Kelly launches her soft toy shop in Ipswich

Kelly Chamberlain with some of the soft toys and bears at The Bear Garden in the Tower Ramparts shop

Kelly Chamberlain with some of the soft toys and bears at The Bear Garden in the Tower Ramparts shopping centre - Credit: Archant

There have been some famous bears in fiction; Rupert, Paddington and Baloo, for example.

Now there is a chance to have you own individual bear, and name him (or her) too.

With Christmas just around the corner, Ipswich has a new ‘build-your-own’ soft toy retailer, The Bear Garden.

The Bear Garden, in Tower Ramparts shopping centre, is the idea of local mum Kelly Chamberlain, and of her `creative director’ - seven-year-old daughter Isabella.

Kelly and husband Neil have two daughters, Isabella and baby Lola.

“The shop is the idea of my daughter,” explained Kelly. “We were in a bear toy shop and I said I would love a shop like this. Isabella said: “Why not? She has had a lot of ideas and it is nice to take notice of what is in children’s minds.”

In The Bear Garden a customer selects a bear `skin’, or one of another animal like a dragon, owl, meerkat, a penguin or dragon.

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Then a heart, star or squeeker is placed inside, then the filling is blown in from the special machine and it is sealed. Clothing or costumes can be chosen too.

“Each gets their own certificate and you can choose a name,” she added.

Each customer can build an individual present for someone special, for a birthday, or for Christmas.

Owner Kelly said, “I am thrilled to be opening The Bear Garden just in time for the Christmas period. Living and raising a family in Ipswich myself, I wanted to bring something to the high street that not only delivers high quality, affordable products but also gives the opportunity for individuals, couples and families to spend time together being creative and having fun.

“Ipswich town centre has changed a lot over the past few years but I hope that with the new addition of The Bear Garden and several other independent shops that have recently opened, people will be reminded that Ipswich still has a lot to offer when they think about their Christmas shopping this year.”

The Bear Garden is on the upper floor of Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre.