Peanut butter and jelly: the common household snack was the inspiration behind one Saskatoon girl’s toy design that will be seen in Ikeas across the globe.
Audrey Rogalski, 10, designed a pair of plushies modelled after the two halves of the treat called ‘Sandwich Friends’ for Ikea’s annual Family Soft Toy Drawing Competition.
“I wanted a design that represents friends,” she told Global News.
“I know that I love playing with stuffies, I have tons of stuffies, and I love the fact that something that I drew is going to be a stuffie that others can play with.”
The competition takes toy ideas from kids around the world, and five winners are picked to have their designs sold online and in Ikea stores globally. Audrey’s Sandwich Friends design stuck out from over 66,000 global submissions, Ikea Canada said.
“Aside from it being an awesome design … the jury looks at safety,” explained Melissa Barbosa, head of sustainability for Ikea Canada.
“We look at the creativity and uniqueness of the drawings, which Sandwich Friends, of course, shines in that aspect,” she said, adding they also consider how easily the design can be mass-produced and, finally, the colour.
The proceeds from the toy sales go to local children’s charities, each chosen by the individual Ikea. Some money also went to the Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon, chosen by Rogalski.
In a Facebook post, Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark congratulated the young designer — and poked fun at the fact the winner comes from a city without an Ikea itself.
“What could be better than PB&J? I know that this raises the big question — does this get us any closer to an Ikea in Saskatoon?” he wrote.
Audrey’s Sandwich Friends, along with the rest of the collection, are expected to hit shelves and online in fall 2021.