Teddy fanatics Babs and Steve Kohler have launched their own TV channel to talk all things teddies as their High Street shop is closed again for lockdown.
The couple, who live in Southend-on-Sea, are using lockdown to talk teddies to collectors and enthusiasts globally and also to host interviews including showcasing the collections of some of their customers.
Filmed from their shop Teddy Station in The Victoria Shopping Centre, Chartwell Square, Southend-on-Sea, they have been unboxing new teddies on delivery days, telling teddy stories and also running teddy bingo games where members can get a Bearhouse Bingo card and win Hug vouchers to spend in store and online purchases.
Steve said: "Lockdown has forced us as business owners of a retail shop to get with the online programme - and it's been really fun. We know that there are collectors of bears all over the world and since we've been running our little TV station we cannot believe the interest we're getting.
"Using our shop as a studio, we can show our latest bears including our six foot polar bear called Ursa Major, and introduce viewers to these little cuddly characters in the fur. We've also enjoyed sharing collectors' stories with our audience."
Steve (64) and Babs (59) have been running their shop for the past 12 years. Prior to that they sold gadgets and new inventions, until they saw a bear-making stuffing machine at a trade show in Birmingham.
Having always collected teddies over the years and with their previous experience in entertainment they originally opened as a 'make your bear' shop and hosting children's parties. This soon changed as more and more customers were asking about the collectible teddies.
Within two years, glass cabinets replaced the party area, and the Steiff Club shop status awarded (which is very rare). For the past seven years they have been among the top 10 retailers of collectible bears in the UK for Steiff and Charlie Bears.
They also sell more affordable pieces like Swarovski bears, Disney characters and huggable teddies of all sizes.
Their top five recommendations for this Christmas:
- Steiff My first Bear - suitable from birth.
- Steiff Mini Aunt Lucy and Paddington Set - everyone’s favourite bear.
- Charlie Bears Helter Skelter - just the right cuddle size.
- Charlie Bears Secret Collection Dimples Bear -soft as silk fur
- Swarovski bears - more affordable with an added sparkle.
- Their show can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/TeddyStation/
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