"Show and tell... I tell you a little about me and show you something cool related to what I told you!"
Do you have any toys from when you were a kid? One that your kids play with today? I have one, the little bear you see in the photo above, he is about 7cm high and he is the only toy I have from when I was a baby. I asked my mom if she could remember where he was from or if she knew at what age I got him at- she couldn't remember a thing, only that it was mine. He now lies amongst my husbands and my collection of vintage and collectible toys on a shelf in the strairway- far away from any kids reach! When I showed my children the little bear this morning, they instantly loved him and wouldn't let go. I do have some other toys have kept from when I was a little older, from when we moved to Canada from Morocco and my kids are always amazed that they were mine. I am still upset (after 15years) at my neighbor, for giving away my barbie collection of dolls and accessories, specially all the clothes I had made. All this got me thinking, what toys do my children have that I would want to keep for them to give to their children? I guess the ones I've made them, but how about the others? There really aren't that many!
So while is was in NYC, I got to discover the wonderful world of the Polka Dot Club- not only did I get to see and feel the most beautiful mohair bears, but I aslo got to chat with Jennifer Murphy the creator, maker and designer extraordinaire. About Jen, she's been making heirloom teddy bears and other toys basically her whole life, she is a second generation toy maker and has learnt on the knees of her mom. Her motto, for- now and for- ever! She is so passionate about what she is doing and after having problems with rules and regulations on making stuffed animals for resale, it is so nice to see it all come together- after 6 years of hard work the Polka Dot Club finally comes to life!
There are 5 bears in the collection, all unique in their own way- all handmade in Minneapolis with all the materials and time honored techniques. Each bear is special, wearing the cutest clothes and accessories, such as dresses and hand knit sweaters, the woven fabric is custom printed created just for the Polka Dot Club, no two outfits are ever the same. Also, the teddy bears each evolve and grow old in their own ways, which makes them even more unique. The fabric used to make the bears is quite special, they are all made from mohair and it's become very rare- only one manufacturer keeps on making it ( in Hungary if I'm not mistaken).
These bears are like the ones our parents and we grew up with but yet with a modern touch, something that can be handed down from generation to genereation. How wonderful, a toy your children will be able to pass down to theirs. To think of it, maybe my children should be able to play with my little bear!
Jen also created these lovely soft toys for babies to enjoy as a part of her new collection- a ball with the cutest bear face in the most adorable fabrics and colors. And everything is made with so much love.
Now, her shop and website won't be up and running until a month or two, so I highly suggest you keep up with her process and all the wonderful things Jen is up too on her BLOG- a new favorite of mine.
Also, if you like to sew like I do, you might want to check out her other little shop- it's filled with patterns and sewing supplies to make your own heirloom toys and she has a few for sale as well. I just bought a black and pink kit to make Mister M and Miss E a Maxwell Bear. I am so excited!!!
Lastly, if you are looking for a cute easter craft to do with the kids, check out this really cute free pattern here!
So if you want to be in the Polka Dot Club, like I am, and want to be the first to know about the new collection you can suscribe to the Newsletter.
Thanks Jen for all the wonderful and inspiring work you do. I wish you all the best in the coming months- we can't wait to see it all come to life!!!