Mad Man Knitting

American Made Since 2011

Gregory Patrick

Orlando, Florida
In 2011 after losing my job, I became homeless. To feed myself and find shelter, I started knitting teddy bears by hand.

Tell us about your business.

Two years ago, I lost everything. I ended up in a small trailer in the woods of South Georgia 20 miles from the nearest town. I ended up knitting teddy bears to get myself out of there. It took six months, it took walking 7 miles a day to the nearest post office, and took a lot hope, prayer, and resilience. My teddy bears became admired, adored, and longed for. I managed to take a simple hobby and make it my income. I thankfully, gratefully, now have a place to live, a home, finally...and all because of one little hand knit teddy bear. I'm hoping to move this business in a new place where it can grow and thrive, a new moment where it has the nurturing to flourish. I've knit nearly 1,000 teddy bears in these last two years, and though people love them, I've only just begun what I think could be an amazing moment in entrepreneurial history, where a man, homeless and with nothing, managed to build an empire by knitting. KNITTING.

What makes your business stand out?

Its more than a teddy bear. Its a clutchable reminder of hope, of persistence, of faith during troubled times. Its a huggable reminder of comfort hand crafted by a man who turned his hardship into a moment of personal salvation.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 9, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    Vote now
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

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