Introducing Tor, Sewing and Design Technician at Golden Bear Toys based in Telford. Tor is 27 years old, married, with a beautiful 18-month-old daughter Molly, who definitely keeps her on her toes!
We are proud to have Tor working with us, making things and keeping British manufacturing alive, so we caught up with her to learn more about her role
How many years have you been working at Golden Bear?
I started in November 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic!
What does your role involve?
My role includes cutting patterns for new products, sewing fabric samples and getting them looking pristine for our lovely customers, I also assist the fabulous designers with new products, ideas and new fabric textures we haven’t explored yet!
Describe your job in 3 words
Fun, creative and technical (in a good way!)
'I have had the opportunity to expand all of my sewing knowledge by working in various parts of the industry from bridal wear to handbags, then even making flags for Queen Elizabeth herself!'
How did you find yourself in this line of work/what’s your background?
I studied fashion design in college and went on to study fashion design at Birmingham City University. In my third year I specialised in costume design which covers anything from bridal wear to theatre, I worked with the Birmingham REP Theatre on my last project creating 3 costumes for their production of ‘Of Mice and Men’ which was really interesting. After completing my degree I have had the opportunity to expand all of my sewing knowledge by working in various parts of the industry from bridal wear to handbags, then even making flags for Queen Elizabeth herself!
What’s the most memorable thing that’s happened to you at Golden Bear so far?
It has to be winning the first round of the Christmas quiz! I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy to be able to decide where our donation would be going to and since we had three amazing charities I couldn’t pick, so they all got a piece!
Do you have any goals for this year?
I would like to understand the whole process from start to finish about how an idea starts as a seed and grows into this amazing product.
'I think British Manufacturing is a dying art if I am completely honest and it is a real shame. I believe it is a fundamental asset to have in this industry, not only for efficiency but for creativity too!'
What is your favourite GB toy/brand and why?
I LOVE Duggee! Partly because my daughter who is 16 months old loves him but also because there is a quirkiness around him and the show that gives children the freedom of expression!
What is your favourite company value and why?
I would have to say Reach for the Stars! Adults can often limit their creative thinking, but I believe this value tells us to keep that little child inside alive and unleash our creativity onto the world!
What’s the process of creating a toy?
Pattern cutting, pattern cutting and MORE pattern cutting! Getting that pattern correct is absolutely crucial in getting a fantastic end product, so there is a huge amount of work that goes into this first stage. Then once you have the pattern you then chose and cut your fabrics, next you sew these pieces together making sure you leave an opening for your filling to go in and then you fill it with heaps of stuffing (you have to wiggle it around a little to get your required shape!) and lastly you hand sew your open seam shut and voilà!
What’s your best creation so far?
At Golden Bear my best creation would be the Bing Sula plush! She is such a little sweetheart and was lovely to make. Outside of Golden Bear my best creation would have to be my daughter’s keepsake blanket, I made this shortly after she turned 6 months and used all the sentimental items she had been gifted when born. It’s probably now one of my most valued possessions and I can not wait to give it to her when she is old enough!
What is your favourite part of working for Golden Bear?
My favourite part has to be my little sewing area, it is literally my dream sewing room that I have always wanted! Also, the amount of talent that is in one building is amazing and they have all welcomed me with open arms. It’s truly great working for a company that appreciates your efforts, and also quite sad that this is quite hard to find!
Can you tell us about anything exciting you are working on?
Hmmm... Not sure I can really say I’m afraid, I have been sworn to secrecy, but know there are tonnes of exciting products coming through for the near future!
How do you feel about British Manufacturing and how your role helps to keep this going?
I think this is a dying art if I am completely honest and it is a real shame. I believe it is a fundamental asset to have in this industry, not only for efficiency but for creativity too! My role, I believe, helps the company keep it’s authenticity which is a lovely sentiment in this climate.