November of 2013 will marke my 15th year of making teddy bears!
I started making bears after receiving a kidney transplant in 1998. I had my transplant on my birthday. The kidney was a gift from my mom! That was in November and by Christmas, I had made 5 floppy teddy bears from an old chenille bedspread to give as gifts. Friends encouraged me to start selling my creations so I looked to eBay.
Ebay is where I discovered artist designed teddy bears. I fell in love immediately with the bears. I told my husband, "That's what I want to do when I grow up." I sought out some mohair and nearly fainted when I saw the price. I have been sewing since I was in grade school. I continued sewing in my adult life, making clothing for my children and husband. But, I'd never cut into fabric that expensive before and decided I had better take a class. At the time, there was a wonderful shop in town that sold teddy bear making supplies and had classes. I took my first class from Beverlee Judd and were still friends today. After I got the hang of things, I started designing my own patterns and selling on eBay under the company name eTeddys.
It seems hard to believe that 15 years have passed since I made my first teddy bear. I still love creating my eTeddys. It's such a joy to design and create something and have a collector want it for their own. In 2008, I was lucky enough to win a TOBY Industry Choice Award and receive two Golden Teddy nominations. I cherish the collectors and artists I have met in the teddy bear community and look forward to another ten years of good health and teddy bears.