Figen has been knitting teddy bears for a number of years. Due to her background in psychotherapy, she knows creativity is good for mental health and has always encouraged clients to take up a creative activity in the past. It is her belief that every grown up should own a teddy bear as people often forget to have fun and let their hair down once in a while when they grow up.
Each bear is given its very own identity and background story, and Figen engages in discussion with their new owners, wanting to know how the bears settle in. Often these stories are inspired by every day experiences and named after friends, family, waiters, TV characters and anyone else that Figen may come into contact with during the week. They make mistakes, they spill flour while trying to bake, they get scared about travelling to their new owners or having their first day at work - it's hard not to fall in love with every single one!
The bears are sold on Figen's online Depop shop (www.depop.com/imperfecthearts), and sent to new owners all over the world.
Since Martyn’s death, she decided to give the bears a new purpose and they have become her peace bears. The bears now travel to their new owners symbolising peace, kindness and unity. She has even taken a few bears to the two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand as a gesture of support and friendship, handing a couple of bears to the Mayoress of Christchurch and the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern to thank them for all the support they gave to the victims of the terror attack in March 2019.
One bear, however, stands out.
Figen left him on a train in a brown paper bag with the message of who he was knitted by, explaining that she wanted people not to keep the bear for more than a few days and then pass him on in order to see how far he could travel. His name is Jordan Bear - and travel he did!
Jordan's journey started in Wales, and since then he has travelled all over North America, Ireland, Malawi, China, Scotland, New Zealand, Turkey, Ibiza, Bali, Dubai Cayman Islands, Iceland, France and even went on holiday to Portugal with Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and their families. He does like the limelight so he has been on stage with Alfie Boe and Michael Ball last year. His journey around the world continues and more destinations are still to come. Jordan travels around the world in Martyn’s memory and has his own facebook page called Jordan’s Journey #BeMoreMartyn.
Bears Have Issues Too
Figen published her first book Bears have Issues Too in 2017, which is a therapeutic storybook for grown-ups. The bears in the book struggle with issues such as bereavement, OCD, health anxiety, porn addiction and other mental health related issues and explores techniques, hints and information on how to deal with them.