Working with Make-A-Wish Vermont to help Vermont children living with terminal illnesses get their wishes—whether it’s a backyard pool, a trip to Disney World or spending the day as a fireman—is truly one of the most important things we do at Vermont Teddy Bear. Three years ago we launched our first One-Of-A-Kind Bear to raise money in support of these efforts, and since then it has become a favorite annual tradition. So far these Bears have raised over $10,000 to help wishes come true. Below is an interview with our head seamstress who talks about the creative side of giving.
Cvijeta Jeftic is a talented Bear specialist who designs the custom outfits of our One-of-a-Kind Bears.
How long have you worked at VTB?
When did you learn how to sew?
As a girl growing up in Yugoslavia, I loved to make things with my hands, so I knew how to use sewing machines. But I never made new patterns, so I got a lot of help on that from the people who worked here when I started.
What was your approach in making the One-of-a-Kind Masquerade Bear?
I wanted it to look really good, and I like a lot of detail. I actually started with the one from last year, and then changed it little by little. So, I like to try small changes from something I like, and see where they go. By the end, it looks much different from anything I’ve made before.
Do you have a say in the design process?
(Bear Designer) Cassie (Clayton) brings me the sketch so I know what she’s looking for, and we work together from there.
The proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Vermont. How does that make you feel?
I can’t explain that feeling—it makes me so happy. More than I can say.