Paul Jessup 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.
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.
In 2006 Paul was asked to design the 150 year anniversary Florence Nightingale Teddy Bear for the Florence Nightingale Museum. He was given unique access to the museum archive allowing him to create miniature replicas from Florence’s real dress and famous lantern. ‘It was a privilege to work with the museum curators and historians I was inspired to hear how Florence inspired young women to become nurses and fascinated to learn that every nurse in the world recites the Nightingale Pledge when the graduate’ said, Paul Jessup
Understanding that some children have more than enough and some children don’t have enough to survive Paul began thinking about how some parents buy an additional toy for their child when they already have many, and that sadly there are some children without parents. Paul decided to use his teddy bears so that when gifted they encapsulate a memory and at the same time provide an opportunity for someone else to reach their full potential.
Through research; Paul discovered that all nurses in the world are united and are members of the International Council of Nurses, 130 national nurses associations representing 20 million nurses. Paul decided to support the ICN by using his Florence Nightingale Teddy Bear to raise funds and awareness their key charitable initiative The Girl Child Education Fund. ICN promote Florence to their 20 million international nurses. Florence Nightingale Teddy bears are purchased by nurses to give to their children, £4 from the sale is donated by The Great British Teddy Bear Company to educate female orphans of nurses in third world countries. One proud daughter gets a bear that reminds them of their mum, and another receives an education
In an interview Paul Jessup said: ‘Our commercial success as a business can be measured by the fact that we now manufacture 17,000 bears a week and Florence is sold in 24 countries, it is testament to Florence Nightingale’s legacy that 110 years after her death even in Teddy Bear form she is still bringing nurses together across the globe and inspiring young women to reach their full potential.’