Francisco Carreno Stewart is one of the extraordinary young bear artists that has captured the attention and recognition of collectors around the world.
Born in Valencia, Venezuela of a Venezuelan father and an English mother, Francisco spent most of his childhood traveling with his parents throughout North and South America, England and New Zealand. His childhood was a great mixture of experiences that reflected the combination of both the Latin and the Anglo-Saxon cultures.
At age 14, he came to the United States where he attended the Kent's Hill Preparatory School in Augusta, Maine. Upon his graduation, he moved to Philadelphia where he attended the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now, Philadelphia University) where received a Bachelor's Degree in textile management and marketing. Because of his excellent record, Francisco was invited by the University to participate in the first Master's Degree Program in Textile Marketing - a degree he received with a concentration on fashion design.
Upon graduation, Francisco began designing women's apparel, developing a unique line that focused on the special needs of the professional woman - the need for femininity in a traditionally masculine environment. His line was immediately picked up and carried by several high fashion boutiques throughout the US.
However, in spite of his success, Francisco had always yearned for his involvement in the more "playful" side of designing. He also felt that he had a unique cultural heritage from his English mother's side that was begging for expression. From his father's side, all the artistic training he had received as a child. All of this came together when, by accident, he attended an artist bear show. After a great deal of research, trial and error, he devoted all his free time to learning the art and craft of bear-making. Boldly, he made a dramatic career change -- he stopped designing women's apparel and began designing bears. He quickly developed a unique style - his "tall, skinny" bears - has been extremely well received by long time collectors.
Francisco lives in Society Hill, Philadelphia, where he designs and creates his uniquely styled bears for Nino's Bears and practices a successful career in Real Estate with Plumer and Associates Inc.
After a roundabout way, Francisco has found what he has always looked for: the expression of his cultures, the designing of "playful" bears and friends, but most of all, doing something he loves passionately.
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