By Wendy | April 10, 2009
Our Custom-Made Outfits program enables customers to have just about any outfit they can dream up created for one of our 15″, 22″, or 36″ Vermont Teddy Bears. We’ve had some interesting requests over the years and have made some pretty cool Bears, including a skydiving Bear with a hand-sewn parachute, a deep sea diver Bear with a hand-sculpted helmet, and quite a few bride Bears wearing exact replicas of actual wedding dresses. And we’ve gotten a couple of inquiries lately that have come with some pretty interesting stories.
The first was a request from a proud husband, Tim, whose wife, Deborah, was to be playing the lead role of “Ada” in the French World Premiere of the new opera “Die Feen” by Richard Wagner (performed at the Châtelet du Paris, March-April 2009). The Bear, whose handmade dress was a replica of Deborah’s costume, was quite a hit at the premiere, and Tim sent this message after the event in Paris: “The opera was sensational and so was Deborah. Everyone loved the Bear… it made a huge sensation! Thanks again for everything.”
The second story is from a woman named Stephanie who was having a special Bear designed for her best friend’s son. Stephanie’s words say it best, so here’s her story:
“My best friend’s son, Ben, was diagnosed with a sarcoma in his right leg two years ago. He had Chemo therapy for six months and then a knee replacement. After that he had four more months of Chemo. In December he was experiencing pain in the right leg near the knee replacement. It was the return of the cancer. His right leg was amputated, mid thigh, on March 4, 2009. I have known him since he was 5 years of age and he is now 25.
I started to think about what would give him comfort. I thought of a teddy bear. After all…Teddy Bears are all about comfort and hope. I contacted Vermont Teddy Bear asking for a bear with its right leg amputated mid thigh. I knew that they would never agree to this so I was willing to order the teddy bear and do the amputation myself. I wanted a teddy bear which looked like Ben. I was working with Thea and she was so helpful. Anything that I asked she said it could be done. Amputation was no problem. Then the question of whether the bear should have a prosthesis or not. I decided it should have one to show that life does go on. The other difficult decision…to have the prosthesis show or not. I decided on jeans which Ben could roll up or leave down.
The bear arrived and I couldn’t believe how fabulous he was. I loved every inch of him. His tee shirt, sneakers, jeans, sun glasses. So fabulous. It was difficult to give him away. There is magic in this teddy bear.”
Thank you, Tim and Stephanie, for sharing your stories with us. And thanks to all of you out there who keep our Custom-Made Outfit designers on their toes by sending in your requests for such creative and challenging Custom Bears.