The band Journey is recognized for its lead singer Steve Perry’s soaring, full-throated vocals. One of the group’s most popular anthems is “Don’t Stop Believin’,” a song that encourages everyone to hold fast to their dreams. Given a new lease on life with the cast of TV’s “Glee,” which embraced it as one of their most requested numbers, this melody and its inspirational lyrics underscore what plush companies do every single year. They don’t stop believing (or believin’ as the title exhorts) that they know what their collectors crave. They don’t stop believing that there is a market out there for perennial plush creations. They don’t quit making collectibles, even in the face of fanatics who want the world to be stripped bare of any “clutter.” And you, the collector, you don’t stop believing in the power and allure of your beloved hugs.
This week, my daughter is attending her middle-school dance. She’s in seventh grade, and it’s a big deal. Even though they are not wearing gowns or tuxes—this isn’t a prom, after all—she definitely wanted to look nice. So she spent a day in search of an “elegant creation.” How interesting that teddy bear artist Vicky Lougher creates her well-heeled (and sometimes undressed) critters under the banner of Elegant Creations. The array of well-garbed bears run the gamut from a “Wicked” witch, who could be belting out “Defying Gravity,” to a dapper husband-and-wife pair of newlyweds. Her characters are supernatural and theatrical, sure to cast a spell on collectors.
Bears ‘N Friends owner Lisa Wooding died April 6 after fighting a long, lingering infection. A memorial was held April 21 in her home town of Anacortes, Washington. In lieu of flowers, her family asked for donations to the Anacortes Relay for Life’s Team Malson/Wooding, which Wooding had started with her mother, Kaaren Wooding Malson. Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society, and according to Lisa Wooding’s obituary, published in the Skagit Valley Herald, she was a top fundraiser in the event for many years.