Photos courtesy of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company
It’s always satisfying to spread the gospel of good artists, good work, and good collectors. With this week’s posting, I get to alert all of you to a very special example of a good work that happens to be accomplishing good works, too! I’m excited to unveil a beautiful design that was made to raise money, spirits, and awareness. While chatting with Abby Temeles, brand manager for the Vermont Teddy Bear Company (VTBC), I learned about their recent outpouring of warmth and high regard for the Vermont chapter of Make-A-Wish. What’s especially exciting is that all teddy bear lovers can participate in this charitable mission.
Starting Jan. 30, on eBay, the one-of-a-kind Sweetheart Bear will be placed for bidding. According to Ms. Temeles, this creation was a dream come true for the VTBC designer: “Our bear designer selected the perfect shade of lilac for her eyes. These lavender eyes are extremely unusual — no other bear in our line has ever had them! She has cream faux-mink fur for her body, and real suede paw pads. She is dressed in an Elizabethan-inspired, Baroque-pink brocade gown accented in silk and Venetian lace. Her head is adorned with an organza fascinator edged in real pink pears.”
With her uniquely colored eyes and the sumptuous nature of her costume, the Sweetheart Bear reminds me of the Hollywood diva of all time — Miss Elizabeth Taylor. Truly, if “La Taylor” were going to be reincarnated as a collectible, this would be the plush path she’d gladly follow. The one-of-a-kind auction piece has all the trappings that a Tinsel Town royal — or an actual Her Majesty — would desire. She’s got gems, luxurious fabrics, silk and lace, and did I mention gems?
“The estimated value of this unique Valentine is $2,500,” Temeles told me. “All proceeds from the sale will be donated to charity.” Their chosen charity is Make-A-Wish Vermont, which the Vermont Teddy Bear Company has been a longtime supporter of and proponent for. Since 1989, for more than 25 years, Make-A-Wish Vermont has granted over 700 wishes to children in that state who have been afflicted with life-threatening medical conditions.
The Make-A-Wish philosophy is a simple, sentimental, and stirring one: “We believe that childhood is precious and should be filled with magic, anticipation, excitement and dreams for the future. For our wish children, life is filled with a routine of doctors’ visits, hospital stays, medications, and treatments. The wish experience is created to allow for the child to focus on the magic of childhood.”
The VTBC team has found many ways to show their connection to the charity partner: “We give bears to all of the Make-A-Wish kids. We try to support them in a few different ways. This Sweetheart Bear is a work of art and devotion. Our head seamstress hand-stitched each and every detail.”
What’s especially alluring about this costumed character is that the bear will be uniquely personalized for the winning purchaser. A love note from that individual — and who knows, it could be YOU — will be placed in the back pocket of the pink Valentine heart that she carries. What an adorable, additional perk! It will be thrilling to see who wins the heart of this extremely sophisticated and sumptuous maiden.
Check out the Vermont.wish.org website to get the details about the auction and to discover the link so that you can browse or bid on the one-of-a-kind design yourself. You can also find out more about Make-A-Wish Vermont on their Facebook page and explore their Twitter ID: @makeawishvermont
For other Vermont Teddy Bear Company creations that raise funds and earn money for a good cause, just in case you don’t make that winning bid, take a stroll over to their website. Check out their Bears for a Cause category and see the other partnerships VTBC has forged. You’ll be glad that you did!