Hi! Happy Saturday, friends!!! I'm really happy to introduce you to a super fun and creative etsy shop owner, Laura, and her totally funky shop, Pehmik! I LOVE her stuffed creations and the creative stories for every piece! Her shop is not only really bright and exciting to look at, but really fun to read!
Q. What is the first craft project you remember making?
A. I remember that we made clothes for our dolls with my cousins when we were children. But the real crafter in me was born a few years after high school. I just started making all sorts of things. Mostly sewing innovative household products but also making earrings out of random found objects. Now I have boxes for every different medium I’ve tried: needle felting, knitting, polymer clay etc.
Q. What inspires you?
A. Mostly it’s all the lack of fun, quirky and cute but not too childish things in the world around me. Also every time I see something that is hand made and totally awesome I feel like making something myself. It can be a pair of ceramic earrings or a concrete bench that inspires me to make a new plush toy design, it’s just the fact that it’s hand made.
Q. Can you describe some of your creative processes?
A. When I start working on new designs I usually browse around on Etsy or Google for a while to make myself see how different everyone’s plush toys are, it kind of opens my mind a bit. From that I usually get an idea of what kind of an animal or character is missing from my collection and start sketching things down, make a pattern and try it out. It takes a few tries and some small tweaks before the final pattern is good enough. The birth of a new character could take anywhere from a day to a few weeks, depends on how inspired I am.
Q. What is your most prized handmade possession?
A. The first thing that pops into my head is a pair of teacup earrings made by one of my dearest friends Sandra, www.etsy.com/shop/byVellamo.
Q. What was the hardest thing about starting your Etsy shop?
A. For me the hardest thing has been limiting my time I spend on everything connected to Etsy. I guess I’m a perfectionist at heart and if I know I could do something better I will.
Q. What's the BEST thing about running your Etsy shop?
A. I love the way I can use three different kinds of creative processes to run my Etsy shop. I make physical products, take photos in the world I create for them and make up short stories about their lives. It really makes my creativity run wild and I love it!
Q. How do your customers find out about your products?
A. This is one of the things I’m trying to figure out right now as a new shop owner. I’m slowly getting more into posting on Facebook and being active on the Etsy teams.
Q. What are a few of your favorite items in your shop?
A. My favorite items are definitely the ones made out of the fabrics from my grandma’s stash. For example Sunny the bunny:
The fabric is older than I am and bought in the Soviet Union. My grandmother used to make some of the clothes for herself and my mother . There was still a few meters of this fabric left as there was about 10 or more meters of it when she got it. It was really difficult to get anything like that in the Soviet Union so when there was an opportunity to buy it you got as much as possible.
The second favorite is the plush car:
I’ve seen the spark of happiness in a 3-year-old’s eyes so many times when he sees one of these and that motivates me like crazy.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice to a new Etsy seller, what would it be?
A. As I’m completely new myself I don’t think I know that much yet but the one thing that comes up over and over again is product photos. They have to be well done. By that I don’t mean that they have to be some elaborate pieces of art but have to catch the eye of a potential buyer browsing through the hundreds of small pictures while searching for the perfect product for them.
Q. Where can we find you (etsy, facebook, twitter, etc.)
A. Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/Pehmik
Q. Finally, tell us 3 fun facts about you!
A. I have a BA in art therapy.
My thesis was about the effect of my product photos and toys on people’s creativity and well being.
I’ve been an extra in a TV series a few times.
Thank you so much, Laura, for letting us get to know you and your Pehmiks better!!!
Friends, please stop by Laura's shop, and give her some love! Look around at her super cute creations, read the fun stories and maybe adopt a Pehmik to call your own!
If you are a handmade artist and would like to be featured, or you know know a killer artist that I should feature, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the section below!