Category: Start Memory Bear Business

Memory Bears: How to sell memory bears for money

Memory Bears: How to sell memory bears for money

Yes, you can make money with your sewing skills and work from home while doing it. This blog post is dedicated to making money selling your sewing services in the field of home decor, keepsake, memory, and heirloom sewing.

Memory Bears are stuffed teddy bears typically made from your favorite clothing or that of a loved one that has passed away. Memory Bears are not toys; they are heirloom (or keepsake) memory items that are meant to bring comfort to those friends and family members who are missing their loved ones.

Memory Bears are a viable sewing business option for intermediate or skilled sewists and require time, patience, and some technical skills to maneuver the pattern pieces. Also, there are many different styles of memory bears so you’ll want to decide on which pattern your sewing business will specialize in offering to your customers.

If you’re still here and reading this sewing business blog post, I want to thank you! Please take a moment and share it on Pinterest or Facebook!

Okay, there are a few items you’ll need to make your memory bear sewing business a success. This list may not include everything, as it depends greatly on the memory bear sewing pattern you will be using in your particular business. For the purpose of this blog post, I will share the items I use in my business according to my preferences and the pattern that I am most accustomed to using.

Memory Bears: Sewing Tools for Success

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread (all-purpose)
  • Sewing machine needles
  • Scissors
    • paper cutting scissors
    • fabric cutting scissors
    • snips (tiny scissors for threads)
    • pinking shears
  • Pattern
  • Poly-fil
  • Safety eyes
  • Safety nose
  • Embroidery Floss (for the customers that prefer stitched eyes and nose)
  • Sewing needles
  • Stabilizer (not all clothing will need to be stabilized)

What other items can you think of for sewing memory bears?

Did you know?


I offer sewing business coaching, a free private group, and a podcast!

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Self Quarantine Sewing Projects | Coronavirus quarantine

Self Quarantine |  Sewing through the Storm of 2020

I can only describe what we are experiencing right now, globally, as a storm. With so many uncertainties, questions unanswered, and just unknowns. I know one thing for certain is that we all need to work together and get through this time being supportive and helpful.

Okay, so here are some sewing ideas and tips for you while quarantined. Also, see if your local sewing centers and shops offer curbside service so you can still shop for your favorite sewing notions and fabrics.

  1. Write down your sewing projects and make a list of the fabrics, notions, and patterns needed for that project.
  2. Make a list of the items you need to order and purchase.
  3. Share your ideas online with your sewing group social media friends and see if you can help others with their sewing questions.
  4. Join some online ‘lives’  such as Facebook, Instagram, and Webinars. This can help you from feeling isolated.
  5. Start your own sewing website or video channel.


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How to Start a Memory Bear Business





4 Ways to Make Money Sewing from Home

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Perhaps you’re looking for a way to make money from home offering your sewing services but you don’t want to do the regular things, like hemming pants or other seamstress things. There are other options for your sewing services such as making creative, one- of- a- kind pieces of clothing from second-hand stores, or even offer more specialized sewing services such as memory bears.

How to Make Money Sewing from Home

Here are some tips and ideas to get you moving towards the dream of sewing from home and replacing your day job, but first let’s get some housekeeping out of the way.

  • You do NOT need to be an expert at sewing
  • You do NOT need an industrial sewing machine
  • You do NOT need an entire studio
  • Take an assessment of your skill level
  • Be honest with yourself and decide what you really like to sew

Okay, so let’s move on to talk about some fun money-making sewing ideas!

Home Decor Designer

Have you ever went shopping for new pillows or a sheet and blanket set just be frustrated that you could not find the style or design you need? This happens more often than we may know, and by offering custom home decor sewing services you can meet the need.

Custom Bag Designer

You’d think with all of the different bags, purses, diaper bags, and bookbags already on the market that there wouldn’t be a need for another bag designer…well, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that there is always room for one more bag designer! So if you’re passionate about designing bags, then go for it!

Custom Children’s Clothing

Custom children’s clothing is in demand from both consumers and pattern companies. You can make money from home creating children’s clothing patterns and licensing them, but also by sewing your own designs for consumers to purchase directly from you.

