The talented artist Mary Mac makes these teddy bears from the clothes of the departed loved ones to preserve precious memories.
Photo Credits: Mary Mac
Losing a loved one is one of the most heartbreaking things to go through. Even though the pain fades with time, our hearts never stop missing them. Although the memory of the departed ones are always there, it sure becomes a little easier if we have a physical reminder of them with us.
For a lot of reasons, clothes can be very precious and looking at them, it instantly brings back the memory of when they wore it.
Mary MacInnes lives by the same concept and uses the old clothes of the departed loved ones into really special items so that people can keep the memory of the loved ones a little close to them.
Calling these bittersweet memorabilia 'Memory Bear', MacInnes makes them out of the favorite clothes of the people who have passed away. The items can also include jewelry or ashes.
These bears can also be made with special pockets at the back and it can be used to put letters or other mementos that are special to you. Apart from that, these bears also have jointed legs and arms, which can be used to pose in different positions, depending on where you want to put them.
These memory bears are not to be confused with toys and they do not exactly come cheap. They start with $50 apiece and the prices change, depending on the specification.
The creator of these memory bears is just 21-year-old and she is already making a lot of difference in the lives of people. She has been in the business for the past six years now and will continue to do so.
Initially, she started off with the bridal industry and she was always brilliant at what she does. She studied fashion tech at Heriot-Watt University and also received an award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year at just 16.
In a conversation with Metro, she said, "I made my first memory bear five years ago as a favor for a friend and was constantly asked to make more, but turned them down because I wanted to concentrate on university and a career in bridal."
She continued, saying, "I gave in to requests for bears and once I uploaded photos to my page it just exploded – so at the moment I’m fully committed to making them." It takes around five to six hours to make each bear and Mary makes them in both her studios. One of them is in her hometown Kilmarnock and the other one is in Galashiels.
She added, "It can be emotionally draining someday. Recently I had a 37-year-old man pleading with me to make his two daughters aged 10 & 12 bears before Christmas. He insisted on paying in full and gave me £10 extra asking me to post them to his girls. It turned out he has terminal cancer and won’t see Christmas. I cried the whole time I cut out, sewed and stuffed those two little bears."
Even though it can be hard, especially when she is working with ashes or jewelry, but Mary said that it is her privilege that she gets to create something from the personal possession of the people.
She concluded, saying, "I love seeing their faces take on the character and I’m absolutely loving life. I really enjoy meeting my customers when they collect bears – 80% burst into tears. I think that’s because garments arrive as sad reminders of the past then it’s almost as if new life is breathed into them. They become something that’s much more acceptable to cuddle and talk to, and the feedback is they definitely can help the grieving process."
You can check out her work here.