Michele (Shelly) Freeman
Michele is a Teddy Bear Artist working in Faux fur, Mohair and Alpaca using Wool Batt to sculpt the face and paws. Michele has been designing and making bears and animals professionally since 2012. She sells her work on Etsy: www.edenandfriends.etsy.com and live in shows across the United States. Needle felting her bear’s faces is a key differentiator that sets Michele apart from other more traditional Bear Artists. Michele has won numerous international and national awards for her bears International Teddy Bear Artist Award (UK the TOBY Industry Choice and Publics Choice in 2017 (US) and more recently another TOBY Industry Choice award for 2018.
Michele studied Industrial Design and worked as an Industrial Engineer before launching a new career in professional bear making. “Bringing the creativity, design and necessary techniques altogether is critical in making a quality product.” Michele says. Each one of a kind hand crafted bear is finished from nose to paw tips using her own custom patterns. “A huge amount of time and effort goes into the creation of a high quality unique bear, so my OOAK bears are for collectors and not for children,” she says. She finds inspiration reading books, children’s stories and Classics and shooting the breeze with her daughter- Eden. “She is such a fun source of inspiration, and is the Eden of Eden and Friends. A bear cannot be offered for sale unless it has received her stamp of approval.” Michele’s work has also appeared in many publications including the Teddy Bear Times and Teddy Bear and Friends magazines. Michele was born in South Africa and currently resides in Texas, USA.