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   Barb Koop                                                                        March 2015
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Finn

As a child of an active Air Force Officer, Barb Koop of Barbee's Bears traveled extensively and has lived all over the USA and including cities overseas. She now makes her home in San Antonio, Texas.

Barb has always had a love of bears, but while attending college, she found out exactly how important a teddy bear can be.

"When I was an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, I was in a horrible motorcycle accident and almost lost my left leg." During her hospital stay which involved many surgeries and extensive treatment, a search began for a very special bear to help her.

"Care Bears were very popular at the time and I had folks across the United States looking for a 'Cheer Bear' for me," Barb remembered. Unfortunately, with the popularity of the Care Bears at the time, it was a very difficult item to locate one.

Time passed and still Barb underwent treatment, enduring unbearable pain. And one day, upon returning to her room she found propped up on her pillow was, a "Cheer Bear."

Her father who never gave up looking found one at a store with an Easter display.

 

"The store clerk had asked him if he would like to buy a stuffed bunny for one of his grandchildren and he told her my story and asked if she had a 'Cheer Bear'.

Powder

Spangle

The clerk explained that the back of the store was full of Care Bears but they weren't allowed to put them out until the next day.

She was so touched by what my father told her that she searched the back room and found one."

 

To this day, Barb's favorite bear is the Cheer Bear. As a bear had played such a pivotal roll in her life, it wasn't long, after years and years of collecting, that Barb thought, "I think I can do that."

 

With a variety of styles to offer, she created bears using all types of mohair and also needle felting.

 

Now she is offering a 'Create your own Bear' page on her website to give her customers more say in the bear or bud they want to adopt. "I am always designing patterns so that my bears don't look alike."

Best known for her types of noses, Barb gives attention to detail with her father's mantra of "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing your best," rolling around in her head.

Although her work is now being offered in a couple of collectible stores located in Texas and Connecticut, Barb prefers to sell from her website or at trade shows.

"The best thing about the teddy bear making industry is the kind people I have met and the friends that I've made."

It's during the trade shows that she finds what she describes as what every bear artists strives for; that moment when you see a collector pick up a bear and utter "Awww..."

Another bear saves the day.

 

 

 

Barb Koop

Barbees Bears

Member since March 2014

Tangerine

 

Lil' Tramp

 

Lemonade

 

Ruth

 

Learn More

 

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San Antonio, Texas?

 

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