Facebook | Mary Mac

Woman Makes Beautiful Memory Bears Out Of Lost Loved Ones’ Clothing

You may not know it now, but even the least extraordinary pieces of clothing can hold precious memories of your loved ones for you.

After my grandpa passed away, we realized we didn't feel him in his suits, his ties, or his never-ending collection of nondescript grey T-shirts — he was in the Goofy baseball cap that he let us wear whenever we visited, complete with the character's telltale floppy black ears and buck teeth.

Though they may seem like just simple scraps of fabric on the outside, clothing can become perfect reminders of a lost loved one and all the good times you had with them.

Facebook | Mary Mac

And although there's nothing anyone can do to bring that person back, Mary MacInnes hopes her Memory Bears can at least preserve those special memories.

The talented 21-year-old fashion student takes old clothing from lost loved ones' and turns them into beautiful teddy bears.

Facebook | Mary Mac

According to Metro, each one is carefully hand-sewn and can be made using almost any type of fabric that holds special meaning to her clients.

She can also include jewelry or ashes in the bears, and can even add a special pocket at the back for other mementos.

MacInnes admitted that she never planned on turning the sentimental bears into an entire business.

Facebook | Mary Mac

"I made my first Memory Bear five years ago as a favor for a friend and was constantly asked to make more, but turned them down because I wanted to concentrate on university and a career in bridal," she told Metro.

However, she eventually gave in to the growing requests.

Facebook | Mary Mac

She says that after word got around about the special creations, her Facebook page, Mary Mac, blew up.

"I gave in to requests for bears and once I uploaded photos to my page it just exploded," she said, "so at the moment I'm fully committed to making them."

It takes around five to six hours to complete one bear, which includes design time as well as planning, cutting, sewing, and completion.

Facebook | Mary Mac

MacInnes divides her time between two studios, one in her hometown of Kilmarnock, Scotland, and one in the neighboring Galashiels.

She says it's a service she loves offering and feels "privileged to be able to" provide.

Facebook | Mary Mac

But she emphasizes that she doesn't sell bears, but provides a service. "Once stuffing, eyes, noses, buttons, ribbon, interfacings, cost of machines, maintenance, insurance, embroidery & embroidery threads etc are subtracted I work for less than minimum wage," she explained in a Facebook post.

And with the length it takes to expertly craft the sweet teddies and the powerful sentiment behind each one, she admitted the business can be "emotionally draining some days."

Recently, a man approached her and begged that she make his two daughters each a bear before Christmas.

Facebook | Mary Mac

"He insisted on paying in full and gave me £10 extra asking me to post them to his girls," MacInnes explained. "It turned out he has terminal cancer and won't see Christmas. I cried the whole time I cut out, sewed, and stuffed those two little bears."

Although the teddies take an emotional toll, MacInnes said "it really is a privilege to be asked to create something from people's personal possessions."

Facebook | Mary Mac

The heart and labor put into each individual bear is all worth it when she sees the reactions from her customers.

"I love seeing their faces take on character and I'm absolutely loving life," MacInnes said. "I really enjoy meeting my customers when they collect the bears — 80 percent burst into tears."

Just by looking at these beautiful teddies, it's obvious each one is as unique as the person they're honoring.

Facebook | Mary Mac

MacInnes truly has a talent for taking something as simple as a nightgown, a tie, or even a Boy Scouts uniform and turning it into something unbelievably special.

The bears start at £50 (around $64 USD) and increase in price, depending on the client's specifications.

Facebook | Mary Mac

In a recent Facebook post, MacInnes explained the bears can be made from just about any material or fabric, including silk, wedding dresses, uniforms, wool, and even denim.

She also said she can even add little accessories if desired, like graduation caps or feathery wings.

Facebook | Mary Mac

The arms and legs on the bears are fully jointed as well, making them posable.

Since word has recently spread about MacInnes' business, she's been overwhelmed with orders for Memory Bears.

Facebook | Mary Mac

So, unfortunately, she's currently all booked up for Christmas and won't be taking any new requests.

However, she did say that she will open up orders once again in the new year, so make sure you keep an eye on her Facebook page so you can get your order as soon as possible.

h/t: Metro

Filed Under: