With the manufacturing facilities being just 30 miles from Gettysburg,
PA, it was only fitting that the first line designed was the Civil War
series. Local shops interested in a high-end souvenir collectible, contacted
Mr. Park, a well-known local woodcarver to create just such a line. Hand
carved in Basswood and featuring poseable, jointed arms and legs, the
results were 11 different “little soldiers” standing 9"
tall and dressed in North and South Civil War garb…and the Park
Bears were born!
Over the next 20 years, many other styles including sports, seasonal,
and holiday bears were designed under the skillful knives of Mr. Park.
His reputation for quality, genuine, jointed wooden teddy bears became
known nationwide. Many shops specializing in unique gifts found the bears
to be a welcome addition to their stores. And then in 1994, QVC came calling!
With over 400 Entrepreneurs vying for the title of Best of Pennsylvania,
Don’s bears were chosen as First Runner Up. His Santa Bear sold
3000 units in just 12 minuets! Astonishing! In order to keep up with the
demanding production schedule, his son Michael, now a partner in the business,
learned to carve the bear designs, now totaling over 60! Don’s wife,
Del, their eldest daughter and three of their grandchildren also were
“drafted” to help in the production. Their relationship with
QVC lasted for over 3 years.
In 1999, with 40,000 bears under his belt, an exhusted Don Park retired
and the Park Bear line with him. In 2004, Michael, now a reputable woodcarver
who specializes in dogs, decided that it was time to bring the bears out
of hibernation. His son, Christopher, an aspiring woodcarver, now studies
under his father and grandfather’s watchful eye, proving with every
bear carved that woodcarving definitely runs in the Park genes! Now three
generations later and boasting over 80 different styles available, the
Park Bears will once again be a great addition to Collectors everywhere!