Wapikka

My teddy bear road trip!

Over the last few months I’ve been traveling up and down the country visiting some of Britain’s best independent Teddy bear shops trying to learn as much as possible about the world of teddy bears. I’ve met some super helpful people who have been so kind by sharing their expertise and time with me.

This teddy bear road trip (Yes that’s what I’m calling it) was both a fact-finding mission and an opportunity to share our own mission and vision for our new cause driven business.

So I packed Wapikka in my backpack and off we went.

 

First stop on the road trip was One more bear, a fantastic shop in Trentham Shopping Village near Stoke-on-Trent. It’s a beautiful store run by the lovely Tracey Roberts and her daughter Megan! They have a huge collection of teddies and collectable bears, well worth a visit the next time you’re in the area.

The next stop on the tour was The Bear Garden in Guildford. After being unable to find a decent teddy bear in the whole of Guilford way back in 1992 Andrew Colborne-Baber decided to open one himself. They are now one of the UK’s most popular independent teddy bear stores and have a large collection of bears from all over the world, there is even a gigantic bear waiting outside the shop to greet people.

Andrew and his team were really helpful and shared a ton of their knowledge and expertise.

A few weeks later Wapikka and I got up super early on a Saturday morning and headed to Waterloo station for a 3-hour epic train journey down to Lyme Regis in Dorset to visit Rickey Austin the founder and owner of Alice’s Bear Shop. Rikey has been designing and making teddy bears for years.

It’s a beautify store in such an idyllic location. They even have a Teddy Bear hospital in the back of the shop run by Dr Dave! If you’re ever in Lyme Regis make sure you check it out.

Next up we visited Graeme from Apple Pie house in his Birmingham store. Graeme has been involved in the world of teddy bears since he set up a tearoom/teddy bear store in a hotel owned by his parents. The name apple pie house comes from the tearooms most popular dish, the apple pie made by Graeme’s nan!

He shared so many stories and insights about collectable bears and some of the best teddy bear fairs around the country.

I also went down to Brighton and had lunch with Glen and Irene who run the world famous Hugglets! Hugglets run Britain’s most popular teddy bear fairs and produce an annual teddy bear guide. I’m super thankful to both Glen and Irene for sharing so much wisdom about the teddy bear world, they even offered me a stall at their next Hugglets Teddy bear fair! Stay tuned for more information about that soon!

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