Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tdipt Spotlight on Karen Brady of Brady Bears!

One thing for sure there are the most amazingly talented gals in Tdipt.  One of the best Teddy Bear artists in the country (check out her credentials,) is our Karen Brady of Brady Bears.

When did you start making bears?

"I started creating bears about 6 years ago.  I used to sell antiques on eBay but after my first child was born it became increasing more difficult to scout out the early morning estate sells looking for pieces to sell. I learned the basics of creating bears while in college from a friend's mother. After doing some research, I decided this was something I could do while at home with my daughter to earn money, and full-fill my artistic passion. I pulled out my old bear patterns, and the rest is history."

2. What is your favorite type of bear to make and how long does it take you to make your gorgeous bears?

"My favorite type of bear to create is the antique style. It falls in with my passion of collecting antiques, including antique bears. I love bears that are tattered and torn with missing eyes or patches of mohair from years of love.  I try to recreate that feeling in my own pieces. Now, not only do I crate teddy bears but I also make bunnies, red pandas, giraffes and several dog breeds, just to name a few.

I really have no idea how long it takes me to create a bear or animals. I've tried on numerous occasions to "time" myself to just see, but with little success. There to just to much going on in my home with 2 young child and several pets to accurately keep track of my time. I also like to work on a few pieces at once, which makes it even harder to keep track of my time."

3. Do you have a studio at home?

"Yes, I have a studio in my home. We have 2 bedrooms upstairs and 1 one down. Since I have 2 girls, they share a room and I use the bedroom downstairs for my studio. It's a great space and it's really nice to have my own room that I can use just for creating."

4. I have my own opinion (as well as my own beloved lil bear), but what do you think makes your bears so special to your customers?

"I think my bears and animals appeal to customers because of their old, worn, antique style. I think the antique style pieces bring about a sense of comfort and give people a connection to the past. Maybe they are a reminder of a cherished stuffed animal that belonged to a parent or grandparent, or even a loved toy from their own childhood. I also think customers like my work because they just make you smile, especially my new dog patterns. Who can't resist smiling at a frumpy old bear or a droopy faced dog? What ever the reason, my customers are the biggest part of why I create my pieces. The joy they bring to others is one of the best parts about being an artist."

I kept asking Karen about her bears but she also makes wonderful giraffes, rabbits, mixed media figures and dogs. check these pics out of her very popular dogs.

5 Do you have any up coming shows or events?

"Unfortunately no, I don't have any upcoming  shows. I do very few shows because of where I live. Most shows are just too far away, and with 2 young children it makes it hard to travel. I rely almost solely on the internet for sales. I have a blog, website, and Facebook page if anyone would like to contact me to place an order. I also have pieces listed the 1st of each month on the mercantile, and I list pieces every week on eBay and occasionally etsy. "

Karen sent some pics of a show she did at the Springfield Extravaganza in May 2012, in conjunciton with Folk Magazine.

6. Now that we know about your business side, tell us a lil bit more about your family.

" I have a wonderful, supportive husband of 12 years. Together we have 2 beautiful daughters, Isabella who is 10 and Sophia who is 5. We live in Knoxville, TN ,close to the Great Smokey Mts, in a cottage style home located in one of the cities historic districts. We also have 2 dogs. One is a 6 month old Dachshund named Lucy and the other is a Corgi mix named Pumpkin. We have 2 cats, Candy Corn who is a dark gray Manx and Baby Kitty, a gray and white tabby. To round out our pets we have an 8 year old Goldfish named, Leny that my 10 year old daughter won at a school carnival when she was 2 years old".
That goldfish has to be some sort of record!

7. What are some of your favorite things to do?

I love to travel and see new places. I like to visit historic homes and land marks. I especially love to visit places with interesting architecture. We have a boat, so we spend a lot of time during the summer out on the lake. I also love to visit antique shows and shops looking for treasures to use with my art. I also love to write, which is a recent new passion. I've also been a Girl Scout troop leader for 6 years. I have 14 girls in the 5th & 6th grades. They are so much fun, and I love taking them places and doing activities with them.

and lastly, Are your girls interested in continuing the bear tradition?

 "Both of my girls love art. My oldest daughter, Bella, just won 2 blue ribbons at the state fair for photography and art. In photography, she competed against 18 years olds and won! Right now they love to see my new creations, give them names and play with them. I think in some way they will both be artists. Whether it's creating soft sculpture pieces or not, only time will tell"

Karen is quite and accomplished folk artist, wife  and mother. We are glad to be her Tdipt sister and also glad she is editor of our Newsletter. To read more about Karen please visit her website and blog at and/or


  1. Beautiful artist, beautiful family and beautiful art! This is a terrific post.
    I hope to one day own one of Karen's precious Boston Terriers. ♥

  2. What fun to see photos of your family, Karen! Thanks for those!

  3. What a very nice write up!
    I really enjoyed reading and learning more about Karen and how it all began.
    It's so nice when your family is supportive too!


  4. Thank you, ladies and THANK YOU, Carol!!! You did a wonderful job. I know it takes a lot of time to do this, and I really appreciate it!

    Peanut~ Maybe we could do a trade sometime. :)

  5. Your welcome fun as always Karen!

  6. TRULY impressive! Thanks for sharing Karen!

  7. Wow, nice post, there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post. Thank you for sharing to us. Please one more post about that..personalised teddy bear


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