Andy West didn't ever foresee his career as a teddy bear artist. In 1996 he developed a disability which affected his hands and was advised to take up sewing as a form of therapy. Despite some initial resistance to the idea, he purchased a teddy bear making kit. At first bear-making was a hobby but, by 2005 it became a full time career.
Award-winning Westie Bears (and Andy) are familiar faces on the UK Teddy Bear circuit and the bears travel worldwide. Andy can be found at many Teddy Bear Fairs and shows; he also runs teddy bear making workshops all around the UK, sharing his skills and passion for bear-making. Andy writes a regular column for Teddy Bear Times magazine - giving an insight into the life of a dedicated, full-time teddy bear artist and imparting great tips for bear-makers.
The bears coming out of the Westie Bears house are all one of a kind (OOAK) creations. They are made from all different kinds of mohair; from stubby short-pile to long and wavy, traditional bear colours to the most outlandish, eccentric shades. They are accessorised with all manner of fabrics and props including animal print plush, safety pins and hand-made guitars! All of the bears have the Westie Bears trademark in common - a tiny hand-made bee with net wings and they each arrive complete with a hand-written birth certificate.