Mary Macinnes began creating these unique Teddy bears from old clothes of people's deceased loved ones to help them preserve their precious memories.
Cover picture: Mary Mac
No matter how hard we try and hold on to the precious moments created with our loved one, it passes away. The unpredictability of life urges us to shower our love and care onto them before the inevitable happens. Clothes are undisputedly one thing that helps us relive those long-gone days and cherish them once again. It's one of the most significant items that leave behind a bitter memory of the wearer who is no longer with us while serving as a reminder of their warm presence in our lives. Employing this concept, a sweet woman named Mary Macinnes turns the old clothes of the departed souls into really special items that people can keep in their homes as an everlasting commemoration.
Helping people preserve their wonderful memories forever, Macinnes makes adorable Teddy bears using their clothes. They can also include jewelry or ashes of the deceased who have bidden adieu to their families. Some of them have these include special pockets at the back in which one can store letters and other unique mementos that had once belonged to them. Macinnes usually spends 5-6 hours to plan the design and then moves on to carefully cut, and lovingly sew each bear.
It has been nearly six years since Macinnes began sewing these prized trophies which can be proudly passed on generation after generation. The exceptional creator is just 21, but her work certainly is nothing short of excellent. Clearly, her creations are way more than just toys, they are tangible memories that people can hold onto. Priced at $64, she allows room for specific alterations which again comes with additional charges. But hey, can you really put a price tag on an ornament like this, especially if the outcome is so adorable?
In addition to the innovative designs that Macinnes uses while carefully creating each bear, she also gives them jointed legs and arms, so they can be positioned in the desired way depending on one's personal choice. The 21-year-old's career took off after she entered the bridal industry. Having studied fashion tech at Heriot-Watt University, she also gained an award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, when she was just 16. Sharing how the memory bears were nowhere near her original career plan, she told Metro, "I made my first memory bear five years ago as a favor for a friend, and was constantly asked to make more, but turned them down because I wanted to concentrate on university and a career in bridal. I gave in to requests for bears and once I uploaded photos to my page it just exploded - so at the moment I'm fully committed to making them."
Mary makes them between two studios—one in Kilmarnock, her home town, and one in Galashiels. Currently, her waiting list stretches way past Christmas. "It can be emotionally draining some days," she said. "Recently I had a 37-year-old man pleading with me to make his two daughters aged 10 & 12 bears before Christmas. He insisted on paying in full and gave me £10 extra asking me to post them to his girls. It turned out he has terminal cancer and won’t see Christmas. I cried the whole time I cut out, sewed and stuffed those two little bears."
Furthermore, she added, "I love seeing their faces take on a character and I’m absolutely loving life. I really enjoy meeting my customers when they collect bears – 80% burst into tears. I think that’s because garments arrive as sad reminders of the past then it’s almost as if new life is breathed into them. They become something that’s much more acceptable to cuddle and talk to, and the feedback is they definitely can help the grieving process."