Me & Mine
The History Of Jenni Bears
Where did the name come from? Well, it's simple really. My name is Jean but my Mum always used to call me Jenni - so as I hate the name Jean - we decided to use the Jenni bit so Jenni Bears was born.
I'm married to Pete but we are owned by 2 cats. A brown Burmese called Toby and a Korat called KusaiJai. Anyone knowing these breeds will know exactly what I mean when I say owned!! Having said that, they are my babies and I love them dearly.
How did I start? I've always enjoyed all kinds of crafts, from knitting through to patchwork, but my real love was counted cross stitch. I started doing this in the early 80's when there were no magazine or books and only about 2 specialist outlets that sold kits so it was quite difficult but so, so worth it. In 2001 my cousin had a baby girl and I had a book that had a teddy pattern in it, so I decided I'd have a go. It was made from cheap plush material from a craft shop (I didn't know any better honestly) and had all the safety features necessary for a childs teddy bear and surprise suprise it did actually look like a bear! I was hooked, and no, Katie never got that bear. (How could I give away my first creation!!)
From that point I discovered the world of bear making, something I had never heard of. There were magazines, shops that sold mohair had courses and of course teddy bear fairs. It was like stepping into a parallel universe. As I do when I find something new I went overboard buying patterns and mohair and the like, but soon decided that these patterns were good, but not what I wanted my bears to look like. The next move was to alter the patterns and it was a short step to actually drawing my own patterns and thus Jenni Bears was born.
A little bit about Pete
All of you that have adopted a bear from one of the Teddy Bear Fairs we've attended will know Pete. To be honest he's behind the stall more than I am! My excuse is that I have to go and get inspiration (aka shopping) and networking (well how else am I going to get the gossip!) Joking apart he's the back bone of Jenni Bears. He's my roadie at the fairs and is so supportive. He never ever queries how much mohair I buy. I never need to sneak it into the house - he understands the need for variety!!! Don't you think I've trained him well!!