We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the eleventh in our series, an interview with Quacked.
How long have you been making adorable plushies? What inspired your to start crafting and open your etsy shop?
It's been about five years, now. I'm really into cute geeky stuff, and I enjoy wearing kooky accessories and hanging plushies off my bags and whatnot. My first inspiration to start up a plushie making business was during my first visit to a Japanese animation convention. I saw some people selling their adorable handmade crafts in the artist alley and I thought, "I could do that." So I did.
What inspires you to make a new product - how do you decide what to make next?
I usually start with a story first. Most of my plushies have a funny little story to go along with their image, and it's easier to come up with a design once the plush has characteristics. Food is also a big inspiration; I love to cook, so many of my products have something to do with food, like my Tofu Bunnies and Food Chains.
How/where did you learn to make cute plushies? Do you have any resources you could share with those would like to learn?
I taught myself. Google was definitely my friend. I found lots of how-to-videos and free patterns online when I first started sewing. Also, fabric stores usually sell patterns for only a few dollars, and I found some easy teddy bear and bag patterns that helped with the basics. If there was a certain stitch, or sewing term I didn't know in the instructions, I just googled it. Check out your clothes, and bags: turn them inside out and see how they're sewn together and how many pieces were used. That's how I learned to develop my own patterns for tiny clothes to dress my plush dolls in. You probably won't be perfect from the start, but stick with it. There was a lot of trial and error involved, with me, and I produced loads of junk plushies before decent stuff emerged.
What is your day job? (or if this is your day job, what do you do when you're not crafting?)
Currently, this is my day job. Fingers crossed it stays that way! Throughout the year, but during the summer especially, I travel to geek conventions across Canada and sell my goods. But when I'm not crafting or selling, I'm probably doing something nerdy, like writing, and reading books or comics. I