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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best creativity magazine in the UK“, Nick from 3DToyShop shares the inspiration behind his business selling teddy bears with 3d printed medical devices.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Nick from 3DToyShop about what inspired him to start his business selling teddy bears with 3d printed medical devices for disabled children, and the work that goes into it.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m Nick, 40 year old single dad, loves punk rock, snowboarding and taking the campervan to new places.
What is the name of your business?
How did you come up with that name?
I wanted a unique (googlewhack) name for a shop selling 3d printed toys, and www.3dtoy.shop was available. And so the toyshop that makes all the toys that don’t exist was born. The teddy hospital thing came later, when gave up selling toys and focused on helping as many disabled children as possible.
What products do you sell?
I make teddy bears with custom made medical devices & scars so kids going through the hardest time can have a friend like them.
When did you first start making your products?
What inspired you to start making your products?
There was a 3 year old boy from Scotland, about to go for brain surgery. His mum contacted me and asked if I could make a teddy with a brain implant so he could have a teddy just like him to help him understand what was happening.
What lessons have you taken to learn your craft or are you self-taught?
How has your work changed or developed since you started?
It started with 6 plastic boxes. 3 lived at my house, 3 lived at Emma’s house. During the week, I would fill the 3 boxes with toys and 3d printed medical devices like little pacemakers and tracheostomies, then drop them off at Emma’s house. At the end of the week I would take my 3 boxes of teddies needing surgery, drop them off at Emma’s, and collect the 3 bears that had completed surgery.
Now, a team of 6 teddy surgeons visits my house twice a week, making teddies for about 30 children per day. Once a week I visit the post office in the campervan, unload this into trolleys and wheel them in. This week there were 2 trolleys of teddies.
Do you have a special workspace, or can you work anywhere?
I work from home.
Does music inspire or distract you?
I don’t really listen to music when working. It gets in the way of making tiktok videos.
Is your business your full-time job or a side hustle?
Are your family and friends supportive of your creative work?
Do you sell online and/or in person?
Mostly online. I sold teddies in person at the this is me festival, but that’s 1 day in 3 years.
How do you promote your business and find new customers?
I post to TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
Are you proud of your work and what you’ve achieved so far?
Do you have any goals for the future you can share with us?
I want a little shop in every childen’s hospital where all the kids can get a teddy with the same medical devices that they have.
Do you have any special career highlights you’d love to experience again?
Playing the piano with poppy on my 40th birthday, but I don’t I’ll be able to do it again.
There was a film crew at the childrens hospice, but they missed the most special bit ☹
Share all your work and social links so readers can find more:
@3dtoyshop or just search for nicks disabled teddies
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