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jazzyrags Jazzy Rags
Posts: 1,494

Do all you girls live off your web sites and teddy making  bear_flower :teddybear:because if i had to do that i would be starving Fran .

Jennskains Posts: 2,203

I haven't tried but I have no plans of giving up my preschool teaching.  Jenn

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

Oh, I'd be starving too!

I teach bear making workshops, do some web design work, photography and quilting 'on the side' which bring in some $$ too. But if it weren't for hubby working so hard to provide from his family  bear_original we'd be very poor!

I know of some artists who make enough to pay for some of the household expenses but none who can support a family or themselves on bear making alone.

Perhaps someone out there can tell me otherwise????   :pray: bear_ermm

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I sell about one gollie a month.  sometimes two.  I have to take money from the joint account to feed the paypal account!  :lol:

The starving part wouldn't bother me, but if I had to live on my earnings, I wouldn't even be able to eat CHOCOLATE!!!!!

Things are looking up

I truly believe that what attitude we put out into the universe is what attitude the universe gives us back

Norman Vincent Peale-Power of Positive Thinking.....

This year has been great, thanks to all you ladies here, and here wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for the wonderful people at INTERCAL....

If we succeed, they succeed, and so on......we are all interconnected and I see it so clearly on this board.

SO  starving or not we are going to do even better next year!

gotta have a tiny bit of chocolate every day though.....

:dance:  :clap: :dance:  :clap:  :dance:  :clap:  :dance:  :clap:  :dance:


SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,711

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Great goodness - NO . . . I wouldn't be able to exist very long on the income from my bear business!!   bear_ermm  :P
My hubs and I are both retired from our real world jobs and live on Social Security and his retirement benefits.  My bear money just goes back into buying supplies.  But what fun it is!!!!!!  bear_thumb  bear_thumb  :dance:  :dance:

Gail Bear With Me Enterprises
Posts: 1,319

Definitely not!!!I just keep my fingers crossed that Revenue Canada doesn't decide to audit me!!! I have always paid all monies owing but my expenses far exceed my income from this business ( if that is what you can call it!!!!)
I am quite sure Mary Holstad makes a living from her teddy bear business- in fact I read where her husband gave up his day time job to manage her business. She of the $3000.00 plus dogs on e-bay!!!! I must admit they are to die for and I would love to own one- only in my dreams- sigh

bearsbybeesley bears by beesley TM
Tofield Alberta Canada
Posts: 6,818

Gosh no!!! Dream I may, but realisticly No! !

Many hugs Louise

Jennskains Posts: 2,203

What do you guys do as a main Job? Just curious.  Jenn

Jellybelly Bears Jellybelly Bears
Posts: 4,066 way!!!  I make enough to put back into bears and maybe keep one or two and thats it lol.

rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Nooo chance there, I still have a full time job, bears are my fun and sanity thing.  bear_happy

doodlebears Doodlebears
Posts: 7,414

doodlebears Celebration Ambassador

No way, but it would be good for my waistline if I tried.  :D


All Bear All Bear by Paula
Posts: 5,162

I do.  It's hard though.  Fortunately, I also have two large rent paying offspring ...

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739

Like most of the rest of you, my answer is NO.  Fortunately, for me, I am a stay-at-home mom anyway and the bear making just keeps me sane ! It would be so nice to make a living from this, but that is just a dream -unless I change my name to Mary H. or Shelli.  bear_grin bear_grin bear_grin

I think it is wonderful those of you that are successful.  Way to go Paula, you deserve it your bears are spectacular !

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Of course!  NOT!

SueAnn ~ I thought everyone in Texas lived at SouthFork.  Is this not true?  bear_laugh

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

I too, am a stay-at-home mom.  I quit my job as  a Registered Nurse to stay at home and take care of my three work on my art.  My nursing job was taking a toll on my health.  I am a diabetic, times 28 years.  Insulin dependant since age 12.  I take very very good care of myself but  my job was stressful. My doctor even said that ONE day a week at a nursing job for a diabetic is enough.    Now I am at such peace...except with trying to get my kids to pick up after themselves :doh: I love being at home.  My bears provide a nice income at times but it can still be sporatic..... but at least I don't have the pressure to pay the bills.  My husband is a Progressive Dairy Farmer .  We have registered Holsteins and he is very much into the genetic breeding aspect of the ,he is responsible for the bulk of our income...which I am very thankful for because I wouldn't want to "bear" that kind of pressure on making and selling my bears for survival. bear_smile bear_smile bear_smile :hug: I can't imagine that kind of pressure.  it would take the fun out of bears.  At least it would for me. bear_smile

bearlyart Canna Bear Paint
Posts: 749

Do I make a living with bear making.  <snicker>  <chuckle>  BWAH HAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHA! <wipes tears from eyes>  Now, what was the question?


Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Don't kid yourselves. 

Even for bearmakers getting big money for their work, I don't think it's do-able to live a moderate lifestyle on this income, alone.  I do think, however, that those bearmakers earning large dollar amounts for their work can contribute significantly to the community coffers.  In my case, for example, I am bearmaking INSTEAD OF working outside the home.  But I have other financial means at my disposal every month which support my lifestyle and living expenses.  So, while my bearmaking income is NECESSARY -- or I'd have to find work elsewhere to get by -- it's not the ONLY income I have at my fingertips every month.  In other words... I don't believe that, for most people, the vast majority of people, even those people who make hundreds of dollars per bear, that bearmaking can be relied upon to:  pay the mortgage; put groceries on the table; clothe a family of five; pay for summer vacations; and invest in a retirement plan -- all by itself.  There's just too much materials cost, too many hours of labor, to produce enough work to make this feasible, for most bearmakers.

