Michelle Nunnery, of Little Bittie Bears, doesn't consider herself to be from anywhere.
How can that be?
"My Dad traveled a lot so I am not from anywhere."
But for the last 25 years, Michelle has called Panama City, Florida her home. Living there with her husband and children, she embarked on a journey; one of making little bittie teddy bears.
Michelle comes from a family of teddy bear lovers. "My Grandfather, Opa, gave me my first teddy bear when I was a baby and I still have it today."
Bears have played a pivotal role in her family's life too.
Her website contains a photo of her mother as a child, holding onto a teddy bear and her doll. It was taken in Germany before the war. Not long after the photo was taken, the house was bombed and everything was destroyed, including the beloved toys.
"Today my Mother has a fondness for teddy bears and has passed that tradition onto me."
She confided that most of her family loves bears, "so I guess you can say that my love for them was inherited," noting that her father, especially, loves teddy bears.
Michelle loved crafting, even as a child. She used this passion to start making dolls which she would give as Christmas gifts, as early as when she was 7 years old; eventually transitioning into making teddy bears.
"I loved teddies but couldn't afford them, so I started to make them myself," she revealed.
In 1992, she started her bear-making company, giving homage to the fact that most of her creations were, in fact, "little bittie."
Michelle started selling in local stores and festivals when not working at her full-time job as an Engine Manager for the F119 engine; most notably found in the F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft.
Now she no longer does shows, opting instead to sell through online venues such as BearPile, her website and at times through Bright Star's online show platform.
Michelle designs about 30 different patterns each year; creating about 125 magical creations during that same time.
Known for their large, innocent and child-like eyes, each one is endearing and carry a sense of whimsy with them.
Her style: unique and heart-warming.
She often uses the "adoption fees" from her creations to raise money for several charities; letting bear hugs reach further into the community than sometimes their little arms can do on their own.
Michelle has won several awards for her craftsmanship of bears and little buds, with more surely to follow.
Little Bittie Bears
Member since April 2013