I'm so glad you’re here.
At Audrey & Bear, we know every family has a unique story to share. I founded Audrey & Bear to help friends create unique pieces that tell those stories and celebrate the wondrous children in their lives.
From starting at my kitchen table to developing today’s e-commerce shop and modern production facility, my experience as founder and CEO of Audrey & Bear has been filled with joys, sacrifices, and lessons learned. So many lessons learned! It is my hope that by sharing this wild journey with you, you leave feeling more inspired and connected than when you came.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Thanks in no small part to pregnancy hormones, I felt sad and guilty about not really celebrating the moments leading up to the birth of our new family member. Nothing about Annabelle’s arrival felt uniquely hers. Even the most darling outfits hanging in Annabelle’s closet had been Audrey’s just a couple years earlier.
This pregnancy and this birth didn’t have that special magic I so wanted for my baby girl. But I resolved to find a way to make sweet Annabelle’s entry into our lives just as special, and just as extraordinary, as her big sister’s had been.
Fortunately, my big, third-trimester belly meant I wasn’t sleeping all that well. It was fortunate because lying awake in bed gave me time to think, and think some more, until it hit me. I had a plan!
Pregnant Mama on a Mission
I sat down at my kitchen table and began sketching. The result was a design that featured Annabelle’s name on a beautiful blanket that I could use to receive her.
One problem: I still had to figure out how to get that design ONTO a blanket. Call it fortitude, nesting instinct, or pregnancy-brain: there wasn’t anything that was going to deter me from making it happen!
A few weeks prior, while enjoying a bit of retail therapy at the local fabric shop, I came across a bolt of jersey knit fabric and seriously contemplated why swaddle blankets weren’t made using it. Audrey ALWAYS managed to Houdini-wiggle her way out of traditional muslin swaddles. With its incredible stretch, jersey knit would most definitely make for a better swaddle-maybe even Houdini-wiggle proof!
As I explored options for printing Annabelle’s design, it occurred to me that by printing it onto that jersey knit, I could make her the most cloud-soft, snuggly swaddle blanket. And that’s exactly what I did.
The First Blanket
After my fabric arrived, I pulled out my sewing machine and set to work, cutting and sewing Annabelle’s blanket. It turned out absolutely perfect – it was everything I dreamed of! I tucked it away into my hospital bag and felt success knowing that we could celebrate Annabelle in her own unique way, and have a keepsake I could treasure forever.
I’ll never forget the day our beautiful Annabelle was born, just a few weeks later. Instead of having her swaddled in the traditional hospital swaddles, I asked the nurse to use the one I created.
Everyone who saw our precious baby girl in her unique swaddle quickly took notice. They celebrated Annabelle. They celebrated me. I felt so special with my tiny, little shining star wrapped up in her blanket.
THIS was the welcome I had wanted for her! And it was every bit as perfect as she was!
Celebrating Every Child
Since that day back in 2014, we’ve come a long way. Starting out as a tiny Etsy shop, and through helping tens of thousands of our friends create unique pieces that tell their stories and celebrate the amazing children in their lives, Audrey & Bear has grown into everything incredible that it is today.
Our mission continues to be celebrating every child. And now, with an expanded product line of customized keepsakes, there are pieces to celebrate everyone in the family!
Somewhere in the midst of designing beautiful blankets and connecting with beautiful mamas, our give back program, swaddle4swaddle, a nonprofit that donates swaddles to NICUs across the country, was born. (Read Swaddle4Swaddle's story here)
So by shopping at Audrey & Bear, you help provide a swaddle to snuggle NICU babies and delight their parents at a challenging time. Every time you place an order, a percentage of your purchase goes to swaddle4swaddle—and for every swaddle you buy, we donate one!
Thank you for reading my story, now let’s design your story.