Why Charlie Bear?

This seems like a starting point that makes the most sense. Why the business name Charlie Bear Quilts? The “quilts” part is self-explanatory… it’s the Charlie Bear part that is the soul.

As a “soul”-proprietor (I’ve always preferred this to “sole”-proprietor… though the work does feel lonely at times), the paperwork basically states that "I AM the business". So the business name had to reflect who I was. My business name is more than a tribute to the late Charlie Bear (a legendary good dog that I was lucky enough to love for 16 years). This noble steed was by my side when I started my first job as a teacher, he was there for the big move from Manitoba to Saskatchewan (gulp!), the one whose fur I cried into as I navigated the emotional roller coaster of the in-vitro fertilization process, my walking buddy and rock collector (he had a thing for really heavy rocks…), my stand-in nurse after surgeries when I was feeling pretty low, and the all-around best boy to read with on the couch. He was my best friend. That’s the thing about dogs… when you are at your lowest, and most unloveable- they are just happy to be there with you. 

Charlie helped me through so much anguish, some of the worst happened while we were living in Saskatchewan. After failed embryo transfers and ectopic pregnancies, I often retreated into our unfinished basement to sew. Spread out on a pingpong table was my sewing machine (it was old, but not good old), a cutting mat and projects galore. When I went down there, it could just be about c r e a t i n g and I could forget everything else, at least for a whileCharlie and I spent a lot of time alone, as my husband’s job often took him away for long periods of time. So, while I experimented with new tools, rulers, ideas… Charlie stood watch at the top of the stairs, ready for cuddle breaks or conversation (one-sided). He was so human like that. Like he could sense what I needed. I used to look into his eyes and see a real person there. Chuzzy was one-of-a-kind.

A photo of Charlie as a puppy and an artist's sketch

Fast forward to this moment, and here I stand with a creative business I built from scratch. I’ve persevered through the hard stuff and taken risks with CBQ. I’m starting to recognize and honour all of my artistic energies and which ones I need to give a voice. If I can harness my ADHD, I think this could mean big things! I hope you stick around to find out!

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