Meet the ladies mak­ing Tambo bears

Tambo Ted­dies made from Aus­tralian wool

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - GE­ORDI OF­FORD Ge­ordi.of­ford@ru­ral­

FOR 25 years Tambo Ted­dies have been an icon of the Queens­land out­back, putting the small town on the map.

Made from Aus­tralian sheep­skin, they are de­scribed by owner Ali­son Shaw as qual­ity fit for roy­alty.

She pur­chased the busi­ness four years ago with Tammy John­son and Ki­ralee San­der­son.

Ali­son said they have six em­ploy­ees and each bear takes just over an hour and a half to make.

“Each bear has about 19 pieces which we cut out of the sheep­skin,” she said.

“Once the teddy has been made we give them to our cus­tomer care ladies who trim the eyes and give it a bow.

“They give the bear a name and they’re in the mail within two days.

“They’re like lit­tle out­back am­bas­sadors.”

Ali­son said they love be­ing able to sup­port farm­ers by us­ing Aus­tralian wool.

“We love the fi­bre and it has so many at­tributes and ben­e­fits,” she said.

“We like to talk about those be­cause it’s sup­port­ing the wool in­dus­try.”

The bears have gone global – the busi­ness has re­ceived or­ders from the US, Canada and the UK.

They have been gifted to the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge’s chil­dren Prince Ge­orge and Princess Char­lotte, Crown Princess Mary’s son Prince Chris­tian and most re­cently the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex for their first child ex­pected in April.

“I got a call at about 11am on the Wed­nes­day be­fore and it was the pre­mier’s of­fice ask­ing if I could talk to her,” Ali­son said.

“She (An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk) got on the phone and asked me if we could make one for them be­cause there’s noth­ing more Queens­land than a Tambo

❝We love the fi­bre and it has so many at­tributes and ben­e­fits. — Ali­son Shaw


“I got straight off the phone and went to the shop and said to the girls we’ve got a spe­cial or­der and it was made and sent out that day.”

Ali­son said they had been very busy since word got out about the cud­dly gift for the fu­ture baby Sus­sex.

“We’ve had so many or­ders com­ing in, but we are still up to date with all of them,” she said.

“When we get a big in­flux of or­ders we just work harder, we get so ex­cited.

“We think of all our cus­tomers as roy­alty.”

In re­cent years the team has in­tro­duced a few things to the busi­ness to add value.

“When we took over we thought about ways we could make the busi­ness bet­ter and we liked the idea of in­tro­duc­ing some­thing a bit cheaper peo­ple could buy,” Ali­son said.

“This year we in­tro­duced

OUT­BACK AM­BAS­SADORS: Tammy John­son and Ali­son Shaw pur­chased Tambo Ted­dies four years ago when the pre­vi­ous owner re­tired. PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTEDPeter Pos­sum to the col­lec­tion and we’ve also got the Tambo Ted­dies Ad­ven­tures books.“There’s four books about mus­ter­ing, shear­ers, ringers camp­ing and a rodeo.“They’re show­ing kids some of the things that hap­pen in the out­back us­ing the ted­dies at the char­ac­ters.”

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