I am Teri Kehrli of Kehrli Bears (formerly Teri Zanetti of Heart for Bears), nationally known, award winning Teddy Bear Artist since 1995. I first entered the bear scene in 1990 by sculpting and selling miniature teddy bear figurines across the United States. I tried my hand at two plush bears, but was frustrated at the amount of time it took to perfect them. Over the next 5 years of sculpting minis and many nights pouring over teddy bear magazines, I longed to order my first yard of mohair. In 1995, I set out to create my first mohair bear. I was hooked! I called my soft sculptures "Heart for Bears by Teri Zanetti".
Over the years, I attended bear shows, sold my creations online, and met some of the dearest people, many of which are still close friends. In 2001, I was asked to design 14 pieces for Ganz Cottage Collectibles before they retired this collection. By 2005, my life circumstances had changed, so I took a break for a few years to secure a position outside my home and raise my beautiful daughter (Sara VanOrden of Out of the Orden-ary). In 2010, I returned to my bear studio and to my maiden name of Kehrli (thus Kehrli Bears). I still work full time, but I can’t wait to get home to those little faces just waiting to come “alive” in my bear studio.
I create each piece from start to finish from my original copyright designs in my clean, smoke free bear studio. I guess you can say that I am a perfectionist: I purposefully place patterns, carefully cut, fray protect, sew using reinforced stitching throughout, and pull fur from seams both inside and out for the best possible results. It’s a labor of love, and I think you’d agree that it’s well worth the added effort. Many hours are spent with each piece so they exude the one of a kind heart warming expression, gentle disposition, and quality that brings joy to the hearts of my fans. In fact, each one carries with them a little piece of my heart.
My award winning bears and friends are gentle, friendly, a bit lazy, but always ready to lend an ear. Over the years, they have graced the pages of major teddy bear magazines and have found homes all over the world, including those of movie stars. It is not only the love of creating new faces, but the praise and encouragement of my enthralled collectors that keep me creating new pieces. I am humbled to know that my creations have touched the hearts of so many people.