This blog post reminds me of an incident where I was having lunch with a friend who proceeded to rip through his dress shirt right in the middle of the park and had to return to work with ripped sleeves for the rest of the day. Seems like such a waste of a nice shirt! Well, Mrs Jermyn, found here on http://www.etsy.com/shop/mrsjermyn?ref=seller_info, repurposes old dress shirts into adorable teddy bears. Seems like a great idea for a child or a significant other to enjoy something with sentimental value.
Meet mr Tedi and his beary good-looking crew. We took one look at these guys and just had to have them; they look so very smart! They’re made from recycled men’s dress shirts, but remain as friendly as a childhood teddy. As the saying goes, there’s usually a great woman behind every great man—or bear, in this case—so we had a chat with Annika Jermyn, a designer originally from Finland, now based in New York. Her first Mrs. Jermyn sale is happening now, so you can bring one of these adorable distinguished gentlemen home today.
You started making mr Tedis with your husband’s shirts, right? Ever use one of the “keeper” shirts by accident?
Yes, every now and then one of mr Jermyn’s shirts disappears, and when he asks me, “Hey, you seen my orange shirt?” I casually reply, “Oh I’m not sure, check the laundry basket,” because I know for sure he is never going to go through that! A bit later a new Tedi appears on the sofa, and he squeals, “Yikes! That was my favorite!” I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to mr Jermyn for my sneaky techniques. In my defense, I do buy him a lot of great shirts.
mr Tedi pancakes!
Do you name each Tedi? And what comes first—the fabric or the story?
I do name every single one of them, and they are always titled mr and must always always always be referred to as mr at all times—no matter what. I just pick shirts I like and once a bear is made I simply look at him and ask, “What’s your name?” and the answer always comes to me pretty instantly. The more professional bears tend to get more serious names, although sometimes I like to go for the less obvious and unexpected ideas, to mix things up and keep it interesting. And somehow quite a few of them look like a Bob to me… Occasionally it’s a bit harder and I need to ask my studio mates if they know the answer.
How come mr Tedis don’t have faces?
There are so many ways to express yourself, and mr Tedi happens to have so much character as it is, that he simply doesn’t need a face.
Will mr Tedi ever have a missus? Or a baby Tedi?
Each individual bear has his own lifestyle, some of them will be forever wild bachelors chasing skirts, whilst some of them are pure family bears wanting to cuddle up on the sofa. mr Tedi has not mentioned baby plans, but he’s been wanting to get a dog for quite a while now. Small NYC apartments and his long workaholic hours have made him think twice though. Plus he does not like to be drooled on.
Do you have a secret favorite?
No secrets here, I definitely have favorites! I often like the classic blue shirts with white stripes. The brown flannel ones take me back to my childhood, and then there’s the funky characters like mr Gustavo that just have the best stories to tell. I’m sort of hoping nobody will buy mr Gustavo because I’d be pretty sad to see him leave.
Do people ever send you shirts for custom mr Tedis?
Yes, along with some wonderful stories about where the shirts came from: beloved fathers, husbands that wore the shirt on their wedding day or on their first date etc. These shirts have a value that no amount of money could buy! [Ed. note: Want your own custom mr Tedi? You’re in luck!]