For many, pets are a source of comfort and joy. Some are even treated like members of the family. Which makes losing these furry creatures terribly painful. After their death, their humans usually have nothing but pictures and home videos to cling to, empty beds and kennels, chew toys and leashes to remember them by.
The Pampanga Teddy Bear Factory has found another way to somehow keep the departed pet’s presence in his human’s life. The company makes lookalikes or “plush animal clones” of deceased pets. They’re touchable, huggable, and can be made in the exact same size as your dear friend now gone.
The business is a brand under Tancorp Manufacturing Inc. which is based in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Initially, the factory was only producing garments and apparel. Six months into the business, however, founder David Tan discovered one of their pattern-makers have some knowledge making stuffed toys. And so Tan started giving his employee projects to do. This eventually drove the brand to make the plush animal clones.
Tan admits their products did not look as realistic in the beginning—but keeping at it just made them better and better over the years. Now Tan is confident Pampanga Teddy Bear Factory has mastered the art of making these pet clones. “We’re lucky to have assembled the correct team with the correct skills,” he tells ANCX.
Producing one customized plush animal clone begins once a client sends the design information and requirements, which includes animal breed, photos, drawings, and measurements through their website or their Facebook page. From there, Tan’s team will create a sample item and quotation before the actual making of the customized stuffed toy.
According to Tan, there are about 20 employees in the factory who make these plush animals. They begin making the pattern by hand based on the photos provided by the customer. The pattern will be used as guide in cutting the fabric. The fabric pieces would then be sewn together before framing and stuffing. Some airbrush magic will then be done to make the “clone” more realistic. Final touches include putting the fur or making folds on the skin of the animal clone.
One clone can be finished in one to two days. But because the factory produces over 100 clones a month, it takes about three to four weeks after placing an order before a customer receives the finished item. They also ship internationally.
The price of a clone is fixed at P3,500, with an average size of 24 inches in length. There’s an additional charge if a customer requests something bigger, says Tan.
Aside from different dog and cat breeds, the factory has produced other animal clones such as rabbits. The company is willing to accept almost any kind of animal depending on the customer’s request.
Most of the feedback on the brand’s official website and Facebook page remark on the resemblance of the plush animal clones with the customer’s deceased pets. Tan says it gives him a good feeling when he sees a new TikTok video or post on their Facebook page from a satisfied client. “We get reminded about how special our services are, so that's a really good motivating factor,” says Tan.