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?
We are receiving an inordinate, and highly questionable, number of queries regarding the repair of koalas made from real skin and fur, and bears made from sheepskin. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO WE ACCEPT, OR WILL WORK ON, CORPSES.
Ambrosia will also NOT work on anything that stinks of cigarette smoke, or is sticky with cigarette tar. If you fail to mention this condition, ignore the proviso in the 'Sending' email and still send a smelly patient, it will be returned, unworked on, at your expense.
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!
Ambrosia does not currently have the skill to re-string dolls, or to replace dolls' swing-eyes. It is not possible to mend any sort of snapped plastic, either!
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 parts of a dead animal, she will simply return it at the owner's expense without repairing it.
Ambrosia is also unwilling UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES 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 will also be unable to accept bears or toys that reek of cigarette smoke and are sticky with tar. The smell makes her feel very sick, and she does not want that sort of unpleasant odour permeating Ambrosia Place.
Ambrosia is sorry, but she now only accepts bears that contain degraded foam under exceptional circumstances. This feels like sand or powder, or it can have hardened into lumps. It's literally toxic and, should she agree to take on your bear, it will cost double the normal price.
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 Ambrosia to do with 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. The same applies to vintage/antique bears. If you ask for the growler to be changed, please do not complain when the hole in the left arm is not addressed! PLEASE do not simply assume Ambrosia will carry out extensive, additional work that has not been mentioned. That is just unfair on her!
Should you send a bear or toy along with a generic 'please fix whatever you think necessary', then Ambrosia is NOT responsible should you deem, when your friend is back home, that something has been 'missed'. Ambrosia only carries out work on vintage/antique bears that are strictly necessary due to their fragility. Furthermore, if you can't, for whatever reason, provide a detailed list of EXACTLY what work you wish undertaken, then you can hardly complain that something has not been addressed. Ambrosia would MUCH prefer a numbered, detailed list of what you want her to do.
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 from you for 2 days, she will send a reminder. If there is still neither response nor payment after a further 2 days, she will send a final message advising that, if after 2 MORE days, there is still no response or payment: 1) we will take it that you have no intention of settling the balance, 2) we will not enter into any further correspondence, and 3) the bear/toy will become the property of Ambrosia Bears, and Ambrosia 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 or throw it away.
11. How will you return my bear / friend?
The second I take recepit ofyour friend from your hosen carrier company, they are my sole and utter responsibility for the duration of their spa treatmnt. That responsibility ends the moment you collect and they are placed in your hands or, if not collecting in person, the moment I hand them over to Royal Mail. I will ONLY use Royal Mail as other services - especially Hermes - and extremely unreliable. Once your bear / toy has been finished, I will send details of the options offered by Royal Mail, including tracked and Special Delivery. The choice is totally yours. Once I return, I'll send a photo of the receipt and the tracking or referencenumber. From the moment I hand them over and pay for postage, you are now in a 'contract for services' with RM and not Ambrosia Bears. I have had several people send abusive messages to me personally when RM has failed to deliver on time. As surprising as this may sound, I actually have no control over the postal service and, if you have an issue, please take it up with RM. Should a Speical Delivery arrive later than its guaranteed time, you can claim a refund but I, as sender, need to fill out the form. There will be a £5 charge for this (it takes quite a bit of time), deductable from the refund if the application is accepted and a refund sent. The remainder of the refund will be sent to you via bank transfer. Should ANY sort of abuse continue, or negative feedback be left due to RM's failure to deliver (I've actually had two people threaten me with court proceedings!), the entire refund amount is forfeit and I'll keep the entire amount.
12. How do I make a complaint?
If your complaint is related to the work carried out, please get in touch within 2 days of receipt of your bear/toy. We will remedy ANY and ALL concerns/mistakes that are down to us, free of charge! If your complaint concerns one of the following and relates to an enquiry (we decided not to accept a bear/toy for whatever reason, we decided not to take an enquiry further for whatever reason, we asked to be treated with politeness and respect, you took exception to the word 'No', you didn't like our attitude, or anything else that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a repair that we have carried out), then please just take your business elsewhere.
