Hi Christine, it was nice to read about what you've been through with your bears and I am sorry for the bad stuff that you went through. I'm glad you are back tho...bears give so much joy, and it is so nice that you don't have to make them now and want to :hug: :hug: :hug: xx sarah
oooh I wish I think there are very few who make a complete living from it but those who do, hats off to them, they do fantastic work :clap:
I started making bears because I love them but also because i needed to find something to do from home to stop me going insane. I can't hold down a job due to having Endometriosis and i was getting isolated from the outside world. Having run a support group and website I had been seaching for years to find something to do from home to connect me to the real world, and after looking at my own collection one day i thought..I wonder if I could make one of those? you should see what i created in those first few months :crackup:
Anyway, I am now at the point where I am extremly lucky to have a hubbie who works very hard and has a well paid job so my bear making can add to the little extras we need, which is great for me, it makes me feel i am contributing too which is important to me It's not a huge amount per year but it helps
I think at one time I could have made a living on my bears, I had a 6 month waiting list and had to start saying no to people. I have a full time job as a service writer/office manager.. I don't get as many bears done as I use to.. I think I managed a bit of burnout between the long hours at work and working on the bears till the wee hours of the night.. I still don't ever see me making bears full time.. I would go a bit crazy being in the house that much.... I like being able to go out daily and talk to people... Although it would be nice to have one or 2 days a week that I could devote to bears.
Bear making is only a hobby for me at the moment. I have only been making them for about 12 months.
Besides I have a full time job as an organic chemist - that is I work in a laboratory (not a pharmacist if that was what you were thinking). I really love my work, mixing chemicals to make interesting things (well I think they are interesting ). I use my teddy bear making as stress relief. I can come home from work and do some relaxing sewing. Besides at this stage in my bear making life I am only making them as gifts for people, I do not sell them as yet.
But I say good on you if you can live of your creations, they are all beautiful!!!!
youll have less money, have to make bears all day everyday which means it wont be just for fun anymore and you'll have to work for the boss(you)
did that do the trick?
nah im just joking....i like the sound of full time bear maker, heck thats probably what im going to be once the kids leave home...at the moment im a "whenever i can hide from the kids long enough to get a bear made" bear maker
you do whatever feels right for you
heehee hello jenny i was talking about you the other day to pay at faux fur company
nice lady ... she loves your rabbit too ...
i need to email her about some new samples she sent me ...
i dont go out to work but i sew and have my 3 children, when louise isn't with my ex husband, and baby twins most of the time
perhaps that just enought to get a balance for me of bottom wiping and creating without me feeling like one is taking over
i love both things i do of course ...
i supose i could get more done when they are all in school ?
mind you its fun to pattern cut etc sitting next to the baby gate and passing bits and bobs to the twins ... i find fur scraps all over !!!
my wrists are aching today and i worry about doing sew much hand work
does anyone else feel like this ?
I would LOOOVE the idea of teddy making full time. Every spare minute I can get out of my spare time ( Im a fulltime art teacher by day and mother/wife by night im making beears. My school hoildays -It would be nothing for me to sit and sew 12-14 hrs of the day. I love doing that and hate going to work -its taking tiime away from my teddies...
I've only been at it for 2 years now, but I'd love to be fulltime!
Right now I'm selling enough to pay for my ads and some of my supplies, but my tutoring has to pay for the rest.
Since I have only a few students this summer, I've been able to experiment, concentrate on new designs and improve on some old ones---it's bliss to be at it almost all day!
It's very expensive in the beginning, when you're building a stash of mohair and other supplies and not selling much. By now, my stash is big enough that I think I can cut back on the tutoring a bit.
I had so many students last winter and spring that I 'bearly' got to my critters, and rarely had time for Teddy-Talk. It was awful.
I really admire those who can juggle young children and/or jobs and still make bears!
If i thought i would not get bored of my own company..and that I would not get panicky about sales..I would do it because after 33 years in the salon I get sick of the daily grind..even though I have cut right down. That said I still like the gossip and the buzz of a busy work day...but I miss doing the bears when i am there. I always think this then realise I have a good mix of the two....
Even our family couldn't make it here just on my bear income... unless we ate berries & hibernated in the winter...
We have a low mortgage, but between food & clothing for 5 and the price of gas :doh: we'd never make it. My hubby has a full time job (youth worker) and my bears allow me to contribute a little while homeschooling our kids. At least they pay for themselves ... this is the only form of art that I've done where I haven't gone way in the red. And it is so enjoyable right from seeing a bear take shape & come to life to hearing how excited the new mom is that as long as it pays for itself I'm happy. It would be nice to be able to make a reliable living with bear creating though... my hubby's job is so stressful that it would great if I could support us for a while!
