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yall. on the real i have been very impatiently waiting to share this lovely shop with you. stephanie was referred to me by kelly (my friend from view along the way - what's up homie!) and the moment i clicked over to her shop i was totally hooked. i don't want to spoil the surprise so hurry and read on so you can get to the gorgeous pictures!
When did you open your shop?
Just last November, around Thanksgiving 2011. My initial plan was to make dolls until the new year, and open my shop in January, but I am extremely pleased to say that too many folks were already trying to place orders, so I was able to open earlier.
How did you learn to do what you do?
Slowly. It took me a while to conquer my fear of the sewing machine. I am the type of person that has a hard time starting something if I don't have a thorough understanding of how to do it - I do NOT like trial and error. That bobbin had me stumped for a while, thank goodness for YouTube! My first completed sewing project was a quilt for my friend's baby, and the amazing feeling of accomplishment that came when I finished it fueled my desire to try out new projects. I always thought it would be so neat to sew dolls, so I searched for a template and tried out a very simple pattern. After I made a couple of dolls, I changed a few things on the template and tried again. Over the next few weeks I came up with an original template, designed my own little doll face, and ended up with something completely my own.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My main source of crafty inspiration has always been and will always be my grandmothers, Millie and Joanne. They each used to sew clothes, knit, and crochet. My Nana (Millie) would knit baby hats and blankets to donate to hospitals, and she made me Christmas and Easter dresses every year. She sewed each of us grandkids an adorable stuffed bunny, as well as numerous quilts and clothes. My Mommom (Joanne) made her own wedding gown in 1950, baby clothes for her kids, and three prom dresses for my mom. She taught my mom how to sew, and she later taught me (if I would have paid better attention I wouldn't have needed YouTube so often, but I digress). It is my desire to carry on their trades and hopefully one day I will teach my own children.
What is your favorite handmade shop?
Oh dear, this is a hard one. Seriously. But if I have to pick only one, I'm going to go with Whichgoose on Etsy. I've drooled over her gorgeous nature inspired accessories for years and even wore one of her flower crowns in my wedding.
What is your favorite product in your shop?
I only carry two basic (though highly customizable) products at the moment, but I think the regular sized (14" dolls) are my favorite. They are exactly the type of dolls I would have loved to play with as a young girl, and I really love how each one is completely unique. I have such a great time making them because it feels like I'm giving birth to a new little character!
Give us one tip for aspiring handmade artists!
Don't be afraid to try something new, whether it's a technique, material, or tool you have never used before. You have nothing to lose! Take as long as you need to find your niche. Brainstorm. Make lists. You have what it takes! And if you stick with what you love, chances are others will love it too.
one word: love. LOVE. LOOOOOOOVE. ;)
hurry and go swipe one of these precious little dollies up for your little!!
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