1. What can you do to help my bear/toy?
Ambrosia believes that something can always be done in every single instance! She will try her best to repair or restore your teddy/toy just as you wish. If it is a teddy, she can repair or replace ears, eyes, paw-pads, add growlers, fix joints, stitch new noses, mouths and claws, fix holes and tears, cover the bear or toy completely...she will try anything! If it is a soft toy, again, she can wash, re-stuff, stitch up loose seams, repair tears, add new eyes and nose.
2. What are you unable to do?
Ambrosia is not a mechanic and therefore is unable to fix complicated internal mechanisms or toys that are machines in any way. She can really only work with toys and teddies that are made from soft material; hard toys are a bit different, but you can always ask! She can, however, replace dead batteries!
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER can Ambrosia work with any sort of slaughter or animal by-product, as it makes her very upset. So if your teddy or toy is even partially made from anything derived from a dead animal such as leather, sheepskin, bone, suede, fur or feathers, she will be too distressed to help. Should a repair that has been sent be found to be made from any of these items, she will simply return it at the owner's expense without repairing it.
Ambrosia is also unwilling to work with a toy that has ANY sort of infestation as she does not want Ambrosia Place over-run with millions of little friends. Should a bear/toy that is sent be found to be suffering from such a conditon, it will be immediately returned at the owner's expense and no work will be carried out.
Ambrosia is sorry, but she is now no longer accepting bears that contain degraded foam. This feels like sand or powder, or it can have hardened into lumps. It's literally toxic and it's just too dangerous and messy to deal with!
Ambrosia has many skills, but she is unable to knit or crochet, so such toys will be beyond her scope.
Ambrosia is not willing to take instruction from children - either directly or indirectly - under any circumstances. She understands that children may desire certain things, but their expectations are not always reasonable. Ambrosia is not prepared to do an extensive amount of work and then for parents to refuse to pay because a child is unhappy that the impossible has not occured.
Ambrosia is also really sorry, but she cannot now accept repairs where very emotional owners are involved, or that belong to children with certain difficulties. She understands totally that teddies and toys are extremely important and very much loved, but if the owner is in any way upset or distraught at the thought of parting with their beloved friend, it would be best not to contact Ambrosia.
Ambrosia is also not prepared to work on toys or bears that have suffered unfortunate accidents. These include bears and toys which have suffered pets weeing on them, children vomiting on them, or bears which have had the misfortue of being drenched in any other bodily fluid! Should any such arrive at Ambrosia Place, they will be returned at the owner's expense and no work will be carried out.
3. How long will it take?
Repairs are prepared for washing on a Thursday, washed on a Friday and re-stuffed/repaired where necessary over the weekend. If you get your soft toy to Ambrosia Place on a Thursday, Ambrosia will very probably be able to post your toy back to you, all finished, on Monday. If you have a vintage/antique bear that requires more detailed and extensive work, it can take anything from a couple of days to a week or so. Ambrosia has never kept a repair for more than 14 days! Sometimes when Ambrosia is deluged with repairs, they are put in to queue to keep things fair. If a repair is sent immediately, this will be placed ahead of someone who waits several days to drop one off by hand.
4. How do I get my teddy/toy to you?
Due to being messed around once too often, Ambrosia no longer accepts drop-offs unless toys are absolutely MASSIVE, or if owners pay a non-refundable £20 deposit via bank-transfer to arrive 24 hours before the agreed day and time for drop off. Should the owner turn up late, even by 5 minutes, or forget, the deposit is forfeit and the bear will not be accepted. If you're otherwise unable to post, Ambrosia will not be able to help. There have never been any problems with any sort of delivery from standard Royal Mail to Special Delivery. The teddy or toy can then be posted back once the repair is complete. You are responsible for postage costs both ways. Should you wish to collect and are late, then posting back at your expense will be the only remaining option.
If you do not intend to send your repair pretty immediately, please wait until you are ready to do so before contacting Ambrosia. It wastes a lot of her valuable time booking slots weeks in advance for teddies that do not actually turn up! Should you wish to defer sending a repair, please just get in touch nearer the time you actually want to send. Repairs that do not turn up within a week of owners saying they will send will have their appointment cancelled.
5. How do I pay?
You pay only when the repair is complete and you are satisfied with the work. A photo will be sent to you and, if you are totally happy with what has been done, then the cost of the repair (plus postage if necessary) is typically paid via bank transfer. Cash is acceptable upon collection if this is easier. Ambrosia no longer accepts cheques, due to the hassle involved all round. Postal orders are accepted! Paypal is not accepted, as too much is taken in fees.
