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BillingtonBears Billington Bears
Leicester
Posts: 3

Hi everyone, i'm new to teddytalk. I really love the site. I wanted to ask if your teddy businesses are all that you do for work. As with todays climate....most people have teddy bears last on their wish lists this year. How is everyone doing ?.

I am a stay at home mum of two toddlers and i am creating teddy bears and have found this year only to be ok. Best bear wishes from Clare

New Avenue Crew New Avenue Crew by Debora Hoffmann
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 1,959
Website

Hi, Clare, welcome to Teddy Talk! I am a full-time proofreader and create my bears only in my spare time...as often as I can! I know there are others here for whom bear making is a full-time profession; hopefully they'll chime in. Be sure also to take a look at the Library up above (where the little emoticon is waving his hands) and make use of the search function on the site. This topic has probably been discussed before.

Welcome, and enjoy making your bears! Would love to see them sometime! bear_smile
Debora

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,501

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Welcome, Clare.  As Debora suggests, there is helpful information in our library . . . especially under the topic
"Getting Started" and in the "General" category.

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Yes, we've discussed this many times. There is a mix of full time and part time bear makers here as well as hobbyists. Everyone's success depends on how much time, money and effort they put into marketing their business as well as the quality of their work. So everyone has a different story... all are interesting to read. bear_original

I think the majority will agree the last 5+ years have seen a drastic down turn in bear sales and the last year or so for many has been tough. Others who do this full time and have a strong following and participate in shows and/or have a heavy web presence are less likely to feel a huge hit.

In addition to the Library you can also use the SEARCH function (upper right in the horizontal menu) to search by key words. This will enable you to likely find immediate answers to some of your questions!

suejennings TeddyBuys
Kent
Posts: 1,154
Website

Hi Clare

Welcome to Teddy Talk.  It is a great place to meet like-minded bear makers and collectors.  I am a teacher (ICT and Computing), so teddy bear making is confined to holidays and weekends.  I have only been making bears for three years and I don't make very many bears in a year, so cannot really comment on the state of the market for artist bears.

Regards

Sue

amber Honey Valley Bears
Toronto
Posts: 210

Hi Clare

I do two shows a year, and haven't done horrible.  I've sold at least one bear at each show.  Which for me is okay, a little disappointing but I'm still new at this and developing my skills.  I notice for a lot of the other artists sales were down last year and picked up a bit this year.  One artist I know from the shows did really well at the last one, but her stuff is amazing and she does it full time.  Artists that do it as a living I like to see do well at a show. 

Amber

rowarrior The Littlest Thistle
Glasgow
Posts: 6,212

Hi, welcome to the site.  I work full time in IT, and make bears in my spare time, but I've only been going less than a year, so I really can't comment.  I'm stockpiling bears to take to my first fair in November right now, I'll let you know after that  bear_original

enchantmentsart Feather Heart Creations
TX
Posts: 419

Hi & welcome to TT!  I make bears, plush, sculpture and art, lots of art bear_original I've been a free-lance artist for over 5 years now and a plush artist for 3 or 4 years. I've seen a big drop is sales as of late but more from my US customers, I'm still getting orders dorm Canada and the UK and even south america. I keep thinking and hoping things will get better!

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Hi Clare and welcome to TT!

I am supposed to be full time but I wouldn't be able to support myself.  It's because of my husband's job that I can do this.  I am trying to change that. 

I do have a number of awesome website collectors  bear_wub   It has taken me 9 years to get this far.   I do know of a number of artists who do - or would be able to support themselves with the bears.  With a couple of exceptions,  most of those artists don't chat online very much.  Probably because they are busy working on bears  :crackup:

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413
Website

Yes, my business is my sole income. I love that I can make a living with what I love but it's not for everyone. I have several friends whom also make a living with their work. We all agree that we work crazy hard to do what we do. We all work 7 days/week and we don't take vacations. Lately we've all become students of internet selling and a large part of our week is spent on the selling part of our business. To make a living with teddy bears you have to be prepared to run a business and handle the myriad of small details involved in running a business. None of us have children at home but I'm sure there are women out there that are doing all this and raising children at the same time. An amazing feat I must admit!

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

I think a big expense (besides housing) for those who really do this full time, is health insurance.  Well, for the US anyways.  Is there anyone here who pays for their own health insurance?  Even now I'm covered by my husband's work policy.  For those who do not have that luxury, what do you do?

