Memories from Broughty Bears
Memories from Broughty Bears
In the Teddy Bear Sale on Friday 30th July there is an extremely special collection of ex-shop stock teddy bears from the renowned Teddy Bear Shop Broughty Bears.
The store was always a bustling and energetic teddy bear shop that evolved from a modest corner and spread!
The family-owned, stationery and gift business was founded in 1979, by Fenella McDonald and her husband. In the 1980’s, the couple decided to add one or two bears to the giftware range on display in the stationers. As often happens with bears they multiply and before long the modest bear area evolved into the Broughty Bears Shop.
It was the introduction of the Steiff franchise that really propelled the gift shop into a must visit destination for bear lovers. Selecting new stock was always exhilarating. Anticipation of latest personalities to be released and the back stories behind the many replicas celebrating past events like the Titanic Bear, the history of Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter. It was always a magical experience when the new deliveries arrived, opening the boxes, seeing the faces smiling at them from inside the packaging. They were given a quick brush up and on to the shelves, where more often than not they were snapped up within days by eager collectors.
As the range expanded so did the number of customers, travelling from far and wide to be assured of a warm welcome from Fenella and the Broughty Bears team. The wonderful, double fronted entrance and window line was perfect for creative seasonal displays featuring the exciting new arrivals from Steiff, Robin Rive, Merrythought, Hermann and an assortment of quality artist teds.
The shop’s reputation and customer loyalty led it to be one of the top Steiff suppliers in the UK and as such they held store Steiff events twice a year. This included the much-anticipated Steiff Broughty Bears Event Bear, a different one produced annually for several years.
They worked closely with Hamish Strang and the other Steiff reps so the occasions always included opportunities to hear talks from some wonderful guest speakers. The charming and oh so knowledgeable Bear expert Leyla Maniera was the first guest, subsequently visiting Broughty Ferry on many occasions. Another highlight was a visit from Joachim Steiff.
The couple were also lucky enough to be able to visit Steiff Headquarters on three occasions. The first visit to Giengen was in 1999, it was also memorable for the fact they arrived during a snow storm. They managed to thaw out enough to be able to experience a superb tour through the factory and had the privilege of being allowed into the private Steiff archive where Herr Pfeiffer who compiled the Steiff Sortiment Books, was on hand to answer any questions. A second trip was swiftly planned by the couple, this time taking some of their customers along to share in the magical experience.
The couple have so many memories of all the lovely people they met through a shared love of bears. It was a truly magical time and the couple loved every minute.
For Fenella and Brian, the bear story is almost all complete, they retired to enjoy their expanding family. After much thought, the decision was made to offer the collection of Bears at auction with Vectis. As many will understand, the decision was heart wrenching but each family member chose the bears special to them so the house still has many special Ursine Friends. The bear and animals will now go on to have loving new homes and give friendship and pleasure to a whole host of different bear lovers old and new.
In Fenella’s own words – “Bears just gladden the heart and bring their own love into our lives. Bears are for everyone the world over to enjoy”.
The bears in the sale are in superb order and include some rare pieces. Below are a few highlights: –
The Broughty Bears Shop Collection is to be sold at Vectis on Friday 30th July 2021. For more information, please contact Jo McDonald (email@example.com) or Kathy Taylor (Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org) or call +44 (0) 1642 750616.