PLEASE NOTE: if you are sending a bear or toy from outside the UK, international bank transfer is the ONLY acceptable method. The USA charges an extortionate amount to do this, but this is the only method Ambrosia accepts. PLEASE be aware of this if you are in the US!
When the restoration is complete, owners will be informed immediately that their bear/toy is ready to be paid for and either posted or collected. Ambrosia will do this three times. Should payment not be received within 5 working days after her repeated attempts at contact for payment/collection, the bear/toy will become the property of Ambrosiato do wityh as she wishes: she may keep it it, donate it to charity, take it apart for spares, or sell it on ebay in an attempt to recoup repair costs.
6. Is there anything I can do to help the repair/restoration?
In the very first instance, it is absolutely mandatory that a few photographs are sent to Ambrosia so she can assess the nature of the repair. You can either do this via text (07 986 976 888) or attach jpgs to an email ([email protected]). Please tell Ambrosia the full size from head to toe (not just head to bottom when in a seated position!), and describe what you would like Ambrosia to do in as much detail as possible. Vague instructions such as 'please repair my teddy' or 'how much to repair my bear?' are insufficient, and Ambrosia really cannot help in such instances. Please do not assume that she automatically knows what you want; she is many things, but she is not a mind-reader! IF YOU DO NOT SEND PHOTOGTRAPHS, HOW IS AMBROSIA ABLE TO SEE WHAT WORK REQUIRES DOING?
Due to past experiences, it is now also a requirement that, should you want material used for a re-covering or any sort of patching, you supply the material you wish to be used. This ensures that you have exactly what you want!
7. Are the processes you use safe?
Every single step along the restoration process will leave your bear totally safe - guaranteed! There are no harsh or toxin chemicals used, so soft toys are competely safe to snuggle up to again afterwards. Safety eyes and noses are always used in soft toys; vintage and antique bears, however, not usually meant for children anyway, always have their original glass eyes and cotter-pin joints restored or left, depending on the work required. These can be replaced with safety joints and eyes if the bear is intended for a child.
8. How much work will you carry out?
Ambrosia will ONLY carry the work out agreed in the original remit for which a quote had been provided. If a bear or toy arrives for a wash and restuff, for instance, but is found to have ripped seams, the seams will NOT be mended unless the owener agrees to the increase in price. PLEASE do not simply assume Ambrosia will carry out extensive, additional work that has not been mentioned. That is just unfair on her!
However, Ambrosia will carry out as much or as little work as you wish, but you need to be very exact. She compiles a list of what the owner has asked for, and simply works through that list. If you fail to mention an issue, such as a gaping hole, she will simply not have it on her list and will thus not undertake the work.
9. What happens if there's a problem following the repair?
Unfortunate things happen and, on the odd occasion, especially with a full recovering of a large toy, the new pressure exerted by the stuffing and outer material may make some of the new stitches loose. It's impossible to predict where this will happen. Ambrosia is being totally honest, and it's happened 3 times in her 2,000 repairs! If ANY issue arises with which you're not 100% happy within a month of a repair or restoration (this will certainly be long enough to test the strength of the repair work!), then please return to Ambrosia; the issue will be repaired and the toy returned free of charge. If, however, you raise an issue within this time-scale, but fail to send within 1 week of the advisement, Ambrosia will no longer be able to rectify matters, as, the longer something is left, there is a chance that additional, non-related damage can be caused. Ambrosia will also need you to supply the detailed remit advice sent with the invoice listing the work carried out just to make sure that she is fully responsible for the problem!
10. What if I just decide not to pay and ignore your emails?
Ambrosia will send an invoice immediately after completion of the work. If she hears nothing within 2 or 3 days, she will send a reminder. If there is still nothing after a few days, she will send a final one asking if there is a problem, and advising you that, if after a couple MORE days, there is still no response, she will do any of the following: keep the bear or toy if she likes it; take it apart and recycle all of the bits; donate it to a charity shop; throw it away.
11. How much will the repair/restoration cost?
It all depends on what is required. Below is a list of APPROXIMATE prices. These will vary considerably in keeping with size of bear/toy, complexity of the work and in relation to any other work carried out. For instance, if Ambrosia is already replacing joints in an old teddy, she can replace a defunct growler for £15 instead of £20 as the bear is already open.