13. 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 £20 instead of £25 as the bear is already open.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE IS A MINIMUM CHARGE OF £20 FOR ANY REPAIR. Even if you just require glass eyes which, even though they'd be £10/15 if taken in with other restoration work, on their own they would cost £20. This goes for ANY and ALL work below that cost if done in isolation.
I've had a few people say the Price Guide is too difficult to work out, especially the wash and restuff part here, so I've simplified things.
- Wash and restuff: How to work out the cost (MINIMUM cost £25 regardless)
1. Find a tape measure.
2. Make sure the patient is in their most natural position ie. standing, or sitting or lying.
3. Measure from the top of the patient's head, down their back, over their botton, down their back legs, under their soles and finish at the toes.
4. Look at the tape measure. Whatever their overall length/height is in cms, that will be the approximate cost in pounds.
5. Check below to see if any of the provisos regarding foam / filth / stuffing / compartments apply.
6. If you've got this far, you now know the appropriate cost!
- PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY: A wash and restuff will cost in pounds APPROXIMATELY the FULL height from top of head to toes in cms, not just head to bottom (as in a sitting position). If a, for instance, 25cm high your toy is also vaguely spherical in shape or extremely fat, or has very lon /numerous arms/legs, the cost will increase as more stuffing will be required. In addition, if the toy's arms and legs are sealed at the shoulders and hips, or other compartments are sealed and inaccessible form the main body, this necessitates the opening and closing of 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 £10-15, dependng upon amount and whether making a bag is necessary. If the toy is filled with foam pieces (yellow/orange squares), the cost will increase by 100%. If the foam has degraded to dust, Ambrosia no longer accepts these!
- Dirt: if your friend has never been washed, has only been washed once in 25 years, is absolutely filthy, or smells very badly, there will be an additional charge of £5-10. Ambrosia washes her clothes every day or so. She would never keep wearing them / sleeping in them for 25 years' solid without doing so! That's why there's this additional charge.
- Dog-attacks: Please see below for treatments available. In all instances, it is highly likely that a thorough wash will be in order to remove slobber. I can't work on crispy, dirty or material, or material covered in animal hair! Washing £5 upwards depending on size.
- Jellycat soft toys: these typically have the arms and legs sealed at the tops, making these compartments inaccessible from the torso. If this is the case with your toy, please take into account the additional costs (£5 per additional seam) for opening and closing additional compartments.
- Wendy Boston bears: please Google as they have a very distinctive shape and character! These are typically filled with degraded foam; it feels like sand or power in the tips of extremities and is, quite literally, toxic in this form. I take these VERY rarely now, as they're just too messy to deal with. IF, however, I do, then whatever size ted is head to toe in cms, double it for the cost in pounds!
- 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 a face: £40 upwards depending on size.
- Making facial features / beaks / trunks: £20 upwards depending on size.
- Adding zips: £25 upwards.
- Adding velcro: £20 upwards.
- Adding felt eyes, nostrils: £5 upwards per pair, depending on size and complexity.
- Covering muzzles prior to re-embroidering nose/mouth or adding plastic/material nose: £25 upwards. If stuffing and additional facial reconstruction is required, this will increase significantly depending on size and complexity.
- Full facial reconstruction: £50 upwards depending on size, complexity and need for eyes, nose etc.
- Making alterations/additions to soft toys: £25 upwards.
- Re-jointing: plastic joints are near impossible to remove and, in most instances, need to be cut out. Patching the rips caused by the limb coming off will be £10 upwards, patching the cut out section round the joint the same, and rejointing with similar plastic £35.
- Make, stuff, attach new unjointed limb: £20 upwards depending on size.
- Making and attaching new ears: semi-circle ears, £15 upwards per ear depending on size. Longer dog or rabbit ears, £25 upwards per ear, depending on size.
- Make, stuff, attach, new jointed limb: £35 upwards depending on size.
- Re-attaching non-jointed head: £15 upwards depending on extent of damage.
- Re-covering soft toys: this depends on size, but is typically at least £150 for something around 15cm in total height. 25cm and over would start at a base price of £225. Anything 35cm or over would start at £250. These are approximate and price also depends on complexity / shape of toy of bear. 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 her choice, and there could be an additional charge if material needs to be ordered in, or if the most appropriate material is very expensive. Please note that a full re-covering typically necessitates the addition of new eyes and nose as these cannot be worked round.
