"These shows have given my hubby and me the opportunity to travel to places we would never have seen otherwise, and best of all we've made lifelong friends among collectors, artists and their spouses."
Sue has won multiple awards over the years, including Golden Teddy and TOBY awards, winning a Best-in-Show for her bear "Long John Silver," who now resides in the Susan Qinlan Doll and Teddy Bear Museum in Santa Barbara, California. She has made appearances in numerous issues of various teddy bear magazines, as well.
Teddy bears have even brought her "screaming and kicking at first" into showcasing her bears using computer technology. She's taken part in online teddy bear shows; excited to show her bears to collectors who live far away or who may not be able to attend a regular show.
"As much as I miss meeting collectors and seeing their reaction to my "kids," it's good to know that collectors are able to shop from home." The collectors are as much of a pleasure virtually as they are in person and she's made many new friends this way also.
Sue prides herself on her bears never being "assembly line" pieces. "Each one is a unique little soul that brings me joy upon completion."
And although she has intentions to finish some other non-bear related projects, "the bears just keep calling me!"
Sue exclaims, "So I'll keep making them. There seems to be an unending supply of gorgeous mohair, alpaca and European plush out there, and I need it all!"
She remains excited and loving her work because there's always so much to explore and to create.
Sue Van Natten
Member since May 2013