A constant companion born from a grandmother’s love
I was just a toddler when my grandmother, Agnes Thomas, created the plush toy that would become my favorite companion.
I loved Flatty Bear right away and we were inseparable. Flatty was perfect for holding, hugging, and packing to take with me on adventures near and far.
As a young child I lived near my grandparents in Bay Shore, Long Island. Grandma was a wonderful cook, a skilled seamstress, and a caring grandmother in so many ways. When I was sick and food didn’t sound good, she made me a pan of custard that went down perfectly. As I moved to new homes and new cities, Flatty Bear stayed with me. Hugging Flatty Bear always felt like getting a hug from Grandma Thomas, who crafted Flatty with love on the antique Singer sewing machine that she let me pretend to sew on as a child.
As I grew and no longer played daily with stuffed toys, Flatty came on fewer adventures with me but remained an important presence. To this day, you’ll find Flatty perched in a chair as an honored family member, or lounging on the guest bed to welcome visitors. Even in “retirement,” Flatty reminds me of a love that’s lasted generations.
Out of retirement and into the hands of children everywhere
In 2015, my daughter Cynthia sparked the idea of starting a family business that would be simple and rewarding. We dreamed of bringing Flatty Bear to a new generation of children and sharing the joy of a plush companion with children in need. But I was concerned about chemicals and practices rampant in the construction of modern toys, and it was not easy to replicate Flatty’s unique design and construction using safe, quality materials, at a price point that would support our labor of love.
As I approached my own retirement from full-time work, and driven by a renewed desire to bring joy into the lives of people saddened by Covid losses and sacrifice, I began again to search for a manufacturer who could help me bring Flatty back to life and send a stuffed animal to children when they need one most.
I discovered a promising manufacturer in the summer of 2021. The prospect of a charity bear partnership with a company equally focused on safety, quality workmanship, and fair labor practices rekindled my desire to bring Flatty Bear out of retirement, as I began my retirement.
I truly hope Flatty Bear will bring joy to children in need, wherever they may be.
-Steve Singiser, Founder