These unique bears are made with lots of care from old clothes of loved ones who've passed away.
Losing someone is incredibly painful and it's likely that you'd want to hold onto anything that reminds you of your lost loved one. Many times it's their favorite piece of clothing that you'd want to keep to cherish forever. While nothing can bring them back one woman named Mary MacInnes is hoping to make things easier for anyone who is grieving a loss by turning pieces of cloth into memory bears! With a memory bear, you can even pass it on to the next generation as a way of keeping a person's memory alive.
These one-of-a-kind creations are primarily made from the favorite clothes of people who have died, but they can also include jewelry or ashes, reports The Metro. Each bear has its own unique appearance based on the person who has passed. So you can customize it according to the person's personality. You can even add a special pocket at the back, where you can put letters or other mementos that are close to you. MacInnes spends around 6 hours putting the pieces together where she plans the design as well as cuts and lovingly sews the bear. Another way you can customize your bear is by making it pose according to your fancy as the stuffed bears have jointed legs and arms. MacInnes allows room for specific alterations which again comes with additional charges.
MacInnes studied fashion tech at the Heriot-Watt University, and at just 16 years old, she won an award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Now in her early 20's the artist first began her sewing career in the bridal industry. Memory bears weren’t in her initial plan but it looks like destiny had other plans for her. She said, "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."
MacInnes admitted that while the process can be physically tiring it is often also emotionally exhausting. "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," she revealed. Despite the difficulties, MacInnes affirmed that she's grateful for the opportunities as "It really is a privilege to be asked to create something from people’s personal possessions." "I love seeing their faces take on character and I’m absolutely loving life. I really enjoy meeting my customers when they collect bears – 80 percent 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," she added.
Cover Image Source: Facebook/ Mary Mac