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Meet Terrie Kalaputas of Terries BearsMeet our June/July Artist: Terrie Kalaputas of Terries Bears. Every other month, we'll bring you an interview with someone in the bear world. Enjoy!
When did you start making bears and what inspired you to design your own?
I started making bears and dolls for my children when they were small. When they no longer played with them, I started making artist bears. I was inspired to design my own bears because purchased patterns never turned out the way that I wanted them to and in 2004, I decided to try and sell them on the internet.
Describe your style of bears and/or animals you make.
My bears are sweet little teddies with large expressive eyes and innocent expressions that say "just love me".
Where do you live and where are you originally from?
I live on an acreage just out of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, which is on the outskirts of Edmonton. Here we have the best of both worlds, quiet country living, with the city only 10 minutes away! I grew up in this area, about 100 miles from where I currently live.
What inspires you?
Lots of different things inspire me, the innocent expressions on the faces of small children, and animals, as well as the fabric itself. Sometimes when I see a new piece of fabric the bear immediately pops into my head. I am also inspired by pictures and drawing of animals, as well as some of the fabulous creations that other artists make.
What is your favorite part of bear making?
I love the whole process of bear making, from the first tiny stitch to the creation of a new personality, but my favorite part of all is the feedback that I get from others, whether it is from someone who has just bought one of my bears or from someone who has been inspired by my bears to try and make one of their own.
How did you choose your business name?
I had a terrible time trying to choose an original and catchy business name! Everthing that I thought of was either taken or too similar to someone else's name so I finally just settled on Terries Bears.
Do you have any other hobbies besides bear making?
In the summer, I love to garden and to go camping with our friends and family. I used to do a lot hand work like sewing, crocheting, knitting, needlepoint, and cross stitch but now all I do with those skills is make the occasional bear accessory.
Do you have any children and/or pets?
Yes, I have 2 children in their late 20's and both of them live close by, which is wonderful. We also have one cat by the name of Oliver, who was adopted from the animal shelter 13 years ago. He was a young adult at the time and has brought our whole family so much joy.
What are you most proud of?
I am so proud of both of my children who have grown up to be very kind, caring, and responsible adults.
I am also proud of my little bears. From the first time that I saw artist bears in a teddy bear magazine, it was a dream of mine to make my own bears and to have them recognized around the world. The internet has made this dream come true.
Where do you sell your bears?
My bears are sold on ebay and bearpile as well as my website.
Terries Bears on Teddy-Bears.org