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Baysidebears Bayside Bears
Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 19

This time, I really am back.
After almost 3 years being away from bear making and working a "real" job, I have dusted off my machine and re-opened the studio. I'm back to Bear Making!
I have to catch up on all the new sites and places and facebook pages that I need to connect with.
I'm using up all the material I have...and I have a lot.

Three years ago with the crash in the economy and  the crash in Bear buyers, I had to go get a real job with health insurance and all. I have to say I did have a nice experience and learned a lot. I worked in graphic design, marketing and social media...still do....but I miss the bears! I am.

Does anyone remember me? Bayside Bears..polar bears?
I have no idea how to put an image on this post, so you can go to my  "work in progress" website to see a few bears. But, I have a new facebook page too....whcih needs more "likes" before it can get its name. So, if you are so inclined, search Bayside Bears on Facebook. I'm going to post some behind the scenes photos ans stories there too. Maybe some How-to articles.

I take it the Bear Biz is still kind of slow. Someone suggested I open an Etsy shop, which I did with my little needle felties. Does anyone list successfully on Ebay anymore? I used to sell all my bears on Ebay, but a quick look through the pages, it didn't look like there was much activity.

So...what's new? What have I missed?

It's nice to talk to you again.  :)

PS--how do I put images on here...I tried, to no avail.

Mary Lou Foley
Bayside Bears
Since 1992

Plum Cottage Bears Plum Cottage Bears
Long Beach, CA
Posts: 2,151

Plum Cottage Bears Cute Animal Ambassador

Welcome back, Mary Lou.  I am picking up my bear business too after some interruptions.  I remember your polar bears from the shows in Boxborough, Massachusetts.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 20,832

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Of course we remember you, Mary Lou, and your fabulous creations!  So glad to have you back here at TT and making bears again!  Will find you on FB and give you a 'like'.

dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021

Hi Mary Lou,

I started making bears around the time you took a break, and I've seen and admired your polar bears on eBay. Nice to meet you! bear_flower


Baysidebears Bayside Bears
Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 19

Thanks Folks!

Boxborough! That was my first 1996?
Awww, thanks for the FB likes too.

I only have one small piece of white fur in my box, so I won't be getting those polar bears just yet. But, I'm looking forward to it!

dangerbears Dangerbears
Posts: 6,021
Mary Lou wrote:

PS--how do I put images on here...I tried, to no avail.

In the Technical Help section, there's information about uploading photos. There are a couple of easy ways to do it, but there's a size limit, so larger photos won't upload at all.


desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399

Hi MaryLou, I am happy to see that you will be making your wonderful bears again.

I am not on ebay as often as I was, but I still use it and have success there.


Jack&Lilia Jack & Lilia
Posts: 3,488

Welcome back MaryLou! I'll go and find you on facebook  bear_original

Dreli-Bears Dreli-Bears
Posts: 720

Oh it's really nice to know you are back Mary Lou, of course I remember your wonderful bears and I will now go and have a look where I can find you at FB

have so many beary hugs from Austria  bear_wub  bear_wub  bear_wub

Lhearn Critters Creations
Posts: 1,303

Hi MaryLou, welcome back. I remember your bears too.

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413

Mary Lou,
Welcome back! THere is so much I'd like to tell you about this NEw bear world. For now, I'll just say your prices are way too low! I'm not just saying that because I know the quality and art of your bears, but because your price structure puts you in market position that isn't doing very well in this economy. Enough business. Have fun and enjoy  bear_happy
KJ Lyons Design

K Pawz Creations K Pawz Creations
Victoria BC
Posts: 33

Welcome back Mary Lou! I remember you and your awesome hers too.

boohbears Booh Bears
Glendale, Arizona
Posts: 1,833

Welcome back - I do remember your beautiful polar bears!   :love:
I'll go to facebook now and "Like" your bears!
Best wishes & lots of hugs,

susana fung hong kong
Posts: 304

Hello Mary Lou, nice to meet you.  i start making bears at the time you have a break in bear business. Love your bear profile photo.
Looking forward to see more bears from you soon.
hugs, susana

busserbears Busser Bears
Elkhart, Indiana
Posts: 161

Hey, stranger!  I do remember you, too!  I also have gone "rogue" and am working in the "real" world.  I've remarried, have 4 dogs and just don't seem to have the time to create much anymore.
Welcome back!

thumperantiques Newcastle, Ontario
Posts: 5,642

Hi Mary Lou,
    Welcome back.  I certainly remember you and your polar bears from the Boxborough shows, as well.  I did that show a number of times.  I think we started about the same time.  I'm still making bears and selling on the internet through my blog.  Ebay is not great anymore.  Too many rule changes.  There are some internet shows springing up - I'm doing the Teddiesworldwide one on November 18th - 20th and there were two others last weekend.  Might be a place for you to check out.  Enjoy your time making bears



