The Original Online Teddy Bear Magazine
Sandy Czaja                                 January - February 2023

We love to revisit our Artists Members from time to time, as their lives change and their wonderful bear creations do too.


Lamby Pie


The Collector

Sandy tells us that each Christmas there was a teddy bear hidden somewhere in their Christmas tree!

"A lovely little bear that my husband had bought for me! Not always a collectible teddy, but I loved them all."

One year she found a handmade teddy in the tree made by her  husband.

"I had one teddy bear as a child, given to me as a baby.
It didn’t look much like a teddy bear when I was older. All of it’s fur was rubbed off and it had lost a leg. Once it was left behind, my Dad had to drive many miles to find it while I cried my eyes out."

Bears are special. No one needs convincing. Bears are given out in hospitals after heart surgery. A patient holding a teddy to their chest is helpful in recovery.

"I made bears for my sons, and for the girls that I worked within my dental office.

I made a bear for our Children’s Hospital charity drive. The bear wore a children’s hospital gown that I cut down to size. A very generous orthopedic surgeon made a cast for the bear’s leg and the entire Buffalo Bills Football team signed it."

Sandy also made bears for Make A Wish Foundation and many bears on consignment.

"Often collectors sent their beautiful fur coats to me and I was able to turned them into beautiful keepsake teddy's!

A teddy bear can make a huge difference in someone's life!"

That was long before Sandy ever went to her first teddy bear show.

There she met Valerie Rogers of Bright Star Promotions.

"I loved the live shows and meeting all the collectors.
I don’t remember selling a bear in that first show,
but I was hooked.

Gathering courage I decided to dip my toe in the teddy bear world. My husband was my chauffeur and we would pack our little car so tight with bears and bear “stuff” for the show that it resembled the clown car!"

Traveling to the live shows became mini-vacations for the Czaja's and they had so much fun together.

"My favorite teddy bear show was Christmas in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was magical!"

Sandy loves to sew. "I create my own patterns to make the bears that I would like to own. They can be hard to part with, but our house is only so big!"

She loves making bears with character, or bears that tell a story.


“Gramps” was featured on the cover of Teddy Bear Times & Friends, January 2022. He is a grizzled, an old looking fellow wearing a pair of old glasses, a vest and pocket watch. He was made from brown multi-colored faux fur."

Sandy enjoys making small bears out of mini-fabrics and sparse mohair along with natural furs for a more tradition bear.

"Mink, fox, all of the natural furs are beautiful. They take more time, because they need to be lined and the fur pieces must be matched, but there is nothing as soft or luxurious. Now most of my bears are made from imported faux fur. The colors are rich, vibrant, beautiful, and the furs are nicely made."

Times change, and the Czaja's are now living in Oregon and selling bears in online teddy bear xhows.

"My bears travel far and wide, all around the world.

Receiving emails filled with joy when the collector's purchase arrives brings a smile to Sandy's face and warms her heart.


"Although not meeting the collectors in person,the online shows keeps me motivated and creative."

"I believe I started making teddy bears for teddy bear shows in 1993. After all that time, collectors are still asking where I got the name for my business.

My grandmother had a name for anything that wasn’t good, it was “Schlok”.

I told my husband that
I wanted my bears to be the best.

I said, “ I won’t make schlocky bears”.
He said, “that’s the title of your bear company

Best Friends






Isabelle and her mouse




Charlie Brown


Fur Mania Event Piece






Then ~~ and ~~ Now

She was featured in the March 2007 issue,

the August-September 2017 issue and now

January-February 2023


Way to go Sandy!



Sandy Czaja
Notchlok Bears



Learn More . . .


Where is Salem, Oregon USA?


Click on the map >>>


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