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melissa Honeythorpe Bears
Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 1,789
Website

I made my first bear in 1997 but didn't do much more thant make a couple of bears for baby presents until 2000 when I developed my first pattern and got a bit more serious about it.  I sold my first bear on ebay in October 2004.

kathytaylor Ruby Mountain Bears
Northern Nevada, USA
Posts: 1,467

I made my first bear in March 2004 with encouragement from a friend who makes and sells bears, Lisa Madsen.
I sold my for the first time on Ebay in September 2004.
My bears now are so different from the first years bears.
Hugs, Kathy

lw2ndstar Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 78

I made my first bear in 1984, and started experimenting with my own patterns shortly after.  I've made 46 bears so far, approximately (I did a quick count). 

I sold 6 bears in a shop locally in 1987 or so.  No fun working on commission!  And I hated sewing the requested clothing!  bear_angry 


I used mostly fabric store acrylic from '84 to '87, when I kind of slowed down.  I had ordered a teeny bit of mohair by mail, sight unseen (pre internet!) and didn't really like it, or the way it sewed up.  My old pattern looked awful in mohair!

I made a few here and there through the '90s, for friends.  I didn't really start up again until 2003, when I made a bear for a play and ordered my first mohair online!  Love online mohair shopping!!  bear_wub   :dance:   :dance:   :dance:   

Teddy Talk has made a huge difference in my bears!  I have learned so much here.  My style may be the same, but the finish is so much more professional thanks to you all!  :hug: 
Lynne

Estelle Estelles canal bears and Tod Teddies
Todmorden West Yorkshire
Posts: 370

:redface: since July 2003 but you could hardly call it a bear poor thing. I had no idea made it all up out my head what a monster ( he is my hidden scret bear) I keep hom hidden under all my fabric for luck.  :redface:

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,161
Website

*Scratches head and wrinkles nose*

Hmmn.  I think I must have made my first bear back in ....

OUCH!!

My goodness!!!  Was it really THAT long ago!!!

*Gulps*

Er ... I think it must have been about 1992!  Yeeeks I'm past it!!!!

Cleathero Creations Cleathero Creations
Ripley, Queensland
Posts: 1,925

I made my first two bears in 2001 and then I didn't make another until end of 2004, I started tweaking patterns fairly quickly and design followed on very quickly.  I'm still surprised when people want to buy my bears.

Meri Bears (UK) West Sussex, England
Posts: 598

I've been making bears for just over a year ago and enjoyed every second of it bear_smile
It's really interesting to know how long everyone has been making bears - there's a really good mix of experienced and new makers here.

:hug:

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

I can't remember if I started making bears in 1995 or 96.  I was working in a bear store and I got to do all the repairs.  You can't believe how many manufactured bears come with problems.  I got to meet some of the artists and enjoyed seeing all the artist bears.  I was hooked!    It wasn't long and my wonderful hubby paid for a class from Jennifer Laing for a birthday present and sent me with cash to buy mohair.  And it was all a surprise.  What a man!  I was way over my head in the class but it got me headed in the right direction as a beginner.  I still try to take classes, you learn so much, not only from the person teaching the class but from the rest of the people taking the class.  It seems like there is always a new technique to learn. 
Donna

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

My first bear was in 2001....and I'm still learning!   Honestly, I hope I never quit learning, because there are so many fascinating ways to make a ted  bear_grin

Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

Made my first one in 1998. Horrible little thing as were most that followed it that first year. I've always loved sewing, fabrics, crocheting, crafts, etc.
I'd get bored after a while and turn to something else. Bears are an endless challange for me and keeps me interested. Between designing new patterns and the great fun I have dyeing new colors/fabrics, I will be enjoying this for a LOOOOOOONG time!

Sandi.S. Posts: 1,277

I made my first crocheted bear in Nov. 2004, so just a little over a year. I have yet to make a fabric bear. I did buy some synthetic not too long ago, but wasn't very happy with it...so he's only halfway done. Kinda put it on the side for now. I finally did buy some mohair, but I'm not sure I'm gonna like it either! Well, I don't mean all mohair, just the one I chose. I ordered online and it doesn't look the same as the online pic. Oh, well. So, I have a LOT to learn still.