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413
Website
Laura Lynn wrote:

I think a big expense (besides housing) for those who really do this full time, is health insurance.  Well, for the US anyways.  Is there anyone here who pays for their own health insurance?  Even now I'm covered by my husband's work policy.  For those who do not have that luxury, what do you do?

This is a problem for any small business in the US. I jog, eat well and am very careful to stay healthy since I can't afford health insurance or a doctor. I have an artist friend who spends $1,000's/mth for health insurance, her husband has a health issue. I have no idea how she affords it  bear_wacko

BillingtonBears Billington Bears
Leicester
Posts: 3

Thanks for all the comments. I will check out the site more. It takes me awhile as i am visually impaired. But i will get there. You are all so friendly and cant wait to get chatting to you all. Best bear wishes from Clare  bear_original

eteddys eTeddys
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 880
Website

Clare,
You are visually impaired AND make teddy bears.  The power of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me!  Please do tell how you got started making teddy bears, I would love to hear about it.  Many of us have come to making teddy bears because of health problems and hardships.

I've been making teddy bears for 11 years and have made a business of it for about 9 of those.  My husband is the bread winner, but I do help some.  I am able to buy all of the clothing and shoes for the family which includes 2 teenagers.  I also pay my car payment and buy gifts for birthday's etc.  I pay the vet bills when they arise.  While I could never support myself of my meager earnings, what money I do make certainly helps.  Sales are a bit slow, but steady.  At this point in time, I am just grateful to be able to keep on doing something I love. 

Bear hugs!

Alison
http://www.TeddyBearMohair.com

Little_Bearries Holt, MI
Posts: 138

I've only been making bears a short while and am not at all to the level of supporting myself on them!!! I'm a full time Graphic Designer bear_original

Lovethosebears Yorkshire
Posts: 1,899

Hi Clare, nice to see you here on TT!  I have brought various beary things from your ebay shop (you should add your ebay site on here).  I only make bears for a hobby and I am totally in awe of those who can make it as a living especially those who are looking after children!

Look forward to hearing more from you

White Forest White Forest Bears
Southern California
Posts: 556

Yes, this is hubby and I's fulltime gig, and we love it.  We have bears on the brain 24/7 basically. We buy our own health insurance, which is why I was so hoping that health care reform was going to be just that, which it's not.

K Pawz Guest

Welcome to TT! I also am a full time artist, and a contributor to our household income. I am so happy to have a job that I love. It is very time consuming though, I spend 10+ hours a day, some of that creating and some of it marketing, 7 days a week, but like I said I do love it so cant complain. It is long hours but very rewarding. I have seen a decline in eBay sales but my custom pieces are ever present and on the rise.
Luckily here in Canada we don't have to worry about health insurance, but I do know if I did it have to it would make things very difficult.

Hugs
Krista

Fenrir63 Posts: 1

I'm looking for a Tommy hilfiger Teddy bear?
but I can't find it anywhere I need help at least knowing the type of bear it is... It was darkish brown with a plaid red and green bow around it's neck and it had this whole not furry but curly haired thing going please any help maybe a list of different types of bears Tommy hilfiger makes or a store to start on (already looked at every Teddy bear in amazon and eBay and only gunderson bears come close to it but I know it's a tommy cuz it had thenlogo on a little tab on it's butt

Please... I know this isn't the to ask this... place but that bear was special I gave it to my then girlfriend now fiancé but it was lost in a fire and our 2 year anniversary is coming up please. I want to make her smile just like the first time. Gave it to her

Carlyle Bear Co. Carlyle Bear Co.
Ft Myers FL
Posts: 492

bear_flower Welcome to TT!!  Like Alison, I would love to hear how you got started with making bears.  I love to read what starts people down this path that becomes kind of a crazy obsession.  bear_rolleyes

I am a full time medical biller so I only make bears in the evenings and on weekends (when I can squeeze them in) so I usually only make 4-5 bears a month.  They are extra income for me since it is just me and two medically needy chihuahuas,  :P

I admit that lately (in the last 6 months) selling bears has become alot harder for me than it was in the past.  Not sure if this is due to the economy or the collector having sooo many different types of bears to choose from.  I can only dream about doing this full time because I would never be able to have health insurance or car payments if I made bears for a living. bear_sad

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,501

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=tom … teddy+bear
http://huntsville.craigslist.org/tag/2663284836.html

I googled 'Tommy Hilfiger teddy bear' and most sites gave me the Tommy Bear image.  The second link is a light colored bear, but has the plaid bow.  Good luck.

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