A few words from Rikey Austin ahead of the launch of Alice’s Bear Shop:
“I’ve tried so many times to put the way I feel about my work in writing. It’s practically impossible. It’s not through any great academic prowess. School just wasn’t for me. I do accept that I have a talent, as I believe we all do and I wake each day filled with a real sense of privilege and, to be honest, a little disbelief. I’ve found my path and I get to walk it. I am quite simply too lucky for words.
It began with a passion. That thing that makes you work way, way beyond the point that common sense tells you to quit. I opened a very small teddy bear and doll hospital almost twenty years ago here in the little seaside town of Lyme Regis, trying to teach the ethics of repairing and making at a time when the market was very much focused on mass production and selling as much as cheaply as possible. Each night I’d share stories with my three boys, often of the patients that had come to us for help. Over the years those characters developed and become a real part of our family. When the boys were still young I was given my first chance to see them made and to see their stories published and to share them with the world.
We’ve had so many adventures together, my family and Alice’s Bear Shop. Now we are about to begin the biggest adventure of all. Alice and all of her friends will be relaunched by the wonderful team at Charlie Bears. People who truly share my passion for bears and understand that the bond between a child and their bear is so, so much more than we often realise. A first best friend, a lifelong companion, the way we learn to be a caring and compassionate adult. Charlie and her team have given my friends their own very special Charlie Bears magic touch and created a range I am truly delighted with.
I hope you love them as much as I do.”