Belé Bears is a partnership of two sisters, Bev and Lesley, our business name coming from the first two letters of our christian names. As one of us lives in Hull (Bev), and the other in Durham (Lesley), we both work independently, and meet up at the many fairs we attend throughout the year. However, we do seem to spend many hours chatting on the phone, exchanging ideas and planning future projects.
We both started bearmaking in the way many artists have done, purchasing a bear kit and ending up addicted. Having had a go at a few different bears, we started to produce our own patterns, so that we could get the look we really wanted. These first bears proved popular with friends and family, so we made the big decision to have a go at selling them at a bear fair. We attended our first fair in 1996 in Lincoln, and were thrilled to sell some bears.
We have come a long way since then, and now attend bear fairs all over the country, including many of the big fairs.
We have a lot of support from our family, in particular from our father, who keeps our accounts in order, and produces our mail order catalogue, labels and business cards. In fact, without his help you would not be looking at this website now - there is no way we could have produced it without him! We also have two very patient husbands, who quite often come home from work to find us buried in a pile of mohair and stuffing, with the dinner still in the freezer! They also have to spend many weekends caring for the five children we have between us, whilst we venture to different parts of the country to attend bear fairs.
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