- Repairing tears and loose seams: £5 upwards depending on complexity, length 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.
- Re-attach ears: £10 upwards per ear depending on damage and size.
- 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 there is ANY material around or attached to the ripped-out eyes, or evidence of huge holes around sockets on the head itself, reinforcement or patching of eye sockets is also necessary. This will add £5-£10 per eye.
- Adding plastic safety nose ONLY: £15-20.
- 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 nose socket is also necessary, because of damage, this will add £5-£10
- Complete reconstruction due to dog savaging: £100 upwards depending on extent of damage. This is incredibly difficult and time-consuming.
- Foot pads: £15-40 per pad depending on size (material needs to be supplied by yourself if you want something very particular). Large bears (50cm upwards) would be at the upper end of this price range. If pads are 'pulled' or sculpted (such as with some Charlie bears), the price will increase. This price is FOR PADS ONLY. It does NOT include any preparatory reconstruction work.
- Lining inner ears (eg rabbits): £25/30 per ear depending on size (material as above).
VINTAGE/ ANTIQUE BEARS AND ANIMALS
- Additional stuffing: £10 upwards per compartment. PLEASE NOTE: it is NOT possible to wash and restuff vintage toys except under very specific circumstances.
- Replacing traditional tilt growler: £25.
- Replacing traditional press squeaker: £25.
- Reconstructing feet/paws PRIOR to adding pads: £10-30 per foot/paw depending on size of bear and extent of reconstruction required.
- Replacing/covering all paw-pads: £15-40 per pad depending on size. Small bears (around 20cm) would be at the lower end; anything over 35cm would be towards the upper end. This could increase or decrease depending on the size of the teddy or toy, and the material used. Please note: price is for pads ONLY. It does NOT include prepatory reconstruction/restuffing/repair work. Please see above 'reconstructing feet/paws PRIOR to adding pads'.
- External clean and brush: £15 upwards depending on size and dirtiness. Large bears (50cm upwards) will be nearer the £35 mark. If they're very dirty, this will increase again.
- Re-attaching ears: £10 per ear.
- Making and attaching new ears: £15 upwards per ear depending upon size.
- Re-attaching/re-jointing limbs or head: £40-45 for one limb. Price will increase (in £30-35 units) for additional 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 reinforcement of the joint area is necessary, the price will increase by approximately £10, depending on size of patch.
- 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 will 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-embroidering nose and mouth: £15 upwards depending on size of nose.
- Re-embroidering claws: £10 upwards depending on size of bear.
- Complete restoration: £250 upwards. This will include replacing pads, re-attaching limbs/head, adding/replacing eyes, growlers, external clean and brush, 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.
- Replacing music boxes: cost depends on whether there is a metal ring around the key or not. If yes, this will need to be cut out and the area patched prior to adding a new box. Patching £10/15 and adding the box an additional £10/15. Please note: musical boxes will need to be suppliedby you to ensure you get exactly the tune you're happy with!
GABRIELLE PADDINTON BEARS (1977/1978)
- External clean and brush: £25 upwards depending on dirtiness.
- Replace missing eye or nose: £15
- Replace hat: £10
- Replace coat: £15
- Replace label: £5 (reproduction)
- Replace wellies: these are VERY difficult to get hold of, but I'll do my best!
- Original clothes, wellies and labels: I have a couple of sets, so please ask about colours etc!
ANIMALS ON WHEELS / ROCKING HORSES
- Cleaning wheels and painting frame: £45.
- External clean of dog/bear/horse: £45 upwards depending on size and dirtiness.
- Making and adding new ears/tail: £20 upwards per item.
- Complete re-covering: £275 upwards depending on size and area to be covered. 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. Ambrosia would require you to supply the material you'd like used so that you're happy.
Ambrosia has undertaken any number of commissions and made dinosaurs, sloths, dogs as well as bears! Please click here to see examples. We'll only undertake commissions under the following conditions:
- A suitable pattern is supplied. Alterations in size must be made by yourself on a photocopier.
- All materials are supplied.
- A non-refundable 50% deposit (deductable from final amount) is paid before work starts.
- Under NO circumstances will commissions be accepted where the payment of the remaining amount is dependent upon a child's approving the result.
- Commissions are typically £100 upwards.
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.)