Hey Stewart, welcome to the Tambo Teddies family!
Hailing from New Zealand, Stewart bear is the newest member of our Tambo Teddies family, in fact we’re calling him our kiwi cousin.
We were approached by Leonie from Wellington in New Zealand to see if we could make a legacy bear, similar to their family heirloom called ‘John’. John was given to Leonie’s son, Rick, when he was born in August 1977 by his grandmother. He was purchased from a shop in Lower Hutt (NZ) that sold sheepskin products.
Rick named the bear ‘John’, and Leonie has no idea where the name sprang from, but John became a very cherished member of the family. Rick relocated to Australia in 2002 and John came too. When Rick had his own son in December 2007, John was passed on. Rick had another son born in September 2021 and Leonie wanted to find another sheepskin teddy just like John for the new baby.
After searching shops and everywhere on the internet, Leonie couldn’t find anything that closely resembled John, so she approached us in early November 2022 to see if we could make him. Initially we were a bit hesitant as we have our thirty years looming in 2023 and were working on a new limited-edition bear that at the time was proving to be a bit problematic. We asked if the bear could be sent to us to examine, but they weren’t parting with him! But on closer examination and with some measuring, Bonnie reckoned we could give him a go! A few ‘prototypes’ later, sending photos back and forth and we had our bear.
“Stewart” was dispatched, and the family consider he has very good resemblance to John. The only real difference is John’s legs are sewn a bit differently so that he can sit, whereas “Stewart” doesn’t sit. Leonie’s grandson now has him in Brisbane and already he is very much loved. Leonie is visiting Australia in May this year and has promised to bring ‘John’ up to Toowoomba.
The decision was made to ‘ditch’ the leather or suede patches and just make the bear a plain, straight character. We decided to call the bear the ‘Stewart’ family of bears after Leonie’s family. A few more ‘tweaks’ of the pattern and our kiwi cousin, Stewart (Stu for short?), with slightly shorter and more flexible legs is available for all to purchase.