I thought it would be appropriate to have a Plush You! loyal this week as it IS the WEEK of Plush You! It still blows my mind. Anywhooo, Dawn is one of my favorite people on Plush Planet. She came into Schmancy when I just opened with a HUGE bag full of the most amazing plush creatures I had seen. It's been a pleasure to see Dawn grow in the plush community, the craft community and in her art. Her work is similar in a lot of ways to when she started but now it's just more fine tuned and perfected. It's no wonder that she has received a lot of attention. Her work is fantastic! It is my great pleasure to feature the plush-a-holic herself for this special week of Plush You! Leave a comment her with your contact info for your chance
to win your own creature picked by Dawn herself!
S- Why don't you first tell us all a little bit about yourself and how you started your business.
DR- I was home with my daughter and started to sew her some creatures. She had such fantastic reactions to my Plush Art and she was THE reason I was inspired to begin and keep sewing. Plus my friends and family saw them and kept telling me I should sell them. So after a bit of time I decided to open my Etsy shop, January 9th 2006. Etsy was not really that well known at the time, hard to believe now, so I really had to promote myself. I started reading a lot of craft/art related blogs and was really inspired to start my own blog too. That's when www.Plush-a-holic.blogspot.com was born July 22nd 2006 the same day I became a part of the Flickr community and both have really changed my life. I am also an amateur photographer and went to school for almost 4 years for photography so I absolutely loved being a part of flickr (still do) and I really missed the thrill of creating. I used to spend hours and hours in the studio and color darkroom. Sewing changed my life. It made me so happy and gave me a sense of purpose agian. It was something I could do while my daughther was home with me and still feel connected to something bigger than myself. Something I could do for me.
S- You have two kids now but you still amazingly make stuff, update your site, your flickr, etc. How do ya' do it?
DR- Well, if you look at my shop you will see that I have been a bit slow lately. Having a new baby really makes it hard to have the energy to create. I guess I am just driven to keep going so that I feel a part of something bigger than myself and if I am being really honest I don't want to disappear from the Plush Community. I have worked very hard to be involoved in it. The connections I have made in the craft/art world are really, really important to me. Plus I am addicted to making Plush Creatures. I really enjoy the process and the finished product too. It's all so exhilerating!
S- Since I have had the pleasure of seeing you "grow" in the craft world, I feel so happy to see how well received you have always been. Unfortunately I have also seen some people obviously rip off some of your style. How do you deal with that?
DR- Honestly I was not prepared for that part of sharing my craft/art. At first all these really nice people would email me on Etsy alerting me to folks that were doing stuff that was similar to mine. I thanked them of course and just tried to not let it get to me. I mean really we all make stuff from our hearts and if you are just copying someone else you really won't be successful. There is a fine line between stealing someone's ideas and being inspired. So I just keep doing what I do trying to grow and improve as I go and I don't really get involved in any weird stuff. I actually feel really good that people say I have my own 'style and I truly feel I have worked very hard to be recognized in the craft/art community.. We are all inspired by others and as long as we make our craft/art our own and it is coming form within us it will all be good.
S- You have also made some amazing friendships in the craft community. How do you foster these virtual relationships and how has it helped your business and creativity?
DR- I am not very good at networking in real life(although I am getting much better) so when the inter web came into my life to my surprise I was really comfortable with making connections. Being a stay at home Ma can get really lonely especially if you are not a joiner and sadly I am not. So I love Virtual friends and meeting them in real life has been amazing. I really am so very very grateful to all the love I have rec'd from the craft/art community via the web. It has changed my life in so many ways and continues to do so. As far as helping my business or creativity it actually helps me to keep going. It shows me that people think what I do is worth doing and I just love sharing so very much.
S- Since you've started, what have been some of the fondest memories you have had in your business?
DR-My fondest memories really all have to do with the people I have met. I love seeing where my Love=Creatures end up and the folks out there that collect my work and send me gifts. Geez...I could have never imagined any of it. It is truly amazing to connect with so many people. I also love being in Plush You, this will be my 3rd year. Seriously it is such an amazing show and getting to be part of the book was AMAZING. Thanks so very much Kristen for all the opportunities you have given me and so many other Plush Artists.
S- If you and your family were to go on a 3 week road trip, what craft supplies would you have to have with you?
DR- Well....a bunch of sewn bodies that were stuffed and ready to detail, lots of thread and needles of course!! :)
S- What do you look forward to for 2009?
DR- Obama as president, sleeping more, having a social life, more time with family and friends, going out with my hubby...oh you meant in my Plush Life....
Having more time to make all the ideas that are swimming around in my head come to life. Acquiring more sewing skills to bring some of my ideas to a different level. Meeting more and more folks from the craft/art/flickr community and maybe someday getting to be in another book. Mostly though I just want to sew more :)
S- Where to you see your business in the next 5 years?
DR- I see me being able to have the time to fill up my shop more often and diversify. I am nowhere near ready to stop so all I can do is go forward and progress.
S- Where can people find your work?
DR- www.LookWhatICanDo.Etsy.com. www.Plush-a-holic.blogspot.com and again sooooon at www.Supermaggie.com
S-Since Plush You! is this Friday, how do you think shows such as this one, has helped your business grow?
DR- First of all Plush You ROCKS!!!!!!!!! It was one of the first shows of it's kind and I feel so very lucky to be a part of it. It enables you to meet a bunch of Plush folks and really see what they are up to and it definitely gets your work out there where tons of folks have access to it. Sometimes Plush Art gets kind of lumped into a hobby/craft category and shows like Plush You showcase it as an art and I really like that. Thanks so much Kristen for bringing so much attention to all the Plush and Plush artists out there. We Plush You xo
Thanks again Dawn for all your kind words and insight into your work!
Don't forget, leave a comment here for your chance to win your own Look What I Can Do creations!