Old Bears Everywhere

Margarete Steiff

Margarete Steiff was born in 1847 and died in 1909. She was from Giengen, Germany and led the most remarkable, inspirational life, shaping history as she lived. At 18 months old a high fever resulted in Margarete contracting Polio, and losing the use of her legs, and leaving her with a painful right arm. Never one to be deterred, she fought hard to lead a normal life, attending school and qualifying as a seamstress. Later, she began working for her sisters in their dressmaking shop, but soon found herself running her own ready-to-wear clothing business, that became so busy, she was able to employ other seamstresses. Always open for other ventures, a pattern for a fabric elephant pin cushion caught her eye, and she set about making some for her friends as gifts. They were greatly received, but not for their intended use, but as comforting, cuddly toys for their children. From here Margarete set about crafting other fabric animals, and by 1880 the foundation was laid for Margarete Steiff GmbH. Her vision, determination and zest for life, have turned her company into the international, worldwide success it is today, continually embracing, the memory that is Margarete Steiff.

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