Creating Smiles – Creating Memories

From those first sunny days of exploring the possibilities of paper and keepsakes, Bear & Willow has developed into a place of smiles and memories. It’s why I started it all in the first place – as a way of helping people create something that will bring a smile to their face, or those they love. To be part of a special memory that will stay with them forever.

My vision for Bear & Willow – I want to breathe a little happiness and positivity into your life, with unique pieces that will remind you of the good times and what’s important.

It started with the keepsake books I talked about in my last post. I made books for wedding anniversaries, new baby’s and special birthdays. I started to explore other possibilities and made keepsake and personalised frames too. In 2020 I made the decision to start really trying to make the business grow and succeed. I was getting close to all three of my kids being in school and knew I was going to want to get back to work. Bear & Willow wasn’t going to work unless I focused properly on making it happen – and if it didn’t happen then I’d always wonder ‘what if?’

And so the Etsy shop I had opened several years before was finally stocked. I started posting regularly on my Instagram and FaceBook pages, set up my Pinterest business account and Bear & Willow was officially launched into the world. And then lockdown … home schooling with zero nana and granda childcare breaks! I have to admit, it all stopped for a while and I was sure my great 2020 New Year resolution was dead in the water.

I’m not sure exactly what sparked the change. It could have been a chat with my amazing sister, a fellow maker (Ella & Boo – go check her out!!) and someone who has always been such an inspiration to me. It might have been lifting my Indie Roller Handbook that I had invested in via a Kickstarter campaign the previous year. It might have been a ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself’ moment. Whatever it was it made me step back and I launched a new product line that I had been thinking about for a long time.

I’ve always been a lover all types of celebration – a party lover. Not the dance and drink all night party …. but the let them know how amazing they are party, the celebrating the fantastic things you’ve done party, the we all love you so much party. Some of my favourite memories are of childhood birthday parties and now that I have my own, I love being able to plan their birthdays. Every year I make their birthday cakes and in 2020 I decided to take my cake decorating to the next level.

And it sparked an idea in my head that helped me out of that lockdown mood and started to steer Bear & Willow in the right direction ….

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