Memory Keepsake Sewing Services

The memory keepsake sewing business model is rarely spoken of, yet it’s been around longer than I’ve been alive! Essentially, you would offer to take the customer’s favorite pieces of clothing, blanket, shawl, scarf, ties, etc and create unique, custom items such as teddy bears, pillowcases, and even ornaments.


“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Memory Bear Business: Business Tools and Supplies

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Business Tools & Equipment


Basics for Success 

Starting or growing your memory bear business does take some basic tools and equipment. We’ve covered your business name, licenses, website, domain name, and a few other technical items. I’m going to talk to new and current memory bear business owners, so if you already have these items then you’re ahead of the game! 

  • Sewing Machine – nothing fancy. In fact, I use the Brother from Walmart 
  • Extra thread – be sure to buy all-purpose thread in all colors 
  • Bobbins – have pre-loaded bobbins and the right size 
  • Fabric scissors – keep a dedicated pair of fabric scissors at hand always 
  • Poly-fil- I buy the 10# box of poly-fil, it makes the best memory bears 
  • Embroidery Floss- I offer hand-stitched eyes and a nose, others might offer child safety eyes and nose services either way 
  • Needles- I keep all sizes on hand and several of each 
  • Inkjet printer – I use this to print paper contracts, invoices, and iron-on fabric 
  • Bear pattern – I actually use two different patterns and a secret technique to create my bears
  • Camera – I recommend that you take ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of every memory bear order 
  • Iron and Ironing board – take a minute to iron your teddy bear fabric 
  • Starch – just in case water /steam does not work for tough wrinkles 
  • Stabilizer – there are several fabric stabilizers on the market 
  • Sewing table – I use a 6’ folding table and it works great 
  • Pet free, Childfree, Smoke-free, Food Free working environment 

Closing / About 

All good things must come to an end 

I sure hope you gleaned a few golden nuggets from my blog! I’m not sure we have been properly introduced, so here it goes! 

My name is Stephanie Grams, I am married and a mom to six children; two of which have passed away. I was taught how to hand sew by my mom and grandma at the age of 7, simply because I was inquisitive (a.k.a. underfoot). They would spend weekends together making clothes for my sisters and me, and special occasion clothing for themselves. I have a very vivid memory of hiding under the sewing table (a.k.a. the dining room table) just to listen to them talk. I was fascinated by the sound of the sewing machine, the conversation about patterns and thread. 

I have owned and operated a very successful hand-made primitive company in which I hand made the patterns for the primitive dolls, including their hand-painted or sculpted faces, body, and clothing. 

Today you can find me on Youtube offering memory bear business tips and hand embroidery instruction!

If you have questions, feel overwhelmed, or are looking to make more money in your memory bear business then I invite you to schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation at this page

Memory Bear Business: Orders and Shipping Your Memory Bears

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Accepting Orders, Contracts & Shipping 

memory bear sewing services ohioGet It in Writing! 

Accepting orders can take place a few ways, the one thing to keep in mind is that you need everything in writing whether through email, text or private messaging. Before you can even accept an order, you must know what the expectations of the customer are and they need to know what you offer, and you both need to agree on those terms. 

Typically, my orders come from Facebook via a private message. It goes something like this, 

Customer: Hi! How big are your bears and how long will it take? 

Me: Hello! Thank you so much for reaching out to me about my memory bear services. Each memory bear is 18” tall and I require a minimum of 3 weeks turnaround time from the time I receive your clothing. 

Customer: Oh, that’s a nice size bear. How many pieces of clothing do I need to send you for one bear? 

Me: Well, that depends. Are you sending infant, toddler, children or adult clothing? 

Customer: I will send …. 

From there I tell the customer how many pieces of clothing I will need to create one memory bear. I also send them the link to my website that contains the mandatory order form and my policies. 


Yes, I do require a contract for every order. This is the legal document that will keep my customer and myself in-line with the terms of our agreement. My contract states the terms of sale, policy, procedure, shipping, additional services, pricing, and clauses.


Shipping is very straightforward. I have a FAQ page on my website and on the contract which states that one bear receives free basic shipping, large orders of memory bears do cost an additional shipping and handling fee. 

If the customer wants insurance, they are required to pay the additional fee and I am not held responsible for any lost or damaged mail. Do not get stuck paying for the shipping and handling! The cost can add up quickly due to the box size, tape, mailing labels, postage, driving to the Post Office, and any extra shipping materials you use. 

