Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sarah's Spotlight - Tindle Bears

My mother loves teddy bears. I think she's banned us from buying any more for her since her collection is overflowing. I have to say I think she was more than impressed when my sister gave her four bears at once. We found them in the clearance bin, and I convinced my sister that she really should buy all four instead of only one or two. So in this spirit, I decided to celebrate a late mother's day by spotlighting Tindle Bears, a store that features handmade teddy bears! These cuties will certainly never find their way into a clearance bin at Hallmark!

Karen is the artist behind Tindle Bears. My mom always looks for the one bear who has that "take me home with you" face. Unfortunately for my wallet, I think all of Karen's bears are just begging to come home to my apartment! The cat may not approve though... Karen designs all of her bears from start to finish. She says that her inspiration often starts with the fur. She then designs the perfect bear to fit that particular fur. It can take several prototypes to reach the finished product. Looking through her store, it looks like most bears take an average of 10-15 hours to create, although the lovable Aurora took 32 hours! That makes some of my scarves seem quick!

Scrap fur becomes mini bears, so nothing is wasted. Many of Karen's larger bears are one of a kind, so if you fall in love with it, you need to buy it right away! Each bear comes with a certificate of authenticity and a tag with its name, company name, and the Karen's signature.

I am impressed with Karen's honesty in her profile. She talks about the social pressures of holding a "real" job and meeting societal norms and expectations. It sounds like she has wonderful family support that has allowed her to follow her passion and have a job that she loves creating art. I imagine many full-time shop owners have similar stories. In addition to Tindle Bears, Karen has a second Artfire Shop, Ren Studio, where she features hand-printed cards, photography, and even handbags.

Everyone needs to check out these adorable bears! Karen offers such a great selection of colors, styles, and faces. In many of her pictures, she gives the bears very human-like poses which adds a lot of personality to each bear. It should be noted that Tindle Bears are meant to be collector's items and not meant for children due to small parts.

You can also find Karen at:




  1. They are cute!!!!

  2. THANKS SO MUCH!!! GREAT ARTICLE! It was a nice surprise to see my bears featured!!! i'm excited!

  3. I'm a little late to catching up on my comments! Oops! Karen, I'm glad you liked the article! And Kristen, Mommy said she fondly remembers when four bears showed up in one gift! :)

  4. It was amazing - - - it was like Mary Poppin's bag. Bears just kept coming out of the box. You never knew when it would end. If I remember correctly, one of them actually had two attached.