Elaine Demirel and her husband Yildirim Demirel are the super talented owners of White Horses Inc. They make custom art, crochet item and more. They sell custom-made bears all over the world. I first met Elaine and Yildirim, and noticed the bears at the Horror Sideshow Market in Allentown, PA. The two of them are so talented and creative. They have created a unique product that has quickly become a fan-favorite at conventions. You can check out the ETSY shop page. They make custom bears and not just horror characters. They took time to do a zoom interview with me for Horrornews.net. White Horses Inc. will be at the Horror Sideshow Market in October.
Hi! How are you guys doing?
Yildirim – Pretty good. How about yourself?
I’m good, thank you. Please tell us how this incredible idea manifested for the two of you? The bears are the cutest items ever.
Elaine- My mother-in-law taught me how to crochet blankets and stuff. I learned to make other stuff by watching YouTube videos. I made our son who was two at the time a bigger size bear, and that was back in 2012. In 2013, we saw Danielle Harris at a convention and I made her a big size Jamie bear. She loved it, and she said you should sell these, they are so cute. When they are so big, they take so much time. I wanted to condense them down and make it more realistically possible to make a bunch of bears. We changed the size, made the bases, and the props.
Yildirim – This is an extra backstory to that. Adam Green and Joe Lynch do a Yorkie-Thon, and Elaine usually donates puppy blankets. Elaine wanted to do something different, she made a Victor Crowley bear. Originally the bases were kind of plain and for the first set of bears, Elaine did the clay props. That was the Victor Crowley bear and that sold at the auction. After that, I wanted to help make the props. I took a lot of art classes and I wanted to help. We both love horror movies.
When I first saw the bears, I thought they were the cutest things I had ever seen. They are so cool. It was so amazing to see something hand made and you can tell the two of you put so much heart into the bears.
Yildirim – Yes, we celebrated our 13th year together. We love the custom orders we get. We did Bobby the beaver, was it a beaver?
Elaine- He was a beaver or a groundhog. They messaged me about it and originally when I looked up the show I thought, oh, we can do that. I made it as a bear with the costume. The guy that ordered it for his fiancé and he said she was almost in tears when she opened it.
Do you take reasonable requests to make custom bears or bears that you haven’t made before?
Yildirim – Definitely.
Elaine- That’s a big majority of our orders. It’s something different for us to do.
Yildirim – The main goal is that we do make custom bears. Elaine doesn’t use patterns, there are no patterns for the bears.
That is crazy. Elaine you are so talented.
Elaine- Thank you. I just look at a picture. The bears all come out different.
What has been your favorite reaction so far when people see the bears?
Yildirim – The little boy Cam was decked out from head to toe as Doofy. He even had the super soaker.
Elaine- There was this little boy Cam, at the Horror Sideshow Market dressed as Dave Sheridan’s character Doofy. They came over to our table but they didn’t get the Doofy bear. The little boy, after the fact was so upset and he wanted to get the Doofy bear. His mom messaged me and she asked if we still had the Doofy bear. I said, yes, we still have the Doofy bear. I told her I could ship the bear out to you on Monday because they were heading back to Virginia. It was so cool because we talked to Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie) the night before, in the lobby of the hotel. We told him the story about the little boy. The next day we had one Doofy bear left, and Dave Sheridan ended up signing the bear for the little boy.
How long is the process for the two of you making the bears?
Elaine- Certain bears can take a week or longer.
Yildirim – Oh, Candyman, the Candyman bear came out so cool. It took about a week and a half. Oh my gosh, he came out so cool. Elaine made the coat with the fur and I made the clay hook. I did a base with bumble bees on it. It was time consuming but it was so cool. When we make a bear some times, I’m like, I want to keep that. We get a lot of ideas from SHUDDER also, and you have some fans that there are no toys or collectibles for, and everyone knows the characters. They can be cult icons. Elaine comes up with great ideas. She pushes me.
Elaine- If it’s something that’s not too intricate, it could take two to three days, maybe an extra day? I made Pamela Voorhees and I didn’t realize I did the sweater the wrong color because the blue and light grey are so identical. I had the whole sweater done and I just cut the sweater off and I had to do it again.
What advice would the two of you offer, or words of wisdom?
Yildirim- If you don’t like doing it, don’t do it. Do it if you enjoy it. Everybody has that day-to-day grind but this is enjoyable for us. We try to make a bear look like a figure.
Elaine- You have to know that you have the time and the patience. You have to put your heart into it.
Would the two of you ever consider turning the bears into a story? Maybe writing a book?
Yildirim- I haven’t, but that’s a cool idea. We originally wanted to do a little monster children’s book but someone beat her to the punch.
Elaine- That is a good idea.
What is one of the biggest challenges the two of you face?
Elaine- I guess just coming up with stuff on our own that we think people will like for the shows/conventions. You have the basic characters that you know people will love. We may like a movie that other people don’t like.
Yildirim- I think the biggest struggle is time. We have two kids; I have a full-time business and Elaine has so much on her plate. Time is the biggest struggle.
What do the two of you want to say to everyone that has seen the bears, and the work the two of you do so far?
Elaine- We are so incredibly thankful that we have had such a positive response. We love to see people’s faces light up. We love to see the reaction, it’s one of the greatest feelings ever. A lot of people post about us on social media, and it’s so great.
Yildirim- Always try to make someone smile when you leave instead of frown. It makes us so happy. I think it was you that said, I have never seen anything like this before.
Yildirim- You want people to be happy and it makes us happy to see the kids faces and even the grown-ups get so excited and happy. We hope people enjoy it.
I thank you both so much for taking the time to talk to me for Horrornews.net. It was a blast talking with both of you. Both of you are so talented.
Elaine- Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.
Yildirim- Thank you.
Photos provided by Elaine and Yildirim
Yildirim @yuld88 on Instagram
Horror Sideshow Market October 16, 2021