The bears that Monica Collins of TG Bears makes are loveable and huggable. Handmade from start to finish, each bear is slightly different, never identical.
How and when did you discover your love for your craft/art?
I have always loved teddy bears. There is something ageless about them. I enjoy sewing and doing things creative – so how much better than putting two loves together?
Do you remember the first piece you ever made?
Absolutely, it was a teddy bear that I thought looked a bit out of shape. But someone loved him and bought him and that is when I realized there is someone for everyone out there ?
I don’t really have a process. I would say my creativeness comes as an a-ha moment – I like to call it inspiration. I then go about putting that moment into practice.
When people start doing their craft/art, they tend to try a lot of different things before settling down to something that resonates with them. How has your work changed since you began?
The process for me has not moved outside of teddy bears. But it has moved outside of the making being a hobby to it being a business and so I have changed how I think about going about the selling of my bears.
I have many inspirations, but colors is a very definite one. I love going into fabric stores or other places where there are a kaleidoscope of colors in one place. It makes me feel like I am not able to keep up with the processes in my head
Can you tell us about some important goals you have achieved with your work?
I have, thanks to my exclusive membership in The Artisan Group, been able to gift some bears to celebrities. I was also chosen as Fox Small Business of the Day in November. But what I find a great goal that I have achieved is to be able to work with some charities to help support them. I am currently making bears for Angels4Epilepsy to deliver to children in hospital.
That would be hard to list here. I am a fan of many forms of arts and crafts and admire people who do their craft well. I have no ability to draw and so artists fall into a special category in my opinion.
Any goals for the future you would like to share?
TG Bears is destined for growth in the 2012. I have some goals in place. Keep watch at http://www.tgbears.com for news! But one thing that I have already implemented is flat rate shipping.
Being a wife and new business owner – what is spare time? But I do enjoy going out with my husband and taking time to explore places and sights around. I love travelling.
If you are displaying or selling your craft/art? Where?
I don’t display my bears anywhere at this stage.
I sell online at http://www.tgbears.com. I don’t have fixed hours that I spend on any one thing. It goes with the flow. Some weeks I get to spend more time in my sewing room and sometimes business obligations seem to rule my life.
What advice would you give to someone who want to start out or start a business in their craft/art?
Go for it! I heard a good quote the other day: Businesses don’t fail, their owners just quit.
I do a bi-monthly newsletter. Signing up for it on my website or on Facebook will give you a 25% off coupon to use on your first TG Bear order.
*****Thank you Monica!! Be sure to check out TG Bears at the following sites:
*****Before I go... Monica is having a wonderful Giveaway to celebrate a few milestones TG Bears have reached. The Giveaway starts February 16th and the prize... Well let's just say Monica, fellow Members of The Artisan Group and Myself (Jewelry by Saniki Creations) are donating to the prize which is a swag bag full of handmade goodness worth $1,015.00 USD. Click HERE for more details about the prize and how to enter.