About the Artist
My name is Ingrid Pienaar, known as Ingrid Els in the bear business, a miniature bear artist from Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa.
My love for miniature toys and German Folk Art began when I was raised in Windhoek, former South West Africa (Namibia). Since 1997 I've been living in a coastal town, Hermanus, popular for it's whale watching.
I made children's clothes, sketched and painted Bauernmalerei as a hobby until the teddy bug bit me in June 1999 when I made a few teddies for the local craft market. My first 100 bears were made from synthetic fabric and at that stage, larger bears.
My favorite fabric is vintage Upholstery Velvet and I also work with different mini fabric. After 8 months I resigned from my job at an attorney's office to take up bear-making full time since February 2000.
Initially I thought of it as a hobby and intended making bears that a grandmother could buy for her grandchild, which would then become heirloom pieces but by the end of 2000 she could see that my miniatures were getting the most attention and decided to shift my focus to the little ones.
I've been selling my bears international since April 2001 via my website, Blog or Facebook Page.
It was a great experience to meet other Artists and Bear makers when I visited bear show in Wiesbaden, Germany and Hugglets, London during 2005.
Each bear comes with a birth certificate with his/her name, date of birth and signed.
Thank you for visiting my little bears and website!