Teddy Bear Factory lets Kids See How Bears are Made and then
"Make a Friend for Life!®"
south of Burlington Vermont, with the Green
Mountains in the distance, we found the colourful
factory of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Over
130,000 people visit the factory annually to see over 2,700
furry bears that are produced daily.
$2.00 adults (children under 12 are free), we were guided
through the factory by our Bear Ambassador, Dave. For
a half an hour we received a crash course, amidst bear puns
and jokes, on the step-by-step process by which each
Bear-Gram is made and packaged before becoming one of over
425,000 gifts sold and/or shipped annually from the factory.
run regularly throughout the day and everyone
receives a colour coded bear pin for the tour and a button
bear during the tour. Button bears are bear shaped
cutouts made from the left over synthetic fur.
gave us the "Bear" facts about the company and
bear colours. We were enthralled with his knowledge
We could "Bearly"
contain our excitement as we
travelled over to the cutting table. Layers of
synthetic bear fur are placed on the cutting table where
bear part shaped dies are punched through with pressure
equal to 12 elephants sitting on the dies. The factory
isn't big enough to accommodate the elephants so the press
has to "Bear" the workload.
The next step
involves sorting, sewing and then turning the pieces right
side out in the Sewing Department.
and noses are added to the head and then the pieces are each
stuffed with Bear DNA (synthetic stuffing) pumped from the
hopper through the stuffing machine. We learned
how pins are then inserted in the jointed legs and head
before these lovable teddy bears are assembled.
"Beared" with Dave's puns as he explained how the
the "Bear" backs are then hand sewn up, inspected
and brushed to "Bear" hug standards.
bears are then piled high to await being ordered as a
Bear-Gram. Each Bear is then outfitted and packed in
their travelling case (with the air-hole opened) to be
shipped to their new owner.
but not least Dave told us to "Bear" in mind that
all Teddy Bears are 100% Guaranteed and any injured bears
can be returned to the Bear Hospital for repair and
recovery. The healed Bears then receive a new
bear-sized hospital gown before being returned to their
Upon exiting the factory tour,
the knowledge we gained during the tour "Beared"
fruit when the kids got a chance to "Make a Friend for
Life!®" for only $19.95.
our visit, we could choose a "fat-free" bear,
rabbit, cat or dog in a variety of fur types and colours.
Brown Bears stuffed with giggles for one and magic for the
other were selected on the character dial.
a quality control "Bear Hug", the kids added love
to a bear heart with a kiss and placed it inside the
bear. Bear surgeons used special T. Bear stitches and
tied the "Umbilical" knot to close up the
bears. Bear Certified officials oversaw the completion
of the birth certificate and administered the Teddy Bear
Oath to each new owner.
off to the salon for some last minute grooming. The Bear Shop also has many themed outfits
and accessories for new Bears. Cowboy hats provided
the finishing touch to our Mountain Bears before they were
packed in their special travel case.
14 is deemed as National American Teddy Bear Day to commemorate the legend
of President Theodore Roosevelt's refusal to
shoot a defenseless bear cub on November 14, 1902. The
event was illustrated in a cartoon that inspired Brooklyn
Shopkeeper Morris Michtom to create the first American
"Teddy" bear. The
Vermont Teddy Bear Factory celebrates this event on the
previous Saturday with fun free events and birthday cake
from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Special events are
planned for the 100th anniversary of the event on the
Saturday prior to November
We will never look at teddy bears
in the same light after our visit to The Vermont Teddy Bear
Factory. Choco and Snickers have now become cherished
momentos for our children, like many other Vermont Teddy
Bears have already and many more are sure to become in the
For more information and to contact The Vermont Teddy Bear
Company go to Vermont Family
For information on Hotels and Resorts
in Vermont go to Vermont Hotels and
For information on Ski Resorts in
Vermont go to Vermont Ski Resorts.
photos courtesy of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company.