Bear business booms in M'boro as teddies hit town
BEARY happy couple Valerie and Michael Walker met while working as couriers in Mackay and bonded over their love of teddy bears.
Valerie started Teddy Bear Cottage online in 2002 and later met Michael, who collected weird bears and told him she could get him a discount.
"We started talking and fell in love," Michael said.
Eight years and three children later the husband-and-wife team has opened a shop in the Maryborough central business district.
"It just got way too big from home," Valerie said.
"People are travelling to Maryborough to go to the shop.
"You get to see some of the people you post to."
Valerie and Michael agree each bear is different.
"They just have that unique personality about them ... everyone loves teddy bears," Valerie said.
They also stock stuffed animals and candles.
"We get lots of people coming in to cuddle the bears and smell the candles," Valerie said.
When their home became overcrowded with storage boxes they decided to move into a retail space.
"It was just packed, we couldn't move," Valerie said.
"We did have a lot of people who wanted to be able to call in and see the products."
Business is still booming online, with Australia Post now making daily visits to the shop to pick up parcels.