Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Finale - A Collector’s View on Teddy Bear Shows

Today I am happy to post the last of my interview with Karen, a teddy bear collector who finds her new teddy friends in many ways – online, in stores and at shows - which have been the focus of my Wednesday posts for the last few weeks. You can find the previous ones here and here.


Wouldn’t it be fun to go and play with all of Karen’s bears?

When we left Karen last time, I had asked her if there were things the artists could do to improve the show experience for those attending. This week she answers the question for what the promoter might consider that would add to the collector’s experience.

“Perhaps having more door prizes. At Hunt Valley, I have come to depend on getting my pocket calendar. It’s an absolute must to begin my New Year.”


Check out all these polar bears by Blanche Blakeny.

How about the numbers of shows – are there too many or not enough?

“Well, 2010 was a true test for those of us in the Eastern U.S. In addition to our usual shows and the craft shows some of my favorite artists attend, we had a new show in Chantilly, VA. I personally think it was a supreme success. I know I enjoyed it. Primarily, however, I was picking up orders and only “discovered” two new purchases.”


Meet Josie whose dress is silk.  (Also by Blanche Blakeny)

If you heard there was a show that was a long way from you, and money was not an issue for traveling to it, what would draw you to attend that show?

“The artists attending and the sheer experience of a new show not in my usual circuit. Would I go if money were not an object? Absolutely!”


These detailed cats were created by Karen Lyons.

How do you hear about shows and how do you decide which ones to attend?

“The bear collecting community is a close one. I hear from magazines, word of mouth from collector friends, and the internet. I have my usual circuit of shows—Timonium, Hunt Valley, TBAI, and two Craftsman Classic shows.”


Karen made these bears in a class taught by Marjan Jorritsma.

Do the artists’ advertisements in teddy bear magazines influence you?

“Not really, although I do love seeing what the artists are creating, and of course, it’s good name recognition for the artist.”

Do the show advertisements and announcements in the magazines keep you informed of upcoming shows?

“Yes, I like seeing those and considering if I might attend a new show. Generally, though, I stick to the shows I know and love.”


More bears!

I would like to thank Karen for sharing her thoughts and photos of some of the bears in her collection. Shows are just one way that artists and collectors connect – a very fun one! And with this age of technology there are even more ways that collectors can find new bears (& friends) to add to their hug. I am especially fond of meeting artists from other countries and seeing new and different styles of bear artistry via the Internet.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about shows from a collector’s point of view. Speaking with Karen sure has made my Wednesdays interesting! It has also given me some ideas for future posts. Right now, I’m off to do more sewing. Bears can be rather impatient when they can talk but they can’t walk!


  1. This interview was great insight. The only thing I have to say...is I have done shows where we are required to bring a door prize and as much as I know collectors like that, the pre show stress for an artist is pretty high. We have so much to do just getting ourselves and our bears there so it's difficult to think about a door prize as well. The time spent finding that item could be spent making one more bear.

  2. Thank you Ginger and Karen, I did enjoy reading this. As someone who is now interested in stepping into the show circuit more it came at a great time.

  3. Hi Ginger - I always enjoy visiting your blog and find it a great way to start my day! This topic sparked my interest as I love attending and participating in teddy shows. There is so much more to a show than the purpose of buying and selling bears. Thanks for bringing some of these other reasons to light - have a great day!

  4. Hi Kelly,

    I understand your position but I don't think Karen was thinking the artists would supply the door prizes. She was mentioning small things like pocket calendars and things a promoter might consider as small giveaways to liven things up throughout the day.

    I have not been required to supply a door prize at any show I have attended. That's interesting that it was a requirement at the one you mention.

    Thanks for reading!


  5. Loved reading this series, Ginger! So informative to hear about shows from a collector's perspective. And such fun to see Karen's collection. :o)

  6. Hi Ginger,
    Just want to pass on the Stylish Blogger Award to you from me: http://jennylovesbenny.blogspot.com/2011/01/thank-you.html
    This is always a fun place to visit! :D

  7. I finally had a chance to sit down and read all three of these posts... and they were great. This was a fantastic series of posts...
    As someone who is trying to make bears, it's wonderful to hear what an avid collector things... and as someone who has her own little hug of them, all collected from internet purchases... it's really great to hear about what makes bear shows fantastic.
    I have been to one small one here in Michigan, and it was amazing. Being able to handle the bears (I hadn't known, until that point, that the bears were so heavy!) and being able to ask the artists questions was both thrilling and educational.

    Thanks for this series, and I can't wait to see what else you have planned.


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