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Cyber Strolling: Spending a Chelsea Sunday Morning PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 07:44


annieinbasket1Those in the know often say that nothing is black-and-white in this big wide world. Well, for those of us who love panda bears, tuxedo cats, and Jean Dujardin in “The Artist,” we know that’s not true.


Black-and-white is a beautiful way to show the yin and the yang of the color spectrum, and it’s always exciting when a teddy bear company decides to traffic in this very bold and very Art Deco-ish arrangement of contrasts.


When I was in high school, my mascot was the panda bear; so I have an affinity for thesemarykatherine1 very stark duo-chromatic creatures. When I see a panda, I am instantly transported back to the carefree days of being a parochial school student—a girl with a lot of nervous energy, wild dreams, and very high hopes. (Picture a slightly less frenetic Mary Katherine Gallagher, and that captures my fervent feistiness.)


The other day, I was researching the habitat of pandas for a nature book I am working on, and I stumbled across the perfect blending of cute critters and cuddly characters, courtesy of the Chelsea Teddy Bear Company. (Say, that’s a lot of C’s.)


pandabear1Apparently, this firm, located in Michigan, has an eye on the universe and its fingers on the pulse of greater social concerns. Impressively, it’s found a very clever way to raise awareness about its pet projects, while gaining a foot into the Guinness Book of World Records! In July 2011, the company rallied together with shop visitors, personal friends, and ursine aficionados (plus some lion, tiger, and monkey fans) to construct the “Largest Teddy Bear Mosaic.” By rallying together with stuffed animals of all stripes and colors, the attendees blended their bears and buds toworldwildlifelogobears1 form the World Wildlife Fund’s instantly recognizable panda logo. It must have been WWF wondrous! It made me smile just to see how gorgeous the logo looked when snapped by a photographer with a bird’s-eye view.


salutingteddy1Once I saw that company president Bob Turner and his colleagues were also fans of the WWF’s legacy and accomplishments—2011 was its 50th anniversary—I wanted to discover more about this place. Trotting over to its Web site (, I was impressed by how it explains what it makes, why it makes these offerings, and even who buys it. (Servicemen are very big customers for the Chelsea Teddy Bear Co. and buy the bears on bases across the country.)


That got me to thinking about companies everywhere, and how their Web site is often the first introduction of a curious browser who might just blossom into a loyal, very conversational customer. (Despite written reports to the contrary, word of mouth still matters in this world!)


What do you all think about Web sites and companies? Do you ever just “happen” upon one—like my stumbling on Chelsea? And once there, do you just do a quick peek and perusal, or do you find yourself clicking and clacking away, exploring all the cyber nooks and crannies?


As a onetime Mary Katherine Gallagher clone, I HAVE to let my fingers do some flexing, so I investigate and poke around and uncover all sorts of kernels of wisdom and hidden bargains galore. Nancy Drew would be proud of how I lurk around every corner and cull info from every site.


Americanflagbears1That’s the best part about trotting around in an Internet world—you don’t have to worry about being nosy or loud or clumsy. Even ateddybearpeacesymbol1 onetime Mary Katherine can navigate with ease!


After poking around and prodding the Chelsea Teddy Bear site, I must admit I then had to take a gander at its Facebook page, and delighted in its previous world-record-setting bear artistry: it formed a peace symbol out of Teddies in 2008, and the American flag out of cubs in 2006. They are obviously all about friends, fans, and finding time to promote bears as collectibles, as well as a fun way to bring a group of strangers together.jean_dujardin1


Kind of like this blog!


Tell me what you would like to see created in a mass melding of mohair! Perhaps your suggestion is something that can be achieved in the near future. For me, I suggest a plush tribute to Monsieur Dujardin and his canine sidekick! Hey, if you dare to dream, you might as well dream big. Maybe there’s another Guinness World Record, with a silent streak, right around the cyber corner!