The Women

Who are the women behind Berd Bears?

They are mothers. They are wives. They are sisters.

Some are widows. Some of their husbands have left for Russia in search of employment outside of Armenia. For some, this is their first job in over 20 years, since the economic collapse of the Shamshadin region due to closed borders and barren post-Soviet industry. And for some, this is the first opportunity they have ever had to work. Aside from this project and their craft, they have limited options for income. Due to Berd Bears, many are now the primary breadwinners for their families.

Most importantly, they are all talented, hardworking and visionary women who finally have an outlet to put their world-class craftsmanship to work. They receive joy from each and every Berd Bear that they create and take pride in each and every stitch. Being part of a creative community gives them a sense of empowerment and camaraderie in a town and region that previously no place for one.

These are the women behind Berd Bears.

Meet some of the women and hear their stories by watching our short video from Kickstarter: Meet the Women

Production Day! The women get camera-ready as they prepare for their interviews for our Kickstarter video.

Tamara knits from our office in Berd by our wood stove. December 2011

Sister Hanna (left) visits Berd and shares some new knitting techniques with Berd Bear trainers Seda and Tamara. Berd, Armenia June 2012

Kickstarter Launch Day: Armenuhe, Anahit, Tsovinar and Seda show their excitement for the upcoming Kickstarter website launch.