One year on the way home from Quebec, we decided to take the western Vermont route instead of going down I-91. We stayed in Shelburne, Vt. Shelburne is known for a few interesting things but one of the most interesting is that it is the home of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.
I knew that there was a factory tour offered showing how the teddy bears are made. They are not mass produced they are hand cut and stuffed. They are, however, sewed on machines. We signed up for the next available tour and then walked around the huge gift store at all the bears that are for sale. If you want, you can make your own. Lots of kids were taking advantage of this option.
Our tour was a real mixed bag with lots of kids but also parents and obviously grandparents. You walk through the different operations. Our guide gave a running commentary but there are also signs giving you additional information. Photography is allowed.
We were able to see the workers sewing the bears. No one was cutting out the material but there was a sign showing the 10 parts that make up every bear. It also takes ¾ of a pound of stuffing to fill a 15-inch bear.
The part of the tour that everyone loved the best was the bear hospital. With a lifetime guarantee, many bears will be mailed to this hospital for everything from simple to catastrophic repairs. The cost of taking this tour is minimal, $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for children. If you are going to be in the area, especially with children, I highly recommend that you stop by and take the tour. It is very enjoyable.