- Wash and restuff: £25-30 (up to 30cm). This could increase or decrease if the toy is very large (45cm - £45; 60cm - £60 etc) or very small (a couple of inches: £15). It also depends on the filling required. If the toy's arms and legs are sealed at the shoulders and hips, this necessitates the opening and lcosing of four extra seams, and will cost an additional £5 per extra compartment. Ambrosia can add plastic beanie pellets, steel shot or scented buckwheat (choice of scents) for an extra £5.
- Patching bald areas/disintegrated areas: £20 upwards per area. Sometimes, the best option is a complete re-cover if the damaged areas are very extensive.
- Re-covering soft toys: this depends on size, but is typically at least £85. Ambrosia would also much prefer that you supplied the material you'd like used. She's happy to do this but, of course, it would be here choice, and there many be an additional charge if material needs to be ordered in.
- Repairing tears and loose seams: £5 upwards depending on complexity and extent. If the entire toy requires having ALL seams strengthened, this equates to basically re-making the toy and could cost up to £100.
- Adding plastic safety eyes ONLY: £20-25 depending on size of eyes. Please bear in mind that the toy will need to be opened up for this repair, so a lot of extra stitching and re-stuffing is also required. PLEASE NOTE: if reinforcement or patching of eye sockets is also necessary, because of damage, this will add £5-£10 per eye.
- Complete reconstruction due to dog savaging: £45 upwards depending on extent of damage. This is incredibly difficult and time-consuming.
VINTAGE/ ANTIQUE BEARS AND ANIMALS
- Additional stuffing: £5 upwards per compartment.
- Replacing traditional tilt growler: £20.
- Replacing traditional press squeaker: £20.
- Reconstructing feet/paws PRIOR to adding pads: £10-15 per foot/paw
- Replacing/covering all paw-pads: £45-80. This could increase or decrease depending on the size of the teddy or toy, and the material used.
- External clean and brush: £10-35 depending on size and dirtiness.
- Re-attaching ears: £5 per ear.
- Making and attaching new ears: £15-20 per ear depending upon size.
- Re-attaching/re-jointing limbs: £35-45 for one limb. Price will increase (probably in £5 or £10 units) for extra limbs. This is actually a very involved process as the bear needs to be opened up, unstuffed, repaired, re-stuffed and stitched up. If preliminary patching or reinforvement of the joint area is necessary, the price will increase by approximately £5/10.
- Joint tightening: £25 for the first joint (internal stuffing has to be removed first), then £5-10 for each additional joint. This will not always be possible if the metal of the pin is extremely brittle.
- Replacing glass eyes: £15-£20. Cost depends slightly on size, as larger glass eyes are quite expensive. If reinforcement of the eye sockets is necessary, this will increase by £5-£10 per eye.
- Making and attaching new limbs: typically £50 upwards per arm/leg, but this could increase if the bear is very large or decrease if very small.
- Making and attaching new head: typically £85 (includes eyes, ears, nose and mouth embroidery). This could increase if the bear is very large or decrease if very small.
- Re-stitching nose, mouth, claws: £10.
- Complete restoration: £100 upwards. This will include replacing pads, re-attaching limbs/head, adding/replacing eyes, growlers, embroidering mouth and nose, adding stuffing and completing other small repairs on the same bear. If this option is required, please be VERY specific about the EXACT extent of the restoration required. With this treatment in particular, Ambrosia will require a comprehensive list.
ANIMALS ON WHEELS
- Cleaning wheels and painting frame: £45.
- External clean of dog/bear: £40.
- Making and adding new ears/tail: £15 per item.
- Complete re-covering: up to £300. This will include new ears, eyes, nose, tail etc. As much of the original as possible is salvaged and placed inside the new ears/tail. and Ambrosia would require you to supply the material so that you're happy.
PLEASE, PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE ARE GUIDELINES ONLY! FOR INSTANCE, 'AROUND £25' DOES NOT MEAN IT WILL BE JUST £25. IT COULD BE £20 OR IT COULD BE £30.
There are probably quite a few things that Ambrosia has forgotten to add, so if you need something doing and it's not here, please just contact Ambrosia!
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THINGS DO OCCASIONALLY GO WRONG - AS IN ALL WALKS OF LIFE! SHOULD ANYTHING UNTOWARDS HAPPEN, AMBROSIA WILL DO HER VERY BEST TO PUT THINGS RIGHT AGAIN FREE OF CHARGE. (The worst so far was, when cleaning a bear's brown pads, Ambrosia was horrified to see them turn green. The pads were replaced free of charge.)