My name is Jo Symon and I have been a collector of bears for many years. After buying my first kit I got the 'bear making bug' and have been designing and hand sewing my own bears since August 2004. As a dog lover and painter it was inevitable that I would soon begin to make a collection of dogs too and have been designing and making Joxy Dogs since the beginning of 2005. I absolutely love making bears and dogs and get a great deal of pleasure seeing their little faces and personality appearing as I sew.
My bears and dogs have been featured in Teddy Bear Scene and Teddy Bear Club International magazines.
I am based in England and live in Bridlington on the East Yorkshire Coast . As I was born a little further up the coast, in Whitby, I give some of my bears a piece of Whitby jet to take to their new home. The rest of my bears are either called 'Beachcombers' or 'fossil finders' and they have their very own 'beach gem or fossil to take to their new hug (usually in the form of a pendant or bracelet).
All the bears you see on this site are my own original design and are completely hand sewn by myself in a smoke free environment. They are all single edition or 'one off' bears.
I always use good quality mohair, alpaca and faux fur. All bears are fully jointed and have English glass eyes. I use mainly poly fibre and steel shot (not lead) for fillings (unless otherwise stated).
Each bear has a certificate of authenticity and a sewn in fabric tag.
The dogs, as with the bears, are made from good quality mohair, faux fur and alpaca. All are fully jointed and have glass eyes. In September 2006 I started to make the dogs noses from polymer clay. I find that these noses give each dog more individuality and makes them more realistic. Their certificate of authenticity comes in the style of a real pedigree.
Whitby jet is know the world over for its beautiful dense black colour and high polish. It has been used as a talisman for over four thousand years and has been found in the burial places of bronze age people who lived approximately 10,000 years ago. It is thought that the stone might have been worn to ward off evil spirits.
Beachcombers head off to our local beach to search for treasures....When they find the perfect little pebble they bring it home to me.....I tumble these little stones for days until they are smooth and shiny... I then make them into little pendants or bracelets for the bears to wear. Every 'beachcomber' will go to his or her new hug with their very own 'beach gem'.
Fossil finder bears, like the beachcombers, head off to our local beach (on the beautiful East Yorkshire coast) in search of little treasures....these bears usually find either a whole or partial fossil which they bring home for me to clean and varnish before making into a little pendant for them to wear. Every 'fossil finder' will go to his or her new hug with their very own 'fossil'.
PLEASE NOTE: All of my bears and dogs are made for the collector. These items are not toys and are not suitable for children under the age of 14.