The Gund Manufacturing Company began in 1898, founded by Adolph Gund, an immigrant from Germany. Located in New York City, Gund's company at first specialized in artificial flowers, beads, and gifts, but it soon concentrated on supplying a growing market of soft fabric toys including teddy bears. In 1907 Gund hired 12-year old Jacob Swedlin, a Russian immigrant, to work in the mailroom. Not even 20 years later, Swedlin purchased the company at Gund's retirement. The company remained a Swedlin family business for several decades until it was purchased in 2008 by Enesco, an international corporation specializes in gifts and home decorations.