Today’s feature is with a fantastic shop, SilverRoseSewing! Silver offers adorable plushies, currently available is the teddy bear, dog, cat, and kangaroo! I was lucky enough to win her giveaway for a custom plushie and chose a modified kangaroo plushie. Silver was so nice to adapt her patterns to my request and I can’t wait to receive my plushie!
How did you come up with your shop name?
I used the name Silverrose on another blog site, but originally it came from combining my favorite band (Silverchair) with my middle name (Rose). It feels a little silly going by a different name, but I wanted something that would be separate my shop from me as a person.
Why did you start your Etsy shop?
I started sewing in late May of this year. I had been out of work with a back injury since January, and when I was cleared to come back to work, my company laid me off. I worked for a corporate child care and the company decided to shut the school down this year. I knew I would be let go eventually, but I hadn't realized it would come so soon. After being at home for 5 months, 2 months of that spent on bed rest, I was getting really bored of just watching daytime television and reading books. I couldn't imagine doing the same old thing for another 4 months until I could find another teaching job. So I decided to try to sew my own clothing. I had a pretty good time with it and I seemed to have a knack for it. My boyfriend suggested I try to make something different and some former coworkers thought I should sell my work. I decided to try to make teddy bears, because that's what I would want to buy! The first few tries were not good, because I was using someone else's pattern. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted my bears to look like, so I modeled my own pattern after my first childhood bear. It worked! I found Etsy browsing online and jumped right in! I've only been doing this a little over a month, but it's been a lot of fun.
Only a little over a month now. I've always enjoyed creative endeavors, like dancing, singing, etc. But creating my bears is a very fulfilling way for me to use my time between jobs. I get to be creative, put different patterns and colors together, and it makes me feel like I've been productive for the day. I actually started my blog before I started crafting on Etsy. I was feeling pretty down about what had happened this year with my injury and my job, and I read Julie Powell's book "Julie & Julia." She talked about how blogging gave her a positive experience and feedback and I thought, hey, maybe I should do that! And it all snowballed from there.
Does your shop reflect your personal style?
Definitely. Each of my bears is very different, and it depends on what kind of fabrics I see in the store that catch my eye. At first, I started out using buttons and very nursery-like fabrics. I'm slowly trying new ideas, like Asian brocades and Indian sari fabrics, making the facial features out of felt and so on. I'm still playing around with my signature facial features, so each bear is truly unique. I'm going to try to make an "emotion" line, of plushies with surprised, happy, glum, sleepy, etc faces. And I might try to make some minis that are smaller, since my current design is fairly good sized. My next project is going to be a rainbow bear...I've always loved using rainbows and I'm really excited to see how he turns out!
Where do you draw inspiration from for your products?
Mostly from colors, textures and patterns I see at the fabric store. My initial inspiration was Pookie, my first and favorite bear. He has such a simple and cuddly design and he's just the right size! I don't really like working with typical "teddy bear" fabric, I'd rather explore colors and patterns. I like that my creations are a bit whimsical. I had a bear made for me when I was 10 that had a floral pattern and I just loved that idea. I guess that's where my love of using patterns comes from.
Is there a piece in your shop that was hard for you to part with?
Probably Ruby the kangaroo. She came about by accident. My boyfriend wanted me to make my puppies with a 3D nose, and my first try just looked like a kangaroo! I thought it was so cute that I made her with a pouch and a long tail. She was so adorable, I didn't want to let her go, but I know I can make more. I'm sure she'll be very much loved in her new home.
Care to share an idea or item you hope to have in your shop in the future?
I'm excited about my rainbow bear, which will have his different parts (ears, paws, tummy, and feet) in different primary colors to look like a rainbow. I'm hoping to work on a koala to go with my Ruby kangaroo. And I have a couple more brocades that I haven't used yet that I am excited about. I'll also be making a cat and maybe a dog for a local animal shelter out of their signature bandannas to put up for their auction in September. That should be really fun, but it won't be in my shop.
What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to other shop owners?
I'm just starting out, so I think I'm the one who needs advice! I thought when I started that my items would sell right away, but that is definitely not the case. It is slow going and it can be frustrating trying to get yourself out there in such a HUGE community of crafters. I think the best thing would be to get to know some other Etsians and start networking so you can help each get seen. I think my favorite thing so far is getting a "look" for my shop and blog, so when someone sees my pink banner, they recognize that's Silver Rose! A great artist, Brixton Studios, made my banners for me and she did a great job. I think that's my favorite investment so far. :)
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