Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews – Karen Olsen

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Hanna Kampourogianni

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Welcome to “Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews.” In this edition, we’re delighted to introduce you to Karen Olsen, a truly remarkable Teddy Bear Artist whose journey through the world of bear-making is nothing short of inspiring.

Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews - Karen Olsen
Teddy bear artist Karen Olsen with her Sachi.

Karen Olsen, also known as “Sachi Stitches,” has been breathing life into teddy bears for over two decades. Her story is a testament to dedication, creativity, and an unwavering passion for crafting these lovable companions.

Meet Karen Olsen as “Sachi Stitches”

Karen Olsen, hailing from Australia, began her teddy bear artistry adventure around 25 years ago. As we unravel the threads of her story, we discover that her journey wasn’t a straight line but a beautiful tapestry of experiences.

In those early days, she started with medium-sized bears, typically around 20 to 25 cm, each one bearing her unique touch. However, Karen challenged herself and began making smaller bears, from 7 to 14 cm.

Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews - Karen Olsen
Teddy bear Apricale. She is wearing the vintage jewelry of Karen’s mother.

Karen says: “My style is quite understated, mostly having only one or two features. I use a variety of fabrics from viscose (German and Italian), Steiff Schulte mohair, and occasionally synthetics but not very often.”

Karen reflects on her journey: “I have only ever hand-sewn my creations (even the larger ones) as my machine skills are not the standard of everyone else in my family. My mother was a tailoress, and my sisters make quilts and do fashion design, so somewhere the machine skills were lost on me.”

Karen’s creative journey also found its unique identity in the name “Sachi Stitches.” This name carries a heartfelt connection to her fur kid, Sachi, who accompanied her from Australia to Germany. Sachi, a Yorkshire Terrier weighing 1.9 kg, was a cherished companion and a symbol of small, delicate stitches.

The Art of Teddy Bear Making

Creating teddy bears is more than just a hobby for Karen; it’s an art form. Her unique style and techniques have evolved over the years, resulting in bears that are nothing short of exquisite. She draws inspiration from the world around her, inspired by artists like Vincent Van Gogh and even iconic musicians like The Beatles.

Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews - Karen Olsen
The tiny teddy bear Starry Starry Night is 10 cm and was named after a painting by Vincent Van Gogh.

Karen’s bears reflect the ever-changing colors of European seasons and the enchantment of places she has visited. It’s not just about creating a bear; it’s about crafting a story, an emotion, and a connection with those who welcome her creations into their homes.

Interview with Karen Olsen

In an exclusive interview with Karen, we delved into the intricacies of her journey. Her move to Germany, while personally significant, also presented challenges as she navigated language barriers and sought supplies for her beloved craft. Despite these obstacles, Karen’s determination shone through.

What inspired you to start making teddy bears again after moving to Germany?

Karen: “Still looking for my calling, I was fortunate enough to be employed at a Teddy Bear Shop and fell in love with the story of Margarette Steiff, her fortitude and determination.

Having been an elite athlete and still currently a coach, these qualities greatly appealed to me. Some years later, while my teddy bear-making had become very casual due to life happening, I had the opportunity to rekindle this passion.

Germany happened to be a country I visited several times as a sports coach and I made sure my personal itinerary included the Steiff Factory in Giengen an der Brenz.

My bear-making remained very casual, only making bears as gifts until after I moved to Germany in 2018. I began making a few more bears and I really went into full swing again when COVID lockdowns happened, an absolute dream for an introvert.”

Were there any difficulties you had to face?

Karen: “The challenge was then to find suppliers for my needs as the shop in Australia was closing and the postage costs were expensive. After much internet searching in a foreign language (of which I have still not come to grips), I found supplies at and for supplies I had run out of.

The next challenge was to adjust my patterns as the disc sizes were different from what I had been accustomed to in Australia and my Australian supplies were becoming smaller and smaller.”

Can you tell us about your pricing and the time it takes to create one of your bears?

Karen: “My creations are priced between 75€ and 195€, and a bear would take me a minimum of 2 days to create, with a minimum of another day added if it has a jumper or jacket.”

What advice do you have for newcomers starting their journey in teddy bear making?

Karen: “For anyone starting out, my suggestion would be to invest in a bear pattern-making class so you can aim to have your own unique look. I think after 25 years, I am beginning to get there.”

Teddy Bear Artist Success Stories

Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews - Karen Olsen
Biko and Zaraffa. Made in honor of Steven Biko, a black African anti-apartheid activist who was brutally murdered.

Karen Olsen’s journey has been studded with success stories. Her bears, inspired by art, music, and the world around her, have captivated collectors worldwide. Awards and recognitions celebrate her unwavering dedication to the artistry of teddy bear making.

“Seeing collectors connect with my bears and knowing they bring joy to their lives is the greatest reward.” – Karen Olsen

Opening an online store on Tedsby

One such success is her Tedsby Shop, where collectors can discover and bring home a piece of her artistry. Her bears are not just cuddly companions; they are expressions of her creativity and the emotions she pours into each stitch.

Participation in Teddy Bear Shows

Karen’s journey in the world of teddy bear artistry also led her to showcase her creations at teddy bear shows and competitions. She didn’t just create bears; she shared them with the world, gaining recognition and admiration from fellow artists and collectors.

Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews - Karen Olsen
Dances with Wolves. This bear took the 3rd place on the Independent Bear Artist Show on Facebook (people’s

This participation in teddy bear shows not only allowed her to display her artistic prowess but also to connect with the broader teddy bear community. Her creations, inspired by art, music, and the world around her, have captivated collectors worldwide. Awards and recognitions celebrate her unwavering dedication to the artistry of teddy bear making.

