When we first started the DNA Tambo journey we expected we would be the first wool innovators for the region but we were wrong. In Tambo we’ve had to settle for and be grateful for a second place red ribbon.
Sheep and woolgrowing is the glue that binds this tiny central western QLD town so back in 1992 when wool prices had crashed and the district was in the grip of a drought the community of Tambo were challenged to come up with a new industry to sustain the economy of this little town.
The story goes that a brain storming session took place and a workshop developed the idea that Tambo could assist the wool industry, encourage tourists and create employment by making unique teddy bears from wool pelts and stuff them with wool.
Popular opinion said it wouldn’t work, but after many laughs, three women – Mary Sutherland, Charm Ryrie, and Helen Sargood – decided to bite the bullet. After many frustrating months of designing and planning, the first Tambo Teddies were ready for sale in February 1993.
The impact and enthusiasm of the public was overwhelming and the business grew from there to employ over fifteen part time workers.
Tambo Teddies take pride of place in homes all over the world our famous teddy bears have made our little town of Tambo the ‘outback Teddy capital of Australia’.
Although Australian Wool Network does not supply wool or wool pelts for Tambo Teddies we still feel the innovation and community spirit of this wool manufacturing enterprise is something worth sharing.