Moscow is a very beautiful city and it is the home of Marina Osetrova of Marina Osetrova Bears.
"I was born in St. Petersburg. When I got married, I moved to Moscow."
It is there that she and her husband started their family which, in addition to now having 2 adult children, includes 2 grandchildren and a Vice World Champion and International Champion canine named King.
Marina is relatively new to bear making, although it does not show in her work.
"I started to sew teddies only 4 years ago, but I liked it so much that I can't seem to get on to other things." Her bears are cheerful little fellows, even sometimes "pranksters." All of them have character and their own histories.
When asked how she began in her love and artistry of teddy bears, Marina said, "My daughter-in-law, Yaroslava, made teddy bears. I was curious to know how it all worked and I gave it a try. The first bear was ugly (in my opinion) but I decided to keep it. I tried to sew bears in different styles and after many attempts, I realized that I like the bears that look like they are real. I like teddies where you exclaim "They're alive!"
Marina's bears feel warm, soft and have leather paws that make them seem alive. They are easy to pose in natural positions that it is often hard to tell whether they are real or not.
She designs all the patterns by herself, creating teddies with eyes and mouths that open and close. Their mouths have teeth and a tongue which resembles a live bear. Even her dog King puts up with these life-like bears when they cuddle with him or misbehave.
Marina takes part in many exhibitions and fairs held in Russia and in Germany, often receiving top awards for her work.
"My bears have found homes in Russia, America, Japan, China and Germany, just to name a few countries."
She sells them at trade shows, on the Internet and from her web site.
"Many owners of my bears send me photos and tell me about the lives of their bears. Therefore, collectors of my bears often become my friends which is very nice for me."