I have enjoyed creating teddy bears for many years now - it was about 15 years ago when I made my first bear. I can still see that bear in my mind. He was a caramel color, synthetic fur and fully jointed. He sat on a shelf in my sewing room watching me sew.

I was selling my bears at my friend's gift shop, when one day she gave me her mink coat and said she would like to see what a mink teddy bear would look like. It was a little frightening to cut into a $3000 coat. I was thrilled to see how they turned out. I then started searching for more treasured fur coats. Since then I have turned over 80 fur coats into cherished heirloom bears. I have shared many hugs and tears when they see their bear or bears that once were Grandma's coat.

I realize there is some controversy using fur coats, but I only work with recycled fur garments. I am giving each fur coat a "new life" as a special friend. Many of the coats have special meaning to family members and I am trying to keep that alive.

I love to create fur bears because of the love they bring, after all, most of the coats were given to someone as a token of love.

View some cherished heirloom bears on the PHOTO page..

13" treasured fur bear

I was made from Edna's fur stole. I sit beside her wedding picture in remembrance.

Do you have a fur coat stored away that you don't know what to do with but cannot "bear" to part with? Allow me to turn your treasured fur coat into a unique heirloom for family and friends.


I am 13" and was made from a fur stole.
I have suede paws, fully jointed and wear a nice lace collar.
I am staying at a gallery in Tenessee right now but would like to find a new home.

Each heirloom bear is fully lined, has suede or leather paws and is fully jointed.

- Karen Upcott


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