Moms We Love: Sky Khan of Tedde

The teddy bears from Tedde certainly ain’t your Grandma’s bears. These handmade plush stuffed animals are fun and full of ‘tude. We recently caught up with Sky Khan, the creator of Tedde to talk about bears, her family and how what’s old is new (and funky) again.


As a child, what were your favorite toys?

I loved stuffed animals. Teddy bears were certainly my favorites. I liked the ones that were different, especially musical teddy bears.

How did you come to create Tedde?

I had worked for many years in a toy-focused industry. My son, Nash, was born and I had also completed my Masters. I thought about leaving the corporate world and going into something more entrepreneurial. I had tons of ideas and I spoke to my husband about products that were old and needed a makeover. We decided on the teddy bear, which is over 100 years-old. And when my son was born, we received a lot of generic gifts, like teddy bears. They didn’t have any personality, and we yearned for something different.

Well, the bears from Tedde are certainly different. Let’s talk about the designs.

I reached out to designers who had an interesting take on plush. I challenged them to make over the teddy bear. I gave the artists free reign to interpret what a teddy bear should be. As you can see, they had a lot of fun with it!

Do you have a favorite from the line?

I really like Herman. He’s a small 7 inch grumpy-looking bear.

I like Herman, but I LOVE the Busted Again Goldilocks. I also like how each bear comes with its own story.

I write the stories for each bear along with a couple of writers. It helps to give them personality.

How would you respond to critics who claim that these don’t look like teddy bears?

People either completely get it, or they don’t. And it’s true; they don’t look like traditional teddy bears. I understand when people feel like you’re touching the sacred teddy bear. But the bears can’t help it; they’re just being themselves!

I would think that with your line you would have a lot of adults collecting the bears as well as children.

We definitely have adult collectors. The line easily crosses over from children to adults.

We should point out that all the bears are limited editions.

That’s right. This helps keep the line fresh and new. We are going to have 3 new bears come out in the first half of this year. And we’re also going to have another competition called The Teddy Bear Makeover, where designers submit their best teddy bear designs.

With a small child, how do you balance Tedde with being a mom?

I’m very conscious of my time with Tedde and my time with Nash. Also, Nash participates in the company. He gives me the thumbs-up on new designs. I think it’s a great and unique experience for him to grow up in an entrepreneurial household.

It’s like you have your own built-in focus group!

He’s been dead-on every time! [laughs] He loves the teddy bears, and I think that everyone needs one, too. Whether you’re a grown-up or a child, it’s great to have a teddy bear that is special to you. It’s also a wonderful first gift for a child. Why not give something that has personality that a designer has really thought out in terms of creation and construction, and has been lovingly handmade? There is no greater gift than that.

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