Bedside Healers are a Small Way to Make a Big Difference

Bedside Healers

got its start in 2001 when president Jason Peach’s father Dan had to be hospitalized for six months.
Dan Peach had a cyst on his pancreas and was forced to stay in the hospital for an extended length of time. Dan’s wife Robin brought him a stuffed animal, a small gesture to keep Dan company when family members weren’t able to keep 24-7 vigilance by his bedside. The stuffed animal became very important to Dan, and when it would be moved by a nurse or fall off the bed he would become very upset. Jason witnessed this and decided to create a solution.
Bedside Healers is a line of plush toy animals with a Velcro strap attached to the back so that they can be attached to a hospital bed rail or wrist and always be nearby. “We’re not just a stuffed animal company,” Jason says. “[Bedside Healers] are a reminder of who is with you and who is caring about you. [We want] to make a difference to people in the hospital.”
Currently Bedside Healers are available in 30 gift shops in 16 different states. They can also be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the country. Jason, along with his two business partners, hopes to turn this into a full-time job but says they have to “take baby steps.” He still works as a teacher by day and uses his spare time to attend chamber of commerce meetings in Ferndale and Royal Oak and various networking events. Jason was named one of Brooks’ Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2013 and Bedside Healers was named Ferndale’s New Business of the Year in 2012, which have both been a huge help in making the company more visible and bringing awareness to what they do.
Bedside Healers advertises in gift shop catalogues and soon will launch a line of Fathead Healers, a specialty line of sports, entertainment, and character-themed Bedside Healers and dry erase boards for kids to write on made in partnership with the popular Detroit-based company, Fathead. Jason would like to expand their partnerships and work with floral companies, as well as get into TV and radio advertising, but he’s not the typical businessman: “I have no background in doing anything like this before. I don’t have that business savvy that successful people do. I’m pretty much going on my heart and passion and doing what I think is right.”
Because Bedside Healers was born out of a desire to help people, a cornerstone of the company is to give back as much as possible. They realize that not every child’s family can afford hospital extras like plush toys, and with support through purchases and donations from community-organized fundraisers they are able to partner with nonprofits to donate Bedside Healers to area hospitals. They have donated over 1,600 Bedside Healers in the past two years, and have sold a total of 3,000. “We would love to donate one for every one we sell. We want to do as much as we can to give back.”
Jason would like to expand the company’s line of products “to help ease the time while you are in the hospital.” A website redesign is also in the works to make it more engaging and interactive. “We want our website to be a sounding board and encouragement site for people who are going through the same things [to interact], and connect all social media to the Bedside Healers site so [visitors] can go to one place and receive encouragement from all the other people out there.” They also want to start utilizing therapy dogs and making them part of the Bedside Healers program.