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Teddy Memories

Tambo Teddies Hero – Josie Smith

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Josie Smith is the longest serving employee at Tambo Teddies, she even outlasted the original owners.  Moving to Tambo in 1988 when the family purchased their property, Shady Downs, 61 km east of Tambo on the road to Alpha, Josie started with the business in 1993 sewing bears at home. When Josie began, the sewers undertook the whole process, they cut-out the skins and then sewed and stuffed the bears, things then changed, and a new process, where the sewers received the skins already cut out and just had to sew, was implemented. The very first Tambo Teddies had a…

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Tambo Teddies wool campaign, campaigned for the use of the Woolmark

Campaigning for Wool

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Since the beginning, Tambo Teddies have been created from the best Australian woollen sheepskins, they were even stuffed with wool in the early days. But despite being an Australian made, quality sheepskin product Tambo Teddies was denied the right to use the Australian Woolmark. The body responsible for the promotion of wool in the 1990s, the Australian Wool Research and Promotion (AWRAP) considered that the woolmark had a vital role in generating demand for quality woollen clothing and other products, and if the woolmark was extended to ‘certain other items’ it would risk devaluing the symbol. Yes, the ‘certain other…

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Tambo Teddies – highlights from the early days

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We were recently sent some old media articles and information about the business by founder, Charm Ryrie and in the mix was an interesting list of Tambo Teddies highlights from February 1993 to March 1997 that we would like to share: Feb 1993:           The first bears were sold to the public at the Charleville Sheep and Wool Field Day. May 1993:          Tambo Teddies received an invitation to attend the Trade Fair in Japan. Sept 1993:         Tambo teddies appeared on the 7.30 Report. The first Teddy Bears Picnic,...
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Teddy Bear

Charm Ryrie – ideas and innovation

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Charm Ryrie was one of the driving forces behind Tambo Teddies, there from the beginning her determination saw this little business establish and succeed. Incubated at a government workshop, Charm’s idea of making sheepskin teddy bears got only few votes and many just laughed and said it couldn’t work. Well, this was just a ‘red rag to a bull’ and Charm got pattern books of teddy bears and the group began sourcing supplies and working out what styles would work with sheepskin. The first months were exceedingly challenging as they attempted to sew their bears by hand, it just wasn’t...
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Vale Helen Sargood

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It was with great sadness last week that we learnt Helen Sargood, one of Tambo Teddies business co-founders, had passed away. Helen together with Charm Ryrie and Mary Sutherland worked hard to establish the business from a quirky little idea, that many said couldn’t happen, to a thriving regional cottage industry business. No doubt their rewards were more the success and attention Tambo Teddies received rather than financial gain. In the early days the challenges were many with no ‘google’ to assist them, many hours were spent on the phone chasing down materials and supplies. Helen’s main role in the...
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Tambo Teddies Limited Editions

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Over the years there has been a series of limited editions created at Tambo Teddies; special bears of differing styles of which there were only 100 of each made. The limited editions were named after local pioneering families, some of the region's earliest settlers, whose descendants still reside in Tambo today. We have one of each of the Limited Edition Bears except for the Bredhauer Bear, which was kept by the previous owner, Mary Sutherland, who is a Bredhauer descendent and the maker of all these special creations. Each bear came with information on the family; we have five of the cards remaining for the second, fourth, fifth,...
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Australian Teddy bears

Tambo Teddy Bear Collector – Our Local Arctophile!

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Tambo’s own teddy bear collector, Mardi Noonan began her collection of Tambo Teddies in 1997 when she purchased her first bear called Bessie. There are two Tambo Teddy bear families and Bessie was a very early member of the Toby bear family, number 2301. Created from a short grey wool pelt, Bessie with her very squashed-in face appealed and Mardi’s bear collection began.       Claiming not to be a crazy person, Mardi tries not to collect things but when the former owner of Tambo Teddies began creating  limited edition bears and each design was named after a different…

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An Ode to Tambo’s Teddy Bears

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We found this charming poem in our files……. don’t know who wrote it but we love it just the same! The drought has spread her blankets wide, with eyes blood red and flaring. Through a string of tiny country towns the mood was bleak, despairing. And in retreat to a steady beat, their dusty rifles crack. As one by one like dominoes, they fell on the drought’s broad track.   But one small town stood up to fight, took thought beyond the square, Three women from the township vowed,……. to build a teddy bear. With grit and pluck we’ll bring…

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The story of another royal teddy bear

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Baneda Bob, the beautiful Mr Stockman Basil teddy bear given to Prince George during his visit to Queensland in 2014 and Shady Downs Charlotte the Mrs Stockman Basil made especially for Princess Charlotte weren’t the first Tambo Teddies to be given to Royalty.   Prince Christian, the future king of Denmark, was the lucky recipient of a Mr Stockman teddy bear when he was born on October 15, 2005.  ‘Tambo Station Donaldson’ was given to the new baby prince by Lawrence Springborg and the 2005 State Opposition party. The National party decided to send one of the hand-made teddy bears on behalf…

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