Bear Designs – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

One thing that I have found while researching these Australian Hand-Made Businesses, is that their contribution to society is much more personal. Unlike big businesses that are only out to make a profit, these businesses focus on pleasing others. Here is one such independent business.

Bear Designs

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Who doesn’t like dressing up? I don’t know a kid that doesn’t. But with so many superheroes and characters, it can be difficult to keep up with the cost of buying costume after costume. This is where Bear Designs comes in.

Bear Designs was created by Nadine Bear, and stocks capes with a virtually-endless array of designs. Her product size range includes 1/2 years, 3/4 years, 5/6 years, and custom orders are welcome. Products can also include capes for teddies, and props for photography sessions.

Prices are very affordable, and the capes can easily be tucked away for further use.

I spoke with Nadine to hear how she came up with this brilliant idea.

“I came up with the idea as my son loved dress up and I could never find good quality capes with his favourite theme; so I decided to give it a go myself. I hadn’t sewn in years, and was surprised how much I loved making them.” Nadine told me.

“I first started making capes for my kids, and then friends, which then extended into people requesting all types of super capes. I decided to start up a Facebook page (found HERE) and see how it went.”

When talking about her products, Nadine said: “I do a variety of patterns/favourite characters/themes and custom orders. Basically it depends what people are looking for and their child’s favourite theme.”

Not only does she do individual sales, but also collections, for kid’s birthday parties.

As I said before, independent businesses have a closer link with their communities and and Bear Designs is no different.

“I was recently involved in a massive charity event, which I called ‘Capes for Cancer’. It was for a little boy in my son’s pre-primary class.”

“This is the reversible cape I designed with ‘C’ for childhood cancer on yellow being the gold representation and the other side being the super hero fabric. I made 70 capes for all the kids, and 15 for the teachers. It was a massive event/quiz night, to raise awareness for childhood cancer, and I managed to raise over $7000. All the kids looked amazing in their capes. Shawn Redhage from Perth Wildcats also came out on the day and chatted to the kids.”

Nadine’s final words echo those of other independent Australian Hand-Made businesses: “As I’m still a new business with a young family, I haven’t yet ventured out to the market arena, but I’m hoping to as my business grows.”

 

Adult Colouring Books

To my last breath I will attest that I was the one who brought back this ‘adult colouring-in’ trend.

As a primary school scripture teacher, I do a lot of colouring-in of simple black and white pictures to help bring them to life for the kids (links to Year 1/2 puzzles HERE, and Year 4/5 puzzles HERE). Despite the pictures being quite simple, I immediately felt relaxed; like I was transported back to the carefree days of my childhood, where the only thing we had to do for homework was to create a title page for our exercise books.

So I wasn’t surprised when adult colouring books became the new trend.

For those of you that are unaware, adult colouring books are much like regular colouring books, except they include intricate designs, like geometric patterns.

I had so far been avoiding them – not really seeing the appeal of spending time doing something to never be able to use again – but I caved in and bought these two the other day:

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I saw the Harry Potter one first, and got the other one because I was interested to give it a go.

The designs were really well done and actually quite beautiful.

I decided to start with Harry. I think it was about $16 from Target.

As you can see, I haven’t fully finished it, but it is definitely cool. There are a LOT of pictures to colour-in, and it takes you through the whole movie series.

For about $10 in Coles grocery store, I got ‘New Idea: Around the World Colouring Book’.

The first design that caught my eye was Elvis!

Not only does this book have great colouring pages, but they also have really intricate dot-to-dot activities.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t really like how it turned out. Maybe I didn’t do it properly, but it just seemed a bit weird (and yes, I know that is only half of it, but I am referring to the doubling-up of lines).

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In keeping with this new colouring trend, I have started making my own, with film, TV, etc., designs. Check them out HERE.

Let me know in the comments section if you’ve done any adult colouring, and what you think of it!