Alice's Bear Shop and hospital for poorly bears has been selling and repairing much loved teddies for over 12 years. We offer our own range of childrens story books and the bears from our books are available to preorder now for release later this year. We have also worked with the Green Boardgame Company to produce the Alice's Bear Shop Teddy Bear BrainBox game. Our moto - The important things in our lives don't have to be perfectly pristine to be perfectly right.
Our Social and Environmental Activities
When a child is very small, even before they have responsibility for a pet they learn to love and care for their first soft toy. If we encourage them to collect toys simply for the brief pleasure of purchasing rather than playing, they will carry this ethic into their adult life. Buying becomes an addiction. A shopping trip is not an opportunity to buy what we need but a consumer fix.
We believe that If we are going to teach our children to value the things they already have then we must show them that those things do not need to be the latest, newest and straight from the packet perfect to be worth having. What is more suited to get this message across than a loved to bits teddy bear. Rikey Austin the owner of Alice's bear Shop wrote stories for her children which were based on the teddies that came to the Teddy Bear Hospital. "It soon became apparent to me that the bond between a Teddy and his human was something we see less and less. We seem to be obsessed with giving our children more and more when actually what we are doing is removing the joy of having something special."
We also believe that the play value of our product is of utmost importance. What happened to the child who made a bed from a shoe box for their bear or made blankets or clothes for him? Rikey left a very large global company to go it alone in the freelance world. "I designed some of the best known brands in the world and was doing very well but the heart had just gone out of it all for me when I saw that they were just lined up on shelves and weren't being played with" she says.
We work constantly to trade in an environmentally sustainable manner and have found that this process can work in all levels of our business. From our choice in business partners and how we carry on our own business right through to the message we pass on to our customers. Sustainability and recycling has become our key message.
Asobi (which means play) who are manufacturing the Alice's Bear Shop teddy bears are the creators of the 'Slow Toy' movement. They distribute beautiful ethically sourced toys with a strong play value and they ticked all of our boxes as far as sustainability, and ethics and have taught us much. They are also working with us on an environmentally sourced and play heavy accessories range to reignite children's imaginations.
Our books are produced as print on demand which means that every single book printed is a book that is wanted. There will be no pulping, no unnecessary shipping as all books can be printed within a reasonable distance of their end point. It costs a little more but only if you're talking cash. If you're talking the planet then it's all a saving.
On a more local level, we at Alice's Bear Shop are extremely active within our community. We are a support and sales point for local charities offering free printing, advertising and ticket sales for events. Often we will skill share by producing agendas, chairing and minuting for local groups. We have helped to set up and organise a monthly community lunch club which one of us will attend every month to help serve the meals. Every few months we also turn over our shop for the day as a high street location for a community shop.