We’ve always said that everyone loves stuffed animals. There are even thousands and thousands of collectors of stuffies all over the world. So many that companies like Charlie Bears are growing faster than ever.
Charlie Bears is a company created by Charlie and Will Morris in 2006 in the UK. It’s now a multimillion dollar company and it’s selling 500 000 stuffed animals per year, the Plymouth Herald reports.
That’s a lot of stuffed animals! Each of them is designed by Charlie. Most of the stuffies the company sells are teddy bears. But they also sell a lot of cats, dogs an giraffes.
We all love teddy bears
And who do you think is the main buyer of Charlie Bears? Adults. More specifically adults who love collecting stuffed animals! According to Charlie Bears, most of them are in the USA, Germany, Australia and the UK.
The company has also made a huge showroom at its base in South East Cornwall. It shows off some of the more impressive creations over the years. As a result, the showroom has seen about 2500 visitors since it’s opening in July 2016.
Charlie Bears is not simply a toy company that makes toys for the sake of making toys. Charlie and Will have a special history with teddy bears. A few years ago, Charlie worked in a teddy bear shop in Leeds. One day Will came in looking for a present for his mother. Before you know it the two fell in love.
In 2006 they moved to Holsworthy in Devon and sold everything they owned to raise the money to start Carlie Bears. This was Charlie’s dream – to design her own teddy bears. From the start the company targeted collectible bears. Slowly, but surely, they started to make their mark.
Big plans for the future
Today the company has 30 people in its team in the UK with plans to double it in the next a couple of years. The bears and stuffed animals are made in Thailand and Sri Lanka. There the company has over 1000 workers making over 140 designs of bears and stuffed animals.
“We mainly sell to teddy bear shops and high-end toy stores throughout the UK and Europe. We supply about 250 stockists in the UK and are on QVC eight times a year”, WIll says. It was QVC which got them on the map in 2006.
Today the company keeps a tight schedule. “We have new products of February each year”, Will says. At most they produce a design for up to two years before replacing it. Usually though, the production time is a lot shorter and for some designs it goes down to only 6 months. This keeps production runs shorter, which makes collectors happier. At one time there was a 62-week waiting list to get a bear, but then the company boosted capacity a bit and started to export more.
Now Charlie Bears is planning to expand in Europe, Russia and have an even bigger presence in the US. They are on the road of becoming one of THE teddy bear makers.