Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Story of Raywen

More than two years ago my husband came home with a bag of clothing given to him by the wife of one of his co-workers. The bag contained an old suit and a couple of retired jackets she had extracted from the back of her husband’s closet, thinking I might be able to use them in my teddy bear business.

I love being able to use recycled clothing when I make my bears. The patterns and colors in some of the more vintage styles add character and a bit of the unusual in the adornment of my bears.

I proceeded to dismantle the rejected wardrobe and used a portion of the wool suit to make paw pads and a bow tie for my recent creation, Raywen, born on July 6, 2008.

For some unknown reason, Raywen had to hang around the teddy bear house and was never listed for sale. 

Well, I must admit the “uknown reason” was because I just wasn’t confident in his ability to sell, frankly because his little face was less than appealing…. I know, it sounds cruel, but it was true. I had sculpted around his muzzle and used a purchased plastic nose….. oh, I just wasn’t a bit happy with the results. So, he sat on the shelf here in the teddy bear room for two years until the inspiration developed for me to dismantle what I had done and give him a face lift.

So, riding on the wings of new inspiration, I redid his nose (with one of my own handmade ones), removed the sculpting, brushed him up and got him ready for the 2010 Alaska Juneau Public Market, still wearing his original bow tie and, of course, he got to keep his paw pads, too.


A couple of hours in to the Public Market, the woman who gave my husband the rejected clothing came into my booth. She exclaimed that she was expecting her first grandchild and wanted to buy a bear, not necessarily for a baby toy, but to hang out on a shelf and watch over the child for a few years.

She looked and looked and couldn’t quite make up her mind. Finally she said, “I just don’t know which one to pick.” I told her that one of the bears would just speak to her and she would simply “know” which one to buy. She looked over to the little bear sitting by the Christmas tree and said, “I keep noticing this one over here.” As she picked up Raywen, I felt the goosebumps tingle across my spine. It hadn’t even occurred to me that some of the material she had given me was on display at this year’s Public Market.


I then explained to her that her husband’s old suit was the material used for the bow tie and paw pads. She started laughing and purchased the bear on the spot.

Sometimes you just have to wait… the perfect person does happen by at just the right time in a teddy bears life. 

Thanks for joining in the magic.


  1. Oh Vicki, I have absolutely no doubt that the perfect person does happen by at just the right time in a teddy bear's life and for every teddy there is a forever home! Raywen has the most appealing eyes and I'm sure she fell in love with those eyes.

  2. Oh wow...that gave me goosebumps reading it. Wow! Yes, teddy bears are magical indeed. What a very touching story. :)

  3. Hi Pat and Tracy; if he was here with me, he would be happy for your comments. But, alas, he is taking care of a young-un, and that is a good thing. Nice to hear from you both and thank you :) Vicki

  4. How sweet!!! Love the teddy and your story!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

  5. Hi Teresa! Right back at you! Hugs