Cuddle your memories: Cork business preserving precious keepsakes in huggable form 

“A family member passed away a few years ago and my sister-in-law was looking for a way to preserve the memories of this loved-one."
Cuddle your memories: Cork business preserving precious keepsakes in huggable form 

The Stitched Bear takes old clothing and blankets and preserves precious memories in huggable form.

‘Cuddle Your Memories’ is the slogan of a Ballincollig business that turns old clothing and blankets into teddy bears, thereby preserving precious memories in huggable form.

Sheila O’Mahony’s The Stitched Bear makes teddy bears from material provided by her customers, and that material can come from baby blankets or the clothing worn by loved-ones who have passed away.

The Boston native moved to Ireland eight years ago, and she lives in Ballincollig with her Bishopstown-born husband and their young daughter. 

“I’ve always had a very creative mind and I’ve been making and creating all kinds of things for years,” Sheila said.

“A family member passed away a few years ago and my sister-in-law was looking for a way to preserve the memories of this loved-one, and the idea of sort of like a memory bear came about. 

"I said to her, ‘Look, I can make that’, and so that was the beginning of The Stitched Bear.”

The Stitched Bear logo was designed by Sheila’s daughter, Ella, who is a talented artist.

Sheila makes teddy bears from materials supplied by her customers. “It could be from clothing belonging to somebody who has passed away, it could be baby clothes for children that have grown up and the parent is still holding on to those precious little memories or school uniforms,” she said.

“It’s just basically taking those clothing items and creating a tactile memory, and I find that it brings a lot of joy and it can bring comfort and solace to people, especially because the bears are quite cuddly for people to hold them, and maybe it feels like they’re holding on to those loved-ones.”

Anyone who is interested in Sheila’s work can find The Stitched Bear on Facebook and Instagram, or on The Stitched Bear website, thestitchedbear.com.

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