Meet Marion Fraile of Bearkidz
                                                                      May 2008
Boca Raton, Florida is thousands of miles from her native country of Germany, but after living in Canada for 10 years and then moving to Florida, Marion Fraile of bearkidz bears™ now makes her home amongst the palm trees, sand and fuzzy eyelash yarns.

As a young girl, she became an avid collector of bears and dolls. She collected mainly old Steiff bears, animals and antique dolls. "Sometimes I look back at my first treasures and have a chuckle because of how my tastes and knowledge have changed over the years of collecting," Marion fondly recalls.

Lawrence

When her own daughters were young, Marion crocheted or knit their stuffed animals which were loved and cherished by her daughters. "At the time, the yarn selections were not as exciting as they are today. None of the wonderful fuzzy eyelash yarns were available, so there were not many exciting colors and textures," she said. Her first bears started out as tiny bears from "regular" thread, which were gifted to relatives and friends.

Marion started her "bear-making career" making "normal" bears from mohair fabric. However, since she loved crocheting, it was only natural that she started to combine the two. When she discovered all the fuzzy eyelash yarns that opened a new world of possibilities to create the most unique "fur."

Minnie and Stormy

Each bear is unique, one-of-a-kind and crocheted without the use of patterns. "I work as I go," she disclosed.

At some point, someone asked her why she wasn't selling her bears. "It had never really occurred to me that someone would pay money for something that I just loved doing and I was giving away," she remarked. Taking her cue, she began selling her bears. Marion  started out making miniature bears which ranged between 4 to 6 inches. Today, her bears are between 10-12 inches and she sometimes crochets bears up to 17 inches.

Marion feels that the larger bears let her combine her love of bear and dolls together. "All of my bears are either babies or toddlers, which I am fascinated by in real life," Marion confessed.

Sashi

Minnie

As with all babies, as they grow and make their way into this world, their personality emerges and starts to define them. "Once a baby is born (crocheted bear of course), it looks at me and I can see if it's a boy or a girl. It will tell me its name which will be shown on its ID hang tag, together with the year of making," Marion reveals.

"I love to dress and pose them for pictures. Once the baby bear has its name, I look for items such as clothing or playthings that will really bring out the character of the new little one." She continued, "It's fun to figure out who they are and then dress them accordingly. I have fun scouting antique shows and toy stores to find little things that my bears can wear or play with." Each bear usually comes with a custom crocheted outfit, designed and hand made by Marion.

Making bears started out as a passion, a past time and something to do. It has now come to the point where most of her daily activities are somehow centered around making her bears. "I guess you could say that it is the best of both worlds and that I am passionate about my job as a bear maker," she stated.

Marion's love for dolls (especially baby dolls) shows in her bears. They are recognizable by their proportions as being babies and toddlers, and their features take on characteristics of innocence, friendliness and the desire to be cuddled.

"I get the most wonderful letters from some of my bear's new mommies, which makes me very happy. I love each of my bears and I am never sad if a bear doesn't find a new mommy. Each bear of mine is welcome in my house," she said with a smile, "and some I just don't sell."

Emily

Finnegan

Sedona

Suki

Pixie

Carly

Knut & Tiffany

Marion Fraile
Bearkidz

Member since March 2005

 
   
 
   
   

 
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