Once the box has shipped, I use my smartphone and take a picture of the receipt showing the date, time, and tracking number then I send it via text, email or private message to the customer. This gives them a sense of security knowing that their memory bear is on its way. It’s up to the customer to pay for insurance and also keep a watch out for their memory bears to arrive at the address they gave you. 


Follow along for part 7 ~

Business Tools and Supplies

Memory Bear Business: Marketing, Sales and Customers

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service 

How to Get and Keep Happy Customers 

Let’s recap! You have your business name picked out, searched to make sure it was not Trademarked and you just purchased the domain name! You have your legal paperwork completed, you’re registered with the government and now, you need customers! 

Your First Customer 

If you are brand spanking new to owning a memory bear business and have never had a customer, now is the time to offer your service at a reduced cost. When I first opened my memory bear business and had no customers, I decided to offer my services at a reduced fee. In the first week of opening my doors, I had 8 orders. 

Marketing Your Small Business 

As a new business owner, you need to start drawing attention to your services even before your website is created. In fact, using Facebook or Instagram while your website is being built is a great way to get the word out about your memory bear services. One thing to keep in mind is your target customer. 

Do not think every customer is your target customer because this is simply not a fact. At first, you may find yourself taking every order inquiry that comes your way simply because you do not know what your boundaries are or how to say ‘no’

Let’s dig deep into finding your ideal customer by asking the following questions: 

  1. Who wants your memory bears?
  2. Who would love to brag about your services?
  3. What is their income, age, and gender?

Your Brand Identity 

While researching your ideal customer, you’ll need to build a strong brand identity…this is the step that WILL MAKE YOU STAND OUT from the rest of the memory bear business providers. Your brand identity is about your values, communication concepts, emotions you want to your customers to feel, and your mission.

Generate and Nurture Leads 

Now that you’ve begun building an online and local presence and creating awareness of your business, you need to generate leads that will bring you, customers. 

To generate leads online you could post pictures of your happy customers with their memory bears, or you could post pictures with stories of other items you have made that will show off your sewing skills. It’s a great idea to either make a few memory bears as gifts and give those away to people that will BRAG online about your services or make memory bears out of your own clothing so you can show your skills. Remember, potential customers, want to see your memory bear sewing skills before they are going to trust you with their treasured clothing. 

To generate leads in your local community you can attend local craft shows and business networking groups which will help establish you as the ‘go-to’ memory bear provider. By creating a local buzz about your sewing services, you will be given opportunities to grow your customer base, especially if they love your services! Bragging about how great your memory bear services are, will happen naturally and growth will occur. 

Follow along for part 6 ~

Orders and Shipping Your Memory Bears

Memory Bear Business: Business License and Taxes

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Business License and Taxes

What Is It & Do You Need One? 

I think it’s safe to say that every business needs a business license, and as a memory bear business owner, you’ll need one to operate legally, but requirements may vary. The specific license or permit you need can be figured out by visiting the Small Business Administration website. 

Small Business Taxes 

As a business owner, you are obligated to pay specific federal taxes, and the amount of those taxes is determined by your business entity. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for on the IRS website here. 

Some taxes you want to consider include: 

  • Self -Employment (SE Tax) 
  • Employment Taxes 
  • Excise Taxes 

Please seek the legal advice for your specific business structure, this is simply a reference blog to give you guidance on starting and/or growing your memory bear business. 


Follow along for part 5 ~

Marketing and Customers

Memory Bear Business: Choosing and Registering Your Business Name

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Choosing & Registering Your Memory Bear Business Name

Standing Out from the Rest 

Establishing your business name is a little more complicated than making a list of your favorites. You’ll be using your business name on all your legal forms, client contracts, website, business cards, employer tax identification number, licenses, and permits. 

If you’re using a name other than your personal name, then you need to register it with your state government so they know you’re doing business with a name other than your birth name. 

Start strong! You will need to make sure the name you want is available in your state. Business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, so it’s possible that a company in another state has the same name as yours. You only need to be concerned if there’s a Trademark on the name, so do a trademark search of the name you want to desire so you can avoid costly issues down the road. 

