FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2018) – Cuddle Clones LLC, a provider of custom plush pet replicas, will move to a larger headquarters in Louisville with a $1.3 million investment that will create 50 full-time jobs, Gov. Matt Bevin and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.
“Cuddle Clones is a company that began as a startup right here in Kentucky less than a decade ago, and now it is preparing to create 50 jobs with this Louisville relocation,” Gov. Bevin said. “They are a prime example of the vision we have for startups and small businesses throughout the commonwealth. Congratulations to Cuddle Clones. We are grateful for their continued commitment to Kentucky.”
Cuddle Clones saw demand for its products rocket since the company opened eight years ago. The move will allow the company to expand its operations and introduce new product lines. Cuddle Clones currently employs 11 people in Louisville.
“We are super excited for this next stage of our business,” said Jennifer Williams, Cuddle Clones CEO. “We love the entrepreneurial community in Louisville and the infrastructure and support that the state has provided to help our homegrown company succeed.”
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Louisville, Cuddle Clones creates custom plush replicas of people’s pets, as well as slippers and golf club covers made in their pet’s image. The company expanded its product base to include custom 3D-printed sandstone figurines and ornaments, custom granite and bass-wood memorials, and other custom accessories. The company recently acquired Cartoonize My Pet, an online customization engine in which people can create a cartoon version of their pet. The created design is projected onto the Zazzle product line, which includes over 250 custom products, such as gift wrap, apparel, stationery and pet bowls.
Mayor Fischer noted the company’s growth from a startup to a nationally recognized company.
“Cuddle Clones’ expansion is a testament to Louisville’s strong startup culture and availability of business mentors,” Mayor Fischer said. “We are proud to be the home of this innovative entrepreneurial company that brings a unique vision to life. Our city looks forward to supporting Cuddle Clones’ creativity and seeing their growth in the global market.”
Sen. Denise Harper Angel, of Louisville, said she looks further to furthering the community’s relationship with the company.
“Our community welcomes this expansion and further investment by Cuddle Clones,” Sen. Angel said. “We are delighted with the boost to our economy and the new jobs it will bring. We have a highly skilled and dedicated workforce ready to meet all the needs created by this growth. This company has been a good corporate partner for seven years, and we look forward to continuing that relationship at its new site.”
Rep. Attica Scott, of Louisville, said this is likely just the start for Cuddle Clones.
“I want to thank Cuddle Clones for taking this step and expanding its presence here in our community,” Rep. Scott said. “This investment will go a long way to making its unique products more widely available, and the added jobs will mean so much to the families who benefit. I’m confident there are even better days ahead for the company.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in February preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $500,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Cuddle Clones also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
For more information on Cuddle Clones, visit www.cuddleclones.com.
A detailed community profile for Jefferson County can be viewed at www.bit.ly/LouisvilleJeffersonCo.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2017 totaled a state record $9.2 billion, spurring more than 17,200 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.