Have you ever visited the teddy capital of Australia?
If you haven’t, then you better pack the car and get tracking to the outback town of Tambo, where the famous Tambo Teddies have called home since 1993.
In celebration of the Tambo Teddies‘ 25th Anniversary, here are 25 reasons to love these cuddly little creatures.
1. It was the tech start-up of the nineties
The idea for of starting up a teddy making business came about in the early nineties when a long-standing drought took over the outback, creating a downfall for farmers.
The government sought to bring new industries to the region and presented workshops to outback residents on starting new businesses in different industries.
The teddy business was considered an innovative start-up of the nineties and the rest is history!
2. The organisation was started by a group of women
Three local Tambo women by the names of Charm Ryrie, Helen Sargood and Mary Sutherland began the famous Tambo Teddy business. While Helen has sadly passed away, Charm and Mary will always have the teddies in their hearts.
3. All teddies are made of 100% Australian sheep wool
Tambo Teddies are known for two things – their 100% cuteness factor and that they are 100% Australian sheepskin-made teddies.
4. The teddies will always be connected to Tambo
To play tribute to the teddy’s Tambo origin, every single bear created is named after a local station, as well as having its own Christian name.
5. There are two main teddy bear families
To distinguish between the types of teddies, the bears were separated into families – the Tobys and the Basils.
The Basils consist of a teddy bear made of one colour whether it be a cream, brown, green or blue. The Tobys are made as multi-coloured patchworks, each different.
6. You can watch them make your very own teddy
Staying a while in Tambo? Order your teddy and stop by to watch the team of sewers create your own stuffed toy. Learn what’s involved and how each piece is carefully sewn together with love.
7. Special requests are welcome
Love the teddies but have a personality or outfit in mind? Ask the ladies for a special request bear, where you can style the bear however you please from ballerina to builder.
The outfits take approximately a couple of weeks to fulfil, as the dedicated seamstress Josie (who has been sewing outfits for the bears since the beginning) puts in endless effort to make every minute detail of the outfit come to life.
8. It takes 19 pieces to make up a teddy
You might think of a Tambo Teddy as one ball of cuddly softness, but there are actually 19 pieces of material that create each finished product. From the ears to the paws, each piece is sewn together to make a seamless teddy.
9. They are handmade in the shop by a team of sewers
Every single Tambo Teddy is 100% created in the Tambo workshop – making it 100% outback owned and operated.
10. It took a year to create the final design of the first teddy
After nearly a year of designing, trial and error, samples, and prototypes, the final teddy design was chosen.
That final prototype has sat proudly in the Tambo store for the past 25 years, and the same design is still used today.
11. The first teddy was created in 1993
When we talk about nimble and agile business strategy – Tambo Teddies lives and breathes it. The first official teddy was then created in 1993 and sold the same year.
The first teddy, Macfarlene Mary, was sold to the local police Sargent. With a little tag with a number one on it, she was the beginning of a flourishing business.
12. Over 44,000 teddies have since been created
Over the past 25 years, thousands of teddies have been handcrafted within the Tambo store. Teddies of different styles and colours have been created specially for thousands of people from across the globe with over 44,000 in their fur-ever homes now.
13. They have their unique number printed on their bum-tag
When you purchase a Tambo Teddy, you can see how many teddies were created before yours by simply checking the bum-tag, where its creation number is printed.
This helps the organisation keep track of how many teddies they have created over the past 25 years, and gives each bear a special identification number.
14. Tambo teddies have travelled the world and met some important people
Visitors from all over the world who have wandered into the Tambo store have taken home a teddy to remind them of the Australian outback.
Many teddies have been made for special occasions, with one carefully made teddy gifted to Prince George upon his arrival to Queensland in 2014.
15. You don’t have to be in Tambo to purchase a Tambo teddy
Did you leave Tambo without getting your teddy? Don’t fret, these cuddly creatures are sold online and all across Australia.
Stocked in Tasmania, New South Wales and up and down Queensland, these teddies can be found in toy stores, teddy bear shops, news agencies, and boutique gift shops.
16. They come in a range of colours and sizes
Think every colour and shade of the rainbow! You can request certain colours to make your teddy personalised to your taste. There’s also two sizes to choose from.
17. The organisation is still run by local women
As time went on, the original three women who began Tambo Teddies agreed it was time to pass the teddy baton to other local women who would continue the legacy of the Tambo Teddies.
Alison Shaw and Tammy Johnson are now the women behind the operations.
18. You can purchase more than a teddy
If you already own a Tambo Teddy and have given them as gifts to everyone you know, then you don’t have to fret about what to get next. There’s a whole range of products available online and in-store that are made from the same soft sheepskin.
From blankets and slippers to seat belt covers and stubby coolers, you can set yourself up with a Tambo Teddy kit!
19. You can also get a cuddly creature of a different kind
If bears aren’t your thing, you can purchase a Koala, Koala Bickie Bear, and an echidna – all made with the same 100% Australian Sheepskin and cuddle factor.
Take a piece of the outback home with you by purchasing a stockman teddy
Top of the teddy range is Mr and Mrs Stockman, who are the only teddies with an official outfit.
Both are decked out in hats, moleskins, check shirts, and bear-as-a-bone coats. Mr Stockman even has a swag and hand-crafted whip, ready for work.
21. Each teddy comes with a special message
Just to add to the cuteness, with each purchase of a Tambo Teddy, you receive a poem that introduces that teddy’s name.
22. They make for special gifts
There’s nothing quite as endearing as the gift of a teddy bear, and the availability of special requests gives the opportunity for a personalised present that takes ‘It’s the thought that counts’ to a whole new level.
23. The teddies have their own picnic
Since 2011, the annual Teddy Bears Picnic takes over the town of Tambo for a day filled with fun, games, rides, and of course, teddy bears.
Now a biannual event, the picnic brings together families and friends from across the Outback to celebrate all things cuddly, with the Teddy Bear Parade kicking the day off.
24. There have been less than 1,000 limited edition bears made
Even though over 44,000 bears have been created so far, there have been only 8 limited edition series of teddies. With only 100 made of each, the best way of seeing the limited edition model is in store where seven of the eight editions are on display.
Each special edition was dedicated to an early settler of Tambo, playing tribute to the evolution of the town the bears call home.
25. There’s a special anniversary limited edition teddy on sale now
Specially created for the 25th anniversary, the Jubilee Teddy is now available for purchase. Be quick, as there are only 100 of these bears being made and it even sings an original song.
This post is sponsored by Tambo Teddies