Featured in For the Love of Teddys and other toys, 1-Jun-2013
Boyds Bears was founded by Gary M. Lowenthal and his wife, Justina Unger. They were owners of an antique shop, which although profitable, found difficulty maintaining an inventory of well priced antiques. In 1984 they began sculpting with resin, at first making a line of miniature houses called “The Gnomes Homes”. The first bear was a stuffed bear made for the couple’s newborn son, Matthew. They began making and selling stuffed bears, and the bears became known as “Boyds Bears” for the town of Boyds, Maryland, where they lived and operated their business. The line of plush bears and rabbits was a hugely popular success.
Most of the Boyds collection is sold via independent gift and collectible stores, such as The Boyds Bears Store http://www.TheBoydsBearsStore.com and Hallmark. The company operated one store, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, near its corporate headquarters. However, it closed early in 2011. It was announced that the Gettysburg store closed to put more “emphasis on supporting independent retailers versus our own superstores”.
This photo was taken at the Gettysburg SuperStore which we visited in April 2009. The store was housed in a huge barn and had 5-6 floors of merchandise. It was an amazing store and I was sad to hear it had closed. Although the bears are the biggest emphasis and selling items, my family and I love cats so sought out all the stuffed cats in the store. We loved these adorable Tuxedo cats, especially since we have 4 live tuxedo pet cats at home!