in VidCon, the largest gathering of influencers, where Jazwares showcased a sea of Squishmallows for visitors to jump into. The company utilizes these opportunities to connect with their audience and expand their brand presence.
**JAZWARES: CREATING MORE THAN SQUISHMALLOWS**
While Squishmallows is Jazwares’ fully owned intellectual property, the company also collaborates with popular brands like Disney, WWE, and Pokemon to create licensed products. This diversification allows Jazwares to expand its customer base and attract collectors and enthusiasts of various brands.