28th October 2021 – Sandi Millichip-Massocchi of Family Comforts

It’s been a while since I’ve welcomed a guest onto my blog. In fact, it’s been a while since I blogged at all! Between the summer holidays, building work and volunteering, time has raced away somewhat.

However, what a lovely way to get back into sharing with my followers than with the wonderful Sandi from Family Comforts.

Sandi Millichip-Massocchi, is a Bear artist living in Pontyclun; she started sewing at a young age with the help and encouragement of her Grandfather who was a tailor during the second world war.

She went on to study dress making and design at school and in later years developed her skills further by doing an Interior Design diploma.

In 2014 Sandi gave up her full-time job to look after her elderly father, Gordon, who sadly passed away in 2018. Gordon was a very smart gentleman who always wore a shirt and tie with a matching hanky.  Sandi was left with a large selection of his fabulous ties when he passed away and instead of having them tucked away in a draw, she decided to call upon her creativity and make something special out of them.

Sandi told us it is surprising how much beautiful material there is in a tie when its unpicked. After playing around with a few ideas Sandi decided that making a Bear out of the ties would be the perfect way to remember her father by. This is how Gordon Bear was created!

When Gordon Bear was complete, Sandi shared a picture of him on her Facebook. Friends and family were really interested in the Bear and the orders for people’s own Memory Bears started flooding in, and as you say the rest is history, Family Comforts was born.

In the couple of years that Sandi has been making Bears she has been asked to make them out of every material possible. She has made numerous Bears, many of them are from bereaved families wanting to keep a small part of their loved one alive. “It’s wonderful to see the faces of my customers when I give their Bears back, it’s one of my favourite parts of the job” Sandi told us.

The feedback she has from her customers shows that the Bears and other keepsakes she makes really help with the grieving process. One Lady told her “It’s like being able to hug my son again”.

She says that she has not had any material yet that she has not been able to utilize. Sandi has also incorporated jewellery, medals, and slippers onto the Bears. In the Memorial Bears she has also added pouches of ashes to be placed inside the Bears.

Since starting the business, she has added lots of different animals to the Family Comforts collection. These include Elephants, Rabbits, Dogs, Horses, Dragons, Dinosaurs, and even Unicorns. Her collection also extends to birth weighted Bears.

A lot of people ask how many clothes are needed to make a Bear? “As each Bear is created from more than 17 piece’s we can incorporate a variety of clothing and accessories into the design. On the other hand, a Bear can be made from as little as 1 large adult piece of clothing or 4-5 pieces of children’s or babies’ clothes.”

If you would like your own Memory Bear created, please do not hesitate to get in touch where Sandi will be more than happy to help you design your perfect keepsake to treasure forever!