Teddy Bear Family is a teddythemed store in Tianzifang (No 23, 248 Taikang Road, 64730645) where the chance to create your own huggable friend attracts hundreds of people, young and old.
As soon as you step into the shop, housed in a three-story shikumen (stone-gated lane house) building, you are surrounded by the furry creatures. There are teddy bear paintings on the wall, teddy-shaped wooden chairs with teddy-shaped cushions, and on display is the private teddy-bear collection of the shop owner.
The highlight is getting the chance to build your own bear, which costs 138 yuan ($22.25) including materi- als and tutoring. This type of bear has limbs that can rotate 360 degrees.
With a special machine, customers can fix the limbs on to the bear themselves, then stuff them with cotton. “There is trick when filling in the cotton. To make the bear neat,
one should start with the limbs,” Cui Linlin, a staff member, told the Global Times. After stuffing the bear, staff provide a needle and thread to sew the bear closed. To individualize your bear, you can embroider your name on its hands and feet.
There are also kits for families to make together. Costing 268 yuan, they come with two large bears and one small bear, with the limbs pre-attached.
“We have all kinds of customers coming to our store, including couples and families. As the shop’s name indicates, we want to make everyone feel at home here,” said Cui.
Cui told the Global Times that they are going to release more types of bears and bear clothes in the future.