Last Christmas my nephew had a gift suggestion. He requested a new TLC product: a lavender-filled stuffed animal. He and his siblings had been stealing their mom’s lavender wrap since the Christmas before, so it was time for them to have their own lavender-filled product.
The Lavender "Stuffie" Prototype
I had made something similar for a co-worker’s son. He was having trouble sleeping and I wanted to help. I made a small pillow with a robot design and filled it with flax seed and dried lavender buds. “Roboto” ended up being a big hit, so I knew I could make something similar for my nephew and his siblings.
So, I purchased three stuffed animals. I cut them open, inserted lavender sachets and then sewed them back up. It was oddly gruesome gutting a cuddly creature and then stitching it back up. It was worth it. The kids LOVED their lavender filled stuffed animals.
I knew this was a product I wanted to bring to other kiddos. But, I needed to a teddy bear professional to make it happen. I could bear cutting open more stuffed animals.
Finding the Perfect Teddy
I did lots of research on teddy bear manufacturers. I was looking to work with a Canadian company and preferably one that uses reclaimed, recycled or upcycled fabrics. One day I stumbled upon ouistitine in Montreal and they were the perfect fit.
Camille and her team hand make stuffed animals, dolls, toys, and other accessories from reused natural fibers (wool, leather, fur, linen, cotton). Their products are beautiful, heirloom quality and a perfect fit for TLC.
And, Camille selected some beautiful purple, green and brown wool for our bears.
The Lavender Inside
The bears ouistitine created for TLC have a small sachet of custom blended Ontario lavender inside. The bears release a gentle scent of lavender as they are cuddled and snuggled with.
The sachet includes French (Lavandula x intermedia) and English (Lavandula angustifolia) lavender buds to offer a gentle aroma for small children. Lavender can sometimes be too strong for kiddos, so I wanted to soften the perfume-like scent of French lavender with sweet smelling English lavender.
Dried lavender buds hold the essential oil and aroma. As the teddy is cuddled, the lavender scent it released. It's soft and subtle but lovely. The more a kiddo squeezes their bear, the more aroma the buds will release (and the faster it will fade). It depends on how much the teddy is squished, squeezed and cuddled, but the bear should smell like lavender for about six months.
I’m really happy with how the lavender teddy bears turned out. Each one is unique - totally one-of-a-kind. They are completely made in Canada through a collaboration of two female-owned small businesses. They are environmentally-considerate and seriously so freaking cute.
Can't wait to hear what the kiddos who receive them think!
xo - Stephanie