What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I am a dressmaker turned toymaker, working with wood and beautiful fabrics. I am addicted to buying printed fabrics and use them for toys, roomwares and dresses. My greatest endeavor with my shop is to contribute to the magical and sweet little world that children live in, while adding only safe and non-toxic elements to that world.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
Prior to having my boys, I was an apparel and accessories designer for a large children’s wear company. I was able to learn a lot about the laws for safe children’s products while working there. Once I had my boys I just fell in love with toys and the ideas will come to me in dreams or on long walks. I now work from home as a freelance designer for several companies and as a toy maker for my Etsy shop- my greatest joy aside from my family.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I work mostly alone, but my wonderful husband cuts the wood for me since I fear the chop saw. My studio is in our house, and the woodshop is attached as well. It works well to manage a family and a business with everything under one roof.
Blogs and children’s books are a great source of inspiration for me, as a mom I don’t get out very much… sometimes I see a simple classic toy that could be better and cuter, and I’ll start there. Other times my boys will help spur an idea.
I work when the kids are napping, or asleep for the night, or on the weekend when my husband can take them on an adventure. I see my work and home life as very integrated and am used to stepping over toys and boys in my work space.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I sell my work mostly on Etsy. I sometime showcase my work on Poppytalk or Papernstitch. Beyond that I sell through Craftsbury Kids, A Small Green Footprint, Green Planet Parties, Down to Earth Toys, and several smaller boutiques around the US.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“[What’s] up and coming?”
since you asked;) Gypsy caravan wagons, softie trucks with working wheels, wood and wool teethers, and some Valentines and Easter gifts.
I can’t wait — thanks Willow! And if you want to be interviewed in this space, head over to DIY Interview.