Now, be sure to do a domain name search to make sure your choice of a business name is available for purchase. I use and recommend this service for domain name purchasing and website hosting. (Here is an affiliate link to the hosting company I use and have trusted for over 5 years!)

For a more depth look into naming your business, registering it online, and filing your legal structure, you can visit the Small Business Administration (SBA.GOV) and/or SCORE.ORG. 


Follow along for part 4~

Licenses & Taxes

Memory Bear Business: Business Structures

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

The 4 Most Common Business Structures 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney or lawyer, I am not giving you legal advice. I only share the information I have found via the IRS.GOV website. Please do your own due diligence when constructing your memory bear sewing service business.

The four most common business structures are sole proprietorshippartnershiplimited liability company (LLC), and corporation. Each legal structure has its pros and cons, and it’s worth understanding every one of them before choosing to register. For time’s sake, I will only cover two: Sole Proprietor and Limited Liability (LLC). 


Example: Virtual Assistant, Freelance Graphic Designer 

What it is: A sole proprietorship is a business that’s owned and ran by one person; the government makes no legal distinction between the person who owns the business and the business itself. It’s the simplest way to operate your business. 

Pros: It’s easy and inexpensive to create a sole proprietorship because there’s only one owner, and that owner has complete control over all business decisions. Tax preparations are also simple since a sole proprietor is not taxed separately from its owner. 

Cons: It is often difficult to raise money, get investors, or business loans. Also, since the owner and the business are legally the same, the owner is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business. 

Taxes: The sole proprietor owns and manages the business and is responsible for all transactions, including debts and liabilities. Income and losses are taxed on the individual’s personal income tax return at ordinary rates. Also, you may be subject to payroll taxes, or self-employment taxes, on the money you earn. (Find IRS tax forms here) 

Limited Liability Company (LLC) 

Example: A small design firm; Memory Bear Business 

What it is: LLC’s are a type of business structure that’s more complex than the sole proprietorship, but less complex than a corporation. They are called “pass-through entities” because they’re not subject to a separate level of tax. Most states don’t restrict ownership on LLCs, and so members an include individuals, corporations, and even other LLCs and foreign entities. Most states also permit “single-member” LLCs, those having only one owner. 

Pros: Owners of an LLC have limited liability, meaning that they are not personally responsible for any financial or legal faults of the business. This reduction in risk is what makes an LLC a very popular business structure. 

Cons: LLCs are often more complex than sole proprietorships which means higher initial costs. 

Taxes: LLCs have the benefit of “flow-through” tax treatment, meaning that the owners – not the LLC – are the ones who are taxed. Having only one level of tax imposed makes taxes easier.


Follow along for part 3~

Choosing and Registering Your Memory Bear Sewing Service Business Name

Memory Bear Business: Getting Started (part 1)

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page


Happy Memory Bear Customers

Starting a memory bear business involved a lot of moving pieces, some more fun than others, though all are necessary. Things to consider are: 

  • Business Name 
  • Legal Filings 
  • Filing Taxes 
  • Domain Name 
  • Hosting Company (I use this company and recommend them)
  • Payment Processors 
  • Marketing and Publicity

The trick to successfully getting your memory bear business off the ground is to plan and organize your materials, prioritize your time, and stay on top of these moving parts. 

From registering with the government to getting the word out about your business to making key financial decisions, here’s an overview of what you’ll need to start and run a successful memory bear sewing business.

This is not one of the fun parts, however, it is necessary. All new businesses need to be legally structured according to rules and regulations in your State, City, and County. This includes things like determining the legal structure of your business, your business name, registering with the government, and things like getting a tax code, a business license, seller’s permit, vendor and/or transient vendor’s license. 

Businesses are regulated on the federal, state, and local levels. It’s important to check what’s required on all three of these levels to ensure you are operating legally. When you register your business with the government, be sure you’re covering registration on all the levels required for your memory bear sewing service location. Your business won’t be a legal entity without covering these, so stay on top of it. 

It can be overwhelming to figure out what legal steps you need to take for your location, so let’s break it down in this memory bear business guide. Below you will find a brief explanation of what goes into each of the steps, along with some helpful links and resources so you can dig a little deeper. (Note: These steps are suggestions for starting a memory bear business in the U.S. only) 


Follow along for part 2~

Determining the Legal Structure for your Memory Bear Sewing Service Business

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