The Impact of Teddy Bear Artistry

Karen’s bears, both medium-sized and smaller, carry an emotional connection that transcends their size. They offer comfort and companionship, sitting beautifully in your hand. These bears embody the changing colors of European seasons and the inspiration she draws from art and music.

In fact, it’s not just about creating bears for Karen; it’s about connecting with people through her art. Her bears become a part of someone’s life, and that emotional connection is at the heart of her craft.

Inspirational Takeaways

Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews - Karen Olsen
Teddy Bear Cameo is wearing a vintage cameo.

As we wrap up Karen’s inspiring journey, remember that dedication, creativity, and a willingness to challenge yourself can lead to remarkable achievements. Karen Olsen’s story is a reminder that teddy bear artistry can be a fulfilling and heartwarming endeavor.

“Pattern making is the key to creating bears with your unique touch. After 25 years, I’m still fascinated by the process.” – Karen Olsen

Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting your story encourages you to follow your creative passions and create your own unique bear-making identity.


In closing, Karen Olsen’s story is a testament to the power of creativity and passion. Her journey from Australia to Germany, from medium-sized bears to smaller, intricately designed ones, is an inspiration to all bear artists.

We hope her story has kindled your own creative sparks and left you eager to explore the world of teddy bear artistry further.

Author’s Note

Before we say farewell, a heartfelt thank you to Karen Olsen for sharing her journey with us. Her dedication to her craft and her ability to touch hearts through her bears remind us that the art of teddy bear making is not just about stitches and fabric; it’s about creating memories and emotions that last a lifetime.

Connect with Karen Olsen on Instagram and Facebook to see more of her wonderful creations.

Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews - Karen Olsen
Ballerina Girl near the image taken by Karen at the D’Orsay Museum.

For an even deeper dive into the world of teddy bears, be sure to visit and explore our collection of articles. Discover the artistry, dedication, and passion that make the world of teddy bears a truly magical place.

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6 thoughts on “Behind the Stitches: Inspiring Teddy Bear Artist Interviews – Karen Olsen”

  1. Hello,

    I just finished reading your interview with Karen Olsen on teddybearart and I’m truly captivated by the depth of insight and creativity that she brings to the world of teddy bear art. Your questions were thoughtful and brought out a wealth of information about her artistic journey.

    Karen’s dedication to her craft shines through in every word. Her attention to detail and the emotions she infuses into each piece are truly inspiring. It’s clear that she approaches her creations with both skill and heart, which is what sets her work apart.

    Your interview format was engaging, and you managed to cover a wide range of topics, from her artistic process to her sources of inspiration. It’s evident that you have a genuine passion for teddy bear art, and your questions allowed Karen’s story to come alive.

    Thank you for sharing this intimate look into the world of teddy bear artistry. It’s always a joy to discover artists like Karen who pour their soul into their creations. Looking forward to more insightful interviews from you!

    Warm regards,

    • Hey there,

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to read our interview with Karen Olsen on! I’m thrilled to hear that you found it captivating and insightful.

      Karen truly is a remarkable artist, and I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments about her dedication to her craft. It’s artists like her who bring so much heart and soul into the world of teddy bear art, making it such a special and inspiring niche.

      I’m delighted that you enjoyed the interview format and felt that it covered a wide range of topics. It’s our goal to bring out the essence of each artist’s journey and share it with our wonderful community of teddy bear enthusiasts.

      Your kind words are greatly appreciated, and your encouragement fuels our passion for teddy bear art even more. Stay tuned for more insightful interviews and inspiring content coming your way!

      Warm regards,

      Hanna Kampourogianni at

    • Dear Pasimdu,
      Thank you so much for your beautiful words and thoughts. I am so grateful for the interview with Hanna and to be able to share my creations with you.
      Many blessings
      Karen 🌸

  2. Karen Olsen is an inspiration to all entrepreneurs and her story is an example of someone who has turned what started out as a hobby that followed her passion into a full-blown business. She has been able to excel at what she does due to that passion, even while moving across the globe into a new country!

    I love the title for this interview, behind the stitches is so appropriate for Karen and what she does. She seems to be a humble person in spite of all the success, and her advice is spot on about pattern making and having a unique style for your bears.

    There is certainly a market for what she is doing. On a personal level, I know I have invested quite a bit of money in such bears for both my girls (2) years ago, and now for the grandkids (2 of 6 are girls and wanted ones like their mothers received)…Very interesting and thanks for sharing this interview with us all!

    • It’s wonderful to hear your thoughts on Karen Olsen and her inspiring journey in the world of teddy bear making. Her ability to turn her hobby into a successful business is truly commendable, and her passion shines through in her work.

      The title “Behind the Stitches” for the interview seems like a perfect fit for someone like Karen, who has a genuine and humble approach to her craft, despite her success. Her advice on pattern making and developing a unique style for teddy bears is indeed valuable for aspiring bear makers.

      It’s clear that there’s a significant market for these handcrafted bears, as you’ve personally invested in them for your own family. It’s a heartwarming tradition to pass down these cherished teddy bears to the next generation.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective on this interview, and I’m glad you found it interesting. If you have any more thoughts or questions related to teddy bear making or anything else, feel free to share.

    • Dear Dave,
      Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts. I am truly blessed to be able to share my creations.
      Many regards
      Karen 🌸


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