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Craftmanship STEIFF TEDDY BEAR HISTORY

Margarete Steiff the founder of the world’s most prestigious soft toy company, was born in 1847 and died in 1909. She was from Giengen, Germany and led the most remarkable, inspirational life, shaping history as she lived. At 18 months old a high fever resulted in Margarete contracting Polio, and losing the use of her legs, and leaving her with a painful right arm. Never one to be deterred, she fought hard to lead a normal life, attending school and qualifying as a seamstress. Later, she began working for her sisters in their dressmaking shop, but soon found herself running her own ready-to-wear clothing business, that became so busy, she was able to employ other seamstresses. Always open for other ventures, a pattern for a fabric elephant pin cushion caught her eye, and she set about making some for her friends as gifts. They were greatly received, but not for their intended use, but as comforting, cuddly toys for their children. From here Margarete set about crafting other fabric animals, and by 1880 the foundation was laid for Margarete Steiff GmbH, with production of their first catalogue in 1892. In 1902 her nephew Richard Steiff created a prototype for the first jointed teddy bear, later selling his entire stock with a large order for more at the Leipzig Spring Fair of 1903. His uncle and Margarete’s brother – Frank, is responsible for their patented ‘Button in the Ear’ motto (1905), along with the button itself (1904), as a sign of outstanding quality and workmanship. In 1907 Steiff produced no less than 974,000 Teddy Bears. Over 400 staff and 1,800 outworkers, contributed to the production of approximately 1,700,000 toys, ensuring that the product range was constantly expanded. This became known as the Teddy Bear Boom Year. Thanks to Paul (another nephew), 1908 was the year that welcomed his creation – a Teddy Bear with sound, or in this case, a tip and tilt growl, that he showcased with great success at the Leipzig Spring Fair. As you can probably tell, the Leipzig Spring Fair was quite instrumental in the continuing success and development of Steiff. Margarete’s vision, determination and zest for life, have turned her family-run company into the international, worldwide success it is today, continually embracing, the memory that is Margarete Steiff.

What are our customers saying?

As usual excellent customer service and communication!

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Great service!

Carla Atkins
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Last minute order for Christmas, made a little girl very happy.

MARK MITCHISON
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I have bought 5 different characters from this firm over the years for each one of my Daughters children. The service from this firm is first rate. Highly recommended.

Carol Day
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I think this is one of he friendliest sellers I have ever encountered and will be buying again soon.

jenni greihill-lowcock
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Shop with confidence

Being established since 1999 in Somersets Cheddar Gorge and County Town of Taunton. The Gorge Bear Co and World of Bears are renowned for being the worlds best and biggest teddy bear shop most people will have ever visited.

Steiff boxes and  drawstring bags image

Steiff boxes and drawstring bags

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Bricks n’ mortar high street stores

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UK real-time delivery updates

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5 star independent feedback

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Janet Scott
Verified Customer

Just what I wanted for new grand daughter.

Clive Elverstone
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Verified Customer

Arrived faster than I expected. Wow!

catherine martin
Verified Customer

Gorgeous jellycat dog as with all jellycat products.

s l corby
Verified Customer

Very good service

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