There are lots of ways to continue bonds with people we’ve lost and one of them is through these beautiful memory bears. These teddy bears are not your ordinary stuffed toys because they are made out of a loved one’s favorite clothing: shirts, ties, jumpers, ties and even blankets.
Mary Maccines, the woman who makes these ingenious memory bears, knows well how difficult it is to go through a loved one’s death. Through these teddy bears, she’s able to help her customers cope better, especially children who lost a family member.
The memory bears may also include ashes or jewellery as well as a back pocket to put mementos or letters. They also have jointed arms and legs so they can be posed differently. While most of Maccines’ customers have lost a loved one, some of them just want to keep the memories of their babies and toddlers.
Maccines said that making memory bears was not her initial plan as she wanted to focus on her studies and continue her sewing career in the bridal industry. The very first memory bear she made was for a friend but when she uploaded the photos of her creation, people kept asking her to do more. She eventually gave in to their requests, not knowing how big this business would be in the future.
Apparently, creating a teddy bear out of old clothing is not an easy job. It involves different processes such as planning, cutting, sewing and completion. In total, it takes Maccines four to five hours to finish a single memory bear. She always has a long list of customers, especially in the Christmas season.
Her job can sometimes be emotionally draining, according to Maccines. She shared about a 37-year-old customer who requested two memory bears before Christmas. He said he needed to give them to his daughters before Christmas. Her heart broke when she found out he has terminal cancer and was afraid he couldn’t make it until Christmas.
Though it is hard, Maccines feels satisfaction in what she does. For her, it is a privilege to make something precious out of old items and give people something to hold onto in the toughest times of their lives. She felt that the long hours of hard work in her studios were always worth it when she got great feedback from her customers.
Maccine said, “I love seeing their faces take on character and I’m absolutely loving life. I really enjoy meeting my customers when they collect bears – 80% burst into tears.”
While some people choose to throw or give away their loved one’s old clothing, Maccines’ customers prefer to keep and treasure them. Luckily, there’s someone as creative and as compassionate as Macinnes who doesn’t mind sewing for long hours just to keep people happy.
By making memory bears out of someone’s clothing, Maccines creates something to cuddle and talk to whenever her customers are sad and longing for their loved ones.
Check out some of Maccines’ memory bears and be amazed by her creativity:
If you want to get in touch with this amazing woman, please visit her Facebook Page.