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Many people have asked me how the PDC is different from the pieces I've been making over the last 15+ years... so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about that a bit.
I learned to sew from my mother when I was 11. I wanted to make bears and stuff animals because I wanted to play with them and as time went on I was very interested in the very act of making things- How each time it engaged my hands and my mind in a way that I loved. I began making one-of-a-kind and later small limited edition pieces- most were stuffed with excelsior, had glass eyes, jointed limbs, and were made from mohair and 100% wool felt. I had a few people helping me to sew over the years but all details and finishing have always been done exclusively by me. This way of working meant I've always had control over all the aesthetic choices and quality of everything that came out of my studio, and frankly I can't imagine working any other way...
The Polka Dot Club came into being because after making hundreds of bears and animals over the years- all modeled after old toys. I couldn't think of anything better than reviving the techniques and materiality of vintage toy making but with an eye for design today. Obviously the PDC currently has far less designs than the bears I've made under my name (currently 5 in numerous colorways), but each piece is made with the same quality mohair and 100% wool, cotton or linen fabric.
These bears all have beautiful (hand aged) safety eyes and are stuffed with 100% cotton stuffing for children and discerning adults. I've used this stuffing for years in all my smaller bears, but stuffing the PDC designs with it means they are softer to the touch than those stuffed with Excelsior but hold their shape far better than the usual stuffed toys you see in stores today. I've spent lots of time working on safety concerns and have had all pieces tested by a lab for age appropriate safety. This part was all new, and while very time consuming on my end, it gave me so much peace of mind.
I have a few incredibly skilled people helping to cut, sew and stuff the bears and rattles, but again- all the designing, details, and finishing are done with my two hands. It's not fast, but it means that each piece is made with care by me. Because each piece takes hours to complete I love to think every bear is imbued with all that love and care by the time it's sent out into the world... I believe you can feel that when they're in your hands or your little ones arms.