Where the Bears Were Born
Back in 1992 wool prices had crashed, the district was in the grip of a drought and the community of Tambo were challenged to come up with new industry to sustain the economy of this little town. A brain storming session during a workshop developed the idea that Tambo could assist the wool industry, encourage tourists and create employment by making unique teddy bears from wool pelts and stuff them with wool.
Popular opinion said it wouldn’t work, but after many laughs, three women – Mary Sutherland, Charm Ryrie, and Helen Sargood – decided to bite the bullet. After many frustrating months of designing and planning, the first Tambo Teddies were ready for sale in February 1993.
The impact and enthusiasm of the public was overwhelming and the business grew from there to employ over fifteen part time workers. Tambo Teddies take pride of place in homes all over the world and have made our little town of Tambo the ‘outback Teddy capital of Australia’.
After more than twenty years sewing bears and managing the business, the remaining director, Mary decided to it was time to retire. Wishing to only sell to a local, Mary was delighted when in a unique synergy, three more local ladies decided to purchase this iconic business.
A New Chapter
Now it’s time for three new women to take the reins of Tambo Teddies!
We are Kiralee, Tammy and Alison, two teachers and an arts and cultural officer who got together in November 2013 and made the decision to take up the challenge of purchasing this local icon, Tambo Teddies.
Everyone in Tambo loves Tambo Teddies, and we are really proud to be the new owners. We won’t be giving up our day jobs just yet! But we are excited to be taking this new adventure together and have loads of ideas that will brighten up and enliven the renowned Tambo Teddies.
“Nothing makes me happier than coming up with creative ideas and bringing them to life! I have been teaching in Tambo for 7 years and am very excited to be able to expand on my life experiences by joining Tammy and Alison in an adventure into a creative small business. Through being involved in Tambo Teddies I look forward to supporting and promoting our beautiful town of Tambo.”
“I grew up in the small Western Queensland town of Charleville with devoted parents & two beautiful sisters. I moved to Tambo as a teacher in 2007 and enjoy teaching and watching the learning process. When I am not teaching you may find me playing the guitar or training my horse for polocrosse. I am looking forward to working with Alison and Kiralee as we embark on this exciting new business venture.”
“I love wool! I spent 22 years working as a Woolclasser in Western Queensland before I started work at Council as an Arts & Cultural Officer. I am interested in tourism, marketing, small business and creative pursuits so being a part of the Tambo Teddies team will allow me to combine the things I love and use my skills to help make this business great. Can’t wait!”