SEATTLE, Wash. – (November 23, 2011) – Every year, just before Thanksgiving, Fox’s Gem Shop (located downtown on 5th and Union) fills their storefront windows with a spectacular display of teddy bears. Ten of Fox’s windows boast imaginative dioramas showcasing more than 100 antique teddy bears and Americana collectibles. Each window is designed with its own distinct theme, making this local jewelry shop a magical destination during the holiday season.
Fox’s Gem Shop, celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2012, invites families to pay a visit to its charming teddy bear windows before making the short walk between The Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s Teddy Bear Suite and the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.
Fox’s tradition of antique teddy bears was introduced in the 1970s before owners Joy and Chai Mann started collecting, but today all the treasures on view are from their own teddy bear collection that they have been amassing since the early 1980s.
“We’re probably the only jewelry store in the country that doesn’t have jewelry displayed in our windows during the holidays,” laughs Chai Mann.
Each window chronicles cherished moments from the Manns’ history. Whether purchased from an antique store, brought back from Europe or donated by a thoughtful passerby, every bear has its own unique, colorful story.
This year’s teddy bear windows include:
The two bears in this window are relaxing in a tub that Chai himself bathed in as a child. These bears from the 1930s were found in a flea market in England.
This window features furniture made by “hobos” or “tramps,” as they were called during the Great Depression, who traveled the railways in search of work. They created furniture out of whatever materials were available, such as orange crates and cigar boxes. This distinctive style became known as Tramp Art, and is highly sought after by collectors.
A tribute to Joy’s father, Sid Thal, this window includes a typewriter from the early 1900s and an old Seattle Times apron with pouches used to collect change for the newspaper in the 1950s. Also included in this window is Sid’s little green book, Loose Gems, which contains many of the ads he created for Fox’s while already in his 80s.
Other windows this year include a cooking window, sled window, sushi window, fireplace window, beach window, sewing window and wedding window.
The display of teddy bears has become a cherished ritual, not only for Fox’s Gem Shop, but for families growing up in Seattle as well. One long-time Seattle resident recalls her first visit to Fox’s teddy bear display:
“When I came to Seattle almost 25 years ago, I searched the city at Christmas for something to delight me and my five-year-old daughter. Thrilled by the teddies at Fox’s Gem Shop, I knew that I’d found ‘home,’ or a place for us, when I spotted the Hanukkah menorahs, cards and dreidels in the window,” says Louise Olsen.
Fox’s also offers greeting cards featuring teddy bear scenes much like the window displays for customers to share with family and friends. Packets of five cards are $20 and single cards are $5 each. All proceeds from cards purchased are donated to Northwest Harvest.
Fox’s Gem Shop’s teddy bear windows will be on display until the end of December. For those seeking comfort from the cold, Fox’s Gem Shop invites guests inside to peruse their collection of fine jewelry and watches. With a wide variety of timepieces and gems, Fox’s has the perfect holiday gift for every budget and style.
For more information about jewelry, watches, or custom design, call (206) 623-2528 or go to http://www.foxsgemshop.com.
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