A person would have to have awfully small expectations of life -- a very small lifestyle, a very small family, very small living expenses, zero debt (credit, college, home, car) looming overhead awaiting payment -- to squeak by, even at the basest poverty level, in this career.  Most bearmakers I know (or know of), across the spectrum of price points for their work:

--  have a full time job, and bearmake at every OTHER available moment;

--  are supported or assisted financially by income from their spouse, to which they contribute -- more or less significantly -- with their bearmaking income; or

--  receive financial assistance of some other kind (child support, alimony, rent from tenants, inheritance, live at home, receive social security, have a retirement plan which pays most bills, etc.)

I can't think of a single person I know, or know of, who is a stand-alone bearmaker, living on ONLY the income provided from bearmaking, without ANY other assistance, such as I mention above.

Anyone, please feel free to dispute me.  I'd love to figure out a way to make this my one and only, forever income source, without any other financial assistance, of any kind, ever.  Given the labor and materials costs, and the fact that I live in California, and am a complete and total snob (I like quality!), I don't see it as ever being a one-and-only income source.

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

bearlyart wrote:

Do I make a living with bear making.  <snicker>  <chuckle>  BWAH HAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHA! <wipes tears from eyes>  Now, what was the question?


HA!  Kelly, you're a gem.  bear_happy bear_original  bear_laugh

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,711

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Deb wrote:

Of course!  NOT!

SueAnn ~ I thought everyone in Texas lived at SouthFork.  Is this not true?  :D

bear_grin  bear_grin  bear_grin  bear_grin  You're cute, Deb . . . I've never set foot on SouthFork!!

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,653

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

LOL! Some cute answers  :)

My hubby pays the major bills in the household... but I DID quit my day job to make bears full time.  I do have bills that I am responsible for... so I do NEED to sell my bears.

Could I make it on my own making bears... no. 

Hubby decided as long as we can make it with the (MUCH) smaller income I now contribute, we will as I am much happier.  However.... hubby's job security is a little precarious right now  :pray: ... so it's entirely possible I may have to go back to get a "real job".   :doh:

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Posts: 5,645

I work full time in a law firm, my hubby brings in most of the cash - bear making is just to put back into bearmaking and to make gifts for relatives bear_original

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Wonderful answers....Hey JazzyFRAN  did you get the answers you expected?  Or were you surprised?

I'm not surprised......except that I have to agree with Judi....Nursing is an unbelievably stressful job- and now that I am used to not workind I can appreciate not working. Probably took me 4 years to let go of that. I didn't realize until I retired how stressed I was and how much the stress wears on our bodies.

I am so glad, for Miss Judi's sake and her families, that she retired 'early'...

I know the rest of the world believes that Americans are fat and lazy.  I would have to say this is an error.

We have more man hours on the job, fewer vacation days, and less sick leave taken, and except for our friends the Japanese, more stress related injuries and psychological illnesses. ( US Statistics Bureau)
So when we let peace into our lives it is quite a shock to our nervous system-retirement is one of the biggest stressors out there, right up with death of spouse, or child, and getting fired etc.  (Holmes and Rahe )

Letting peace into my life actually took discipline, I had to work at it, I had to relearn it.  Weird.  I had to learn to be calm and not poised for the next crises, or the next suicidal patient, or the next.....

  :bday: Here to all of us, who have discovered the joy we can have in our life through bears.  :clap:

And that we get to share that joy is surely a great bonus!

Living on our bear money?  hmmmm  doe you think any one really the artist bear catagory-  not counting the people who sell supplies, or the manufactured bear groups that farm out the labor?

Would be interesting to know.


starlite Starlite Bears
Posts: 1,676

Hi Fran
I think myself lucky that I found bear making  :)-
I only manage to make bears at night as I work full time lecturing in a college but ooohh I would so miss it infact we are going away tomorro for a couple of days hols and I will be taking bear parts with me to sew - I would go absolutely loopy with nothing for my hands to do at night - and for selling bears - well I have only now managed to sell regularly through ebay( ocassional bear order through my web site  :D)  - this way I can now fund more wonderful fabrics!! - or maybe pay for those that I have bought when I could not resist them !!!  bear_grin  bear_grin
:hug:  :hug:

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Also...sometimes I feel like I HAVE to sell bears just to support this habbit!, if mohair was free.....hhhhmmmm bear_thumb

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

There are one or two here in the UK that have a good living from bear-making.

For me personally...I won't JUST do it as a there has to be a profit in it or I would not do it. I don't love it THAT much to give away my time my exertions and my creativity for nothing. 

I make a decent living from the wouldn't ever become a full time bear artist...because I need the stimulation of another environment..and because......well you never know what the future holds and I won't put all my eggs in one basket.

You'd have to sell a lot of bears for a lot of money to become rich on selling them..they take such a long time to make too. It's a good source of additional money...I do look upon it as part of my income that's become necessary...I do take it seriously...and I do run it as a business. But let's say my head won't let me make anything and sell it for little or no profit...I'd give up if I got to that stage.

For example the fair I did yesterday was a some peoples eyes my takings would have been great...and to all intents and purposes they were...4 bears sold for good prices, a prestigious shop placed an order....but I'd taken a Saturday off work (unheard of) and when I weigh it up I'm about even on what I would have earned in one day in the salon, when you take off the travel costs, the rent for the stand, the I more Saturday fairs.

I think it would be hard graft to make a good living at bear-making...I agree that most have a substantial other means upon which they live...and bear-making supplements it.

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