Update: Thanks to all who helped us reach the MINIMUM budget in less than two days. You can still get a bear and make a positive impact! Let's raise another $50,000!
A Berd Bear (pronounced: Baird Bear) is a one-of-a-kind, 100% handmade teddy bear crafted through an ancient technique that was initially introduced to the region of Berd, Armenia by a German nun. A woman in Berd recognized that the bears were unlike any other and recruited some pioneers to join her. The craftswomen then united with toy-expert and Norwegian Consul Timothy Straight, and together they re-designed a modern classic.
A bear that is as much art as it is toy - as it is story.
One that appeals to "children" of ALL ages. Something that will forever be on display, that embodies what can be created with careful hands and prioritizing creativity and quality craftsmanship above all else. (Or in other words, the opposite of most things you can buy in the Western world today!)
If somehow all that doesn't make you want one, then there's also the life-changing impact of empowering enterprising women and artists to dream beyond the mountains of rural Armenia.
www.berdbears.com for more photos and information...
Who are the women of Berd?
As you can see from the video, the women of Berd are mostly mothers who aside from this project and their craft have limited options for income, particularly due to closed borders and barren industry. They are also artisans who finally have the opportunity to put their world-class craftmanship to work and are empowered by the camaraderie that comes with being part of a creative community, in a town that previously held no place for one.
Why is the project's goal to raise $5,000?
This is the MINIMUM amount to ensure that the artisans are able to get the quality materials they need for this exciting first-ever design run of Berd Bears. Of course, the women can make as many of these bears as the Kickstarter community demands, but this is the minimum amount needed to create a run of bears and get them out of the mountains and into the homes of people around the world.
Why are Berd Bears so awesome?
Each bear takes over 20 hours to make, is 100% handmade, and no two are the same. They also measure a substantial 15 inches (38 centimeters) tall, and the joints rotate a full 360 degrees for unconstrained imagination. Old world meets new. No photo introduction can adequately recreate the smiles that meet these bears in person, but to get an idea...
There are a million reasons to want a teddy bear - it's one of the few timeless, ageless and borderless things left in the world. For such a memorable object, why not adopt/give something with a story behind it, handmade and uniquely reflecting the bear's owner; a mini-treasure that will always evoke smiles and fond memories of the person who gave it or the sort of world you believe in.
Little in Size. Large in Impact.
Thanks to Manana Films who created the video for this project.
Thanks to Sister Hannah who preserved and shared the technique with the women of Berd, and to Timothy Straight who helped the women perfect the bears.
- (55 days)