Actually, I have thought of hibernating, but haven't yet managed to pull it off . . .Think what we'd save on heat . . . more $$ for mohair
Too true Eileen! This year was so cold I wish I could have hibernated! And the food bill would be lower so we could afford some other supplies too!
But that would have given me less time to make bears. I can hardly stand it when I'm not working on a bear... I go to sleep at night either dreaming of the one I'm making or the next one I'm going to work on... If I had to worry about making ends meet just using my bear money I think I'd be having nightmares!
If I could work at it full time we might be able to squeek by, but that wouldn't give us any extra for dental bills, new tires... etc. And I'd have to really watch the price of the supplies I buy & the time I spend doing other things.... and ... and ... and... too many ands.
You have all opened my eyes a little, make that a lot.
When I get into something, I always try to make it make money. My crazy antiques business is one of those ventures. I went from collecting, to selling, to opening my own store. I do love it, but it's a full time job.
I'm heavy into learning about making bears, good bears this time around (I dabbled in bearmaking many moons ago but they are all stagnant).
And I'm already finding myself looking at the sales angle. Maybe selling bears in my shop, maybe make bear kits to sell.
Stop, I scream at myself. You need a hobby, not another job.
Many many of you make the most exquisite bears I've ever seen. I will never have your talent, just your love of bears.
Even though I may not be making much sense, I thank you for, well, opening my eyes. Not that it was your intent, but I guess that's what forums are for.
I need to stop and smell the teddy bears.
I started out making bears then dogs along with them just as fun. Gifts for family and friends. I had a few friends place orders and then tried to sell on ebay. The orders are ok, but it would be nice to sell what you make for an artistic challenge. I find I hate when I know it has to be this color and this breed of dog, takes the fun out. I too would just love to make a living out of making dogs and bears. What fun that would be. I have been in 4 shows over the past 4 years. I only sold one bear my first show, how disappointing, 2 bears at the 2nd show, well I'm getting better.... 4 bears at my 3rd show and NONE at the 4th show. The last two shows ended early as there were no customers. These were shows that I had attended myself as a new to making bears person and if you wanted to be in these shows they filled up so fast there was a lottery for a table, and it was so crowded you couldn't see from one side of the room to the other. I think I missed the boat, or maybe my bears and dogs just are not what the public wants. A few years ago I was able to sell about 1/2 of what I listed on ebay. And I am not at a high price point, I have not sold anything for over $100.00 on ebay. I put in a lot of work and love each and every one of my creations, even the ones that don't come out so well. I have just started listing on ebay again in the hopes to sell a little as I'm currently unemployed and can't seem to find a job. I had one sold and 2 that I will try again with. For me I had to ask myself, if no one ever purchased another one of my creations would I still make bears? And the answer was yes, cuz the reason is still the same I make bears for me, for the pleasure of accomplishing a feat and seeing that finished work. I love it. So I quess I'll keep looking for the "real job", I sure don't see a financial future in my bear business.
Thanks for letting me vent.
I think I missed the boat, or maybe my bears and dogs just are not what the public wants.
Oh Karen! I think your bears are lovely. Your avatar bear is especially cute! It takes a lot of hard work and patience to sell bears... right now I things seem to be slow on ebay. I hope things look up for you saleswise... I think when buyers see your bears more you'll develop regular collectors of your bears. I'm glad you're not giving up on bear making!
Thanks Melisa, how sweet of you to respond. I'm not bitter about not selling, I know it is far and few that can make any money from a craft/hobby. And I use craft/hobby lightly as this is way to much work and investment to be in that catagory. I do love making them more than the need to sell any of them, and I give a lot away to my friends and family which is very fulfilling. Lucky I make them on the smaller side as they don't take up to much room and they are all over the house!
Thanks for your support. I know a lot of TT's are in the same situation trying ways to sell their bears and other creations and when you see how many are on ebay the competition is really on. I do love watching to see who will make what and there really are many nice offerings. Wish I could have one from everyone!
Is is very rewarding to see how teddy bear people are so caring for each other, must be the bear making gene.
I always thought bear artist can make a living by selling their bears.
Look like I am wrong.....
I have a full time job in a garment trading company.
Bear making is for me to pass the time at night while I am travelling for my work.
I am still using others pattern as I am really new in bear making.
I did not think of selling my bear to make my living as I have caculate and know it is not enough.
So I keep all my bears and let them accompany me....
Maybe one day if I know how to create my own pattern for my bear, I might try to sell them.
Not really for the money but when you know someone out there like your bear and willing to take out their money to collect them will let you feel a great achievement isn't it?
Hi There I hve no sales market in Durban so i end up giveing them away im always out of pocket the ong good thing the people you give them to dont see any of your mistakes the just love the little critters Keep makeing it keps you young and relaxed who an i trying to kid
Godd Luck Happy new year Paula