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

I've been making bears for about 1. 5 yrs. I haven't really sold any yet. Too slow making them, too busy selling sculptures and felties and I CAN"T THINK OF A COMPANY NAME!
But they are great to give away, and I don't really ever expect to make a living out of this. It's hard to make the same as I do in my full-time job. At least when I'm looking at how much I make per hour. But it's soo addicting, and if I can make some extra money, than this is a wonderfull hobby.
I'm sure glad I'm not the only sorta Newbie

Taiwan Angel Love Bear Forever
Posts: 109

I start to make bears ( felt bear, cotton fabric bear) on 2006.
But when I look back to them I feel like they are like kingdergarden school student work and look funny.  bear_grin

I make my first mohair teddy bear on Sept. 2007 by taking a class from a Taiwanese bear artist
Now I have made 11 bears....
I am still a newbie  bear_original

jacky jacky
essex
Posts: 100

me for about 5 months bear_grin  bear_grin  but love it and got a lot to learn bear_rolleyes  bear_rolleyes will post my second bear soon jacky :redface:  :redface:

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

I designed my first bear in August 1996, so technically it's been about 11 and a half years. Wow! I decided to call my bears New Avenue Crew after the street I lived on while I was growing up. bear_original

Way before that, in the late 1980s, I made four or five bears out of synthetic plush with the patterns from a book, but I wasn't entirely satisfied with them. I didn't make any for a few years while I got my degree, and then I took a mohair bear-making/finishing class from Claudia Wagner at a teddy bear convention and was instantly inspired to design and make my own using this wonderful material that was so much easier to work with!

I am a super slow bear maker (I'm really, really picky with my bears bear_wacko ), and I work full-time, so the combination translates to not many bears coming from the New Avenue Crew studio. I hope to have some time for them this summer...and I feel like I've been bitten by the bear bug again! bear_whistle

~Debora

danceswithteddybears Dances With Teddy Bears
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 697

This is indeed a fascinating question...with equally fascinating answers!

I made bears back in the early 80's, but never sold them.  Gave some away, kept (and still have) the rest.  I went into professional photography full time, so the bear making came to a complete halt.

Then I switched gears and opened an antique store, which I still have today.  Recently, like about 4 months ago, I found I so needed a hobby again, and the only one I ever really liked was bear making. 
So I re-entered the world of teddy and I'm completely hooked.  Even though I'm making some strange looking bears right now...I just love it!  I can't see ever putting it down again.
                                                                                                       
    Laura  :rose:

PS I just noticed this thread started over two years ago.  With so many of us newbies joining TT ...I think it's a great one to pick up again!!!

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Hi I am a newbie still too, my first made bear is on TT and I made it around the 20th May 2007

So that nearly 1 years worth of bliss bear_wub  bear_wub

K Pawz Guest

Just a newbee here as well, I made my first bear from my own pattern in March 2006, and my very first dog December 2006. Wow how the time flies though!!

hugs,
Krista

ladyjujuann Pearl Button Bears
Bournemouth
Posts: 157

I must have just had my 1 year bear birthday! :bday:  April 07 I made a kit for my new niece... then began making up my own designs. Still a newbie but having lots of fun getting it wrong! I think I will stick to this hobby its sooo much fun!
xx Julie

Sammybeardog Hobart Bears
Ferndale, Michigan
Posts: 67

Coming up on 12 years, 10 of which I have used only my own designs.  Still love it.  Still have lots of ideas in my head.  Love working on the dogs, they are my favorite.  Hobart Bears came from the 1st street I lived on in Detroit.  The street has been long gone, but the bears keep on coming.  I too am a slow teddy maker, only sewing by hand.

Karen

pma2003 Seamore Collectibles
CT
Posts: 451

:doh:
I believe it's coming up to a close 6 years1!!!
Doesn't time fly..... I just can't "Bear" it!!!

bearlykidzbears Bearly Kidz Bears
Lodi, Ca.
Posts: 166

I have made dolls and  bears from other peoples patterns and books sense around 1972 before that I made handmade jackets and tops for a shop. I mostly made dolls for several years in around 1986 when I first found out that I was preg. again I wanted to make my own pattern so I did and for a couple of years I just sold only a few time a year. In 1988 I staeted selling my bears full times but in 2000 I started having a lot of health problems and I had to cut it down quite a lot and now sense the stroke and heart attack in March I can't work on any and wouldn't you know it I have all these great ideas in my head and no way to get them out. lol  Denise

kim "a bear by kim"
merseyside
Posts: 2,401

im pretty new in comparison to some of you too, its been just over two years for me. dont know what i ever did in my spare time before..... oh yeh, thats it, house work.... who wants to live in a tidy house any way?!?
plus all that bear fluff builds up the immune system!!!

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

I started making bears in 1986.  Worked full time making bears and Santas for some years.  Had a daughter in 1993 and she used up all my time, so I quit.  I started making bears to sell again last summer.  I am so happy to be back at it again
Joanne

Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

ok well this is a thread that I have missed out on.

Let's see mum started making bears in 1982.  She just celebrated 25 years in 2007.

I started helping her in 1985, doing just about anything she asked.
I started my own line in 1990.  So I am fast approaching 20 years, in business.  Now there is a scary thought for a 31 year old.  I was 12 or 13 at the first bear show that I sold at.  And to this day I hold the record for being th youngest artist at that show.  There were others who were young, but I was the youngest artist ever.  What a thing to be proud of...  Memory lane it takes me back.

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