Baysidebears Bayside Bears
Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 19

Thanks for the nice welcome everyone!
I'm having fun surfing all the teddy sites, new artist blogs and facebook pages. When I stopped making bears, I really did stop entirely, so all the changes I see are really new to me. Lots of inspiration out there!
I did come across some online teddy bear shows. Those sound intriguing. Is there any specific place I can go to find out about them? I lost my extensive email list to a virus/phishing incident which means that I only have an email list of collectors who have purchased bears that I got from my Paypal history, so I need to get some exposure again. I hope to be able to do this full time again, but for now I have to keep the "real' job and just try to find some of that elusive spare time to devote to bearmaking.

I've enjoyed looking through this wonderful site to learn about some new needle felting techniques too. Joanne,love how you do your noses with the beeswax, I agree that the way it just kind of becomes one piece with the snout is great for a real look. I'm def going to try it.

Oh, and thanks to  those that have gone and "liked' my new facebook page. I need 3 more likes to get my name in the url, so if any of you are so inclined, just search Bayside Bears to find the page.

Now, I'm off to that other "work" for the day......digging in to a new bear tonight!


joibear Tickled Pink Bears
Durango, Colorado
Posts: 467

Hi there.  I started making bears probably just after you started your break from bear making.  It's nice to see someone experienced come back. Looking forward to seeing your creations!!!

**when your are writing a post, at the top is an "img upload" button.  That's how I get pics into a post.**  bear_flower

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413

Congrats! You didn't tell me about the marriage :hug: 
Working in my studio is, to me, more real world than any outside job I have had  bear_happy Also it's physically harder than any job I have had. I support myself and thoroughly enjoy what I do but it takes a tremendous amount of hours and you have to constantly reinvent and evaluate where you are going with your business. It's challenging to balance all this and still keep the creative spark. I think that is why many bear artists chose not to make their art their career?

Baysidebears Bayside Bears
Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 19

I am working towards the day when I can again make art my sole  career. I am also a pastel painter (my first love and my passion). The ONLY reason I  got a job was for the health insurance it offered. With the economic downturn, my husband's small business could no longer afford to provide it. The cost of  insurance, buying it privately in Massachusetts with a $2000 deductible, is about $1600 per month. All it would take is one serious illness  ( my dh has had cancer) to ruin us financially.
I think employer based health insurance is another drain on the economy. More and more small businesses can't afford it and the costs go up every year. So instead of ever getting a raise, your employer pays health insurance increases. And people are trapped in their jobs because they can't risk losing their health insurance. ( don't get me started on our horrible system! I'll step off the soapbox now.)

I reveled in the long hours spent in the studio... it truly fed my soul. ( that sounds so cliche, but I mean it) Working on my art filled any empty space I ever had and made me feel whole.... and my hope is to be able to do that again very soon.

And, LeeAnn, congrats on the marriage from me too!


kallie214 Friends "Fur" Life Bears
Gig Harbor, WA.
Posts: 1,534

Welcome back Mary Lou!!! I think anybody who has ever had any dealings with artists bears at all would know who Mary Lou Foley is!! The Polar Bear Queen has returned!! YEAH!!! We have all missed seeing your wonderful creations and its great to see you back doing what you love.

I think with the downturn in the economy, the majority of us have had to consider leaving bear making. Ebay certainly isn't what it used to more $1 NR auctions...(ahhh the good ol' days!). I think the TB category has turned more to hobby and less artist.  I still occasionally list there, but I do also have an etsy account. In my opinion, etsy doesnt really support the higher priced bears as well as ebay. Don't get me wrong, I have sold a few bears there, and many other artists do too. The fees are easier to swallow on etsy vs. ebay also. Ebay has gotten out of control with fees for this and fees for that.
Anyways, enough business talk. Just wanted to welcome you back to the wonderful world of bears!!!

Bear Hugs,


Baysidebears Bayside Bears
Cape Cod, MA
Posts: 19


Thank You!  I guess it's like starting over. I'll have to figure out where and how to sell my bears again. I opened a Bearpile account. Any of you do that? But right now I'm having fun just creating them. I spent a few hours in the studio today trying new things....tossed a couple of things into the " didn't work as well as I thought" pile.LOL! I think a few years ago I may have been a little burned out after doing it for 12 years. I have a lot more enthusiasm now...and I'm having fun again.

Lisa q.D.paToOtieS
Near Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 1,349

Who could forget you Mary Lou?  Your new bears will be just as magnificent as the bears you made before your break.  I've taken a year or two off here and there as well so I know what it's like to miss making bears.  Enjoy and can't wait to see your new creations!!!

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