Louise and Garnet Carrick, of Bears by Beesley, are a husband and wife team who both love to design and create handmade teddy bears and buds.
They both grew up in the town of Ponoka, Alberta, Canada and began dating in their teens. Now, they've been happily married for 35 years. Living on 13 acres nestled in the woods outside of the tiny community of Tofield in Alberta, Canada, they also share bragging rights on 3 grown sons, 5 grandchildren and two loving dogs.
The couple have been creating teddy bears and little ones for several years as a hobby. "I guess it was me, " Louise said, "who had the passion for teddy bears since I was a small child. I have always love collecting stuffed toys, especially teddy bears and that passion just rubbed off on Garnet over the years.
In the beginning, it was fun to create her "little ones" and give them to friends and family on special occasions.
"We decided creating teddy bears had become such a passion for both of us, we began to turn our hobby into a full time venture," she said.
So Bears by Beesley was born four years ago. The company name came from Louise's childhood nickname.
"I grew up with the nickname of Beesley," she recalled fondly. "My mom used to say I was always busy as a bee and couldn't sit still."
Following the sentiments behind the name, "We immediately had our web site created and I worked furiously to learn how to maintain and change the appearance to keep it interesting," Louise noted.
Unfortunately, there are no bear shows in their immediate area, so their web site and word of mouth are the venues they use to sell their creations. Through it all, Garnet maintains his career as an electrician at a local petrochemical plant and still finds time to design and create bears.
All of her "soulful" friends are created from their own designs and have been handcrafted in their home and studio. On average they design about 5 or 6 new patterns annually. "We try very hard to have a new bear for our wonderful collectors about every week or two."
Louise and Garnet work diligently designing their modern yet whimsical creations. "We both work very hard to give each one an individual personality and soulful expression," she said and adding, "I believe our little one's faces are what we are best known for in the bear world. We want each little bear or friend to speak to his or her new Mom or Dad."
The teddy bear world also has taken notice of their talents. They were nominated for a Golden Teddy Award in 2006 and in 2007 were nominated for the Industry Choice Toby Award. Their bears have been portrayed in several teddy bear magazines from time to time.