My mother had an old Kenmore sewing machine that was horrible to sew on, so when I took home economics in junior high they had Singer sewing machines. Oh my gosh, what a world of difference they made! I had to sew two dresses, and had to wear one for a fashion show. I think I was the only one in class who didn’t have a mother who sewed, which meant I was strictly on my own, while the other girls took their projects home so their mothers could help them with them. Not me!
Years later, my folks had received tons of needlepoint I’d sent them. Quilts, hand-hooked rugs, and other embroidery projects. After a while, no one had any room for them! I began making cloth dolls and rabbits to sell at crafts fairs. My parents had started to create fancy doll carriages and other furniture for doll collectors, and they asked me to make an old-time teddy bear to display on their furniture.
That was the beginning. My first bears sold at the Dallas Trade Center to shops all over. They’ve been featured in magazines including: Texas Monthly, Texas Co-op Monthly, Teddy Bear Review Magazine, The MacNeill Galley, and newspapers. They were included in The International Teddy Bear Connection.
They won several first-place ribbons at various doll and teddy bear shows, including Best in Show for one of the wizard bears, third place for a jester in the best dressed category, and first place for a pirate peg leg, Most Unique Bear. I began creating Highland clan bears for families with Highland roots. And personalized teddy bears, their paws embroidered for baby births and other special occasions. (See? The years of embroidery finally came in handy. Learning how to using a working sewing machine did too.) I love creating fantasy bears: wizards, Santas, angels, jesters, and more.
I’ve donated bears to Ronald McDonald House Teddy Bear Auction and other children’s cancer causes. This October, I’ll be attending Buns and Tea for Literacy in Dallas, and will be donating King Arthur Bear for their literacy effort.
Crafting each of the teddy bears is like creating stories. Each is unique. Each is loved. Each is fun to make. Wilde & Woolly Bears continue to warm people’s hearts. And teddy bears live forever!
USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over 35 paranormal romances featuring werewolf and jaguar shapeshifters. In 2008, Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world and is raising two Havanese puppies. She lives in Spring, Texas.