The Great British Teddy Bear Company & Big Red Bus English was founded by Paul Jessup in 2005.
Paul attended the prestigious Camberwell School of Art and The Royal College of Art before setting up the Stone Jessup Design Consultancy in Covent Garden. Paul secured exclusive consultancy contracts with Royal Doulton, Wedgewood and Enesco and built a reputation for creating innovative licensed packaging for many of Britain’s most famous Heritage Brands. Paul sold Stone Jessup in 2001 and decided to use his artistic talents and extensive character licensing knowledge to create a new iconic British brand.
‘When I was growing up my sister and I used to go to Harrods every year just to look at the amazing Teddy Bear display; twenty or more bears each dressed like little characters with miniature costumes carrying bags and playing musical instruments. We would have loved to have taken anyone of these toys home but we grew up in an ordinary family and £150 for a teddy bear was not an option. The bears we did own often came from charity shops but my mother would make little hats and jackets for them and we would play for hours together making up stories with our special bears playing the leading roles.
Years later when I took my daughter to Harrods the little dressed bears where still there, but now they cost £200 each, and to my surprise my daughter didn’t want one. Instead she wanted Grandma Jessup to make her a special bear just like mine so Grandma Jessup did..then her friend wanted one and then their friends wanted them too.. Today if you go to Harrods right next to the little dressed bears you will meet The Great British Teddy Bear Company® displaying an affordable range of hand made, plush teddy bears each dressed in beautifully detailed iconic British costumes just like Grandma Jessup used to make.’
Paul’s aim is always to create the one teddy bear that you will choose to keep, the teddy bear that you pass on to your children along with your story ensuring your memories are preserved for the next generation. His philanthropic principals are the heart of The Great British Teddy Bear Company. Paul has created insightful and innovative ways of placing teddy bears in the middle of positive life experiences, that bring joy to the purchaser the recipient and benefit an associated charity.
Paul Jessup has created teddy bears that when gifted encapsulate a memory and at the same time provide an opportunity for someone else to reach their full potential.