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Gus Designs Mohair Bears

Gus designs are handmade bears and made by me!  Donna Lakin. I live in a small market town, in Staffordshire in the UK. I have 2 grown up daughters, and 7 grandchildren, 1 for every day of the week, as my girls tell me!

As a child I loved bears, and soft toys, but never liked dolls, my mother said if I have a doll as a present I would say "but what does it do? What is the point of it?" Yet bears always seem to be a comforting companion.

 I started making soft toys almost 30 years ago, before CE labelling came into force. As my 2 girls grew up, and went to school I went out to work, so stopped making toys. In the 1990s I taught textiles at a local college, and ran a small business making waistcoats, they quickly went out of fashion, I then turned my hand to pottery, I loved making a mess, and the surprise of not knowing quite how each piece would turn out, until I opened my kiln.

A few years ago I made my partners father a mohair bear, as he is an avid collector, and that was it! My inspiration came back! I purchased a few patterns, and away I went! Every bear I made was snapped up.

I started to draw my own patterns, and adapt some I had purchased, as I liked my bears, and friends, to have a character of their own, sometimes I would draw patterns specifically to fit a piece of mohair I had, so as not to waste any fur. I would buy a piece of mohair, decide what it would look good as, and then design a pattern to fit it. My bears are OOAK, made from the finest mohair fabric, sometimes faux fur, or Schulte viscose, if that suits the character best.

I hope my bears bring a little comfort, and joy to their adoptive parents, just as bears did for me as a child.

Donna Lakin

Gus designs

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