Meet The Maker: Alison Shaw Owner Of Tambo Teddies Pty Ltd

Meet The Maker: Alison Shaw Owner Of Tambo Teddies Pty Ltd

Created in Outback Queensland, Tambo Teddies are tenderly crafted from 100% woollen sheepskin, truly an Australian hand-made product.

These very appealing, friendly teddy bears come in different styles. There are two teddy families, the Basils and the Tobies; basils are a traditional teddy bear style and the tobies have a chubby physique and come as multi-coloured patch work bears. Find a soft and cuddly Bickie Bear for your newborn or a fully dressed Mr. Stockman teddy bear with his hat, swag, and stock whip.

As their personality emerges each bear is individually named after a farming property in the Tambo district.

How did you start your homegrown business?

Back in 1992 wool prices had crashed, the district was in the grip of a drought and the community of Tambo were challenged to come up with new industry to sustain the economy of this little town. A brain storming session during a workshop developed the idea that Tambo could assist the wool industry, encourage tourists, and create employment by making unique teddy bears from wool pelts and stuff them with wool.

Tammy and I have driven the growth of Tambo Teddies since 2014. As a pair we continually examine all aspects of the business with the goal of expanding, improving efficiency and profitability. Production has increased to around 250 bears/other items per week. There are currently fourteen people employed in the business.  

Most recently the business has expanded in Toowoomba, with the purchase of a new and bigger Hub building. With plenty of space, great staff and supply sorted, the sky’s the limit. Tambo Teddies will soon be taking on the world!

No matter how big we grow, Teddies will always have the same values and support our community of Tambo. We don’t just create teddy bears; we create a Tambo Teddy community!

What inspires you? 

The excitement of people buying our bears never ceases!

No matter how we grow, seeing orders come in, engaging with customers in store or online gives us a thrill.

What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?

We are Australian made and we are proud of it, there is no compromise, our customers love our products because they are made in Aus.

We have had to expand to another region to secure more staff (Tambo only has a population of 380) but the expansion has been fantastic and is enabling us to continue to grow and take on new adventures within the business.

What makes the Australian consumer unique?

Aussie consumers are proud of Aussie products!

What is the best business advice you have ever received?

Think outside the square – keep it changing.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business?

Our location – we are in the middle of Queensland’s Outback, in a town of only 380 people. This location and limited population make it difficult finding good staff and presents supply and logistical problems.

What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Be flexible, always be on the lookout for opportunities

What was your first job?

Jillaroo

Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke?

Give me a home amongst the Gum Trees!

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