Edel Grace’s childhood aspirations had been to do something arty but her drawing skills held her back. She originally thought to follow in her father’s footsteps as a shoemaker but he convinced her there was no future in it. Shelving her artistic leanings she wove a path through many and varied courses and careers, from holiday aid to nuns through to senior administrator for a medical devices company.
It was her mother’s tired but beloved childhood teddy bear that inspired her to make her first bear. Stumped for a gift for her mother’s birthday, she knew this childhood toy was beyond repair so instead made her a replacement, it went down a treat. Buoyed by her success, she decided on a career in bear making which would allow her to realise her childhood dreams and launched her own business. Learning on the job, still 'unable to draw a straight line with a ruler' she fiddled with her pattern until, many crooked bears later, the Tipperary bear was born. Edel set up her studio (Teddy HQ) in scenic Grousehall, North Tipperary in 2013 and has been happily producing expertly crafted stuffed creatures ever since, with the Tipperary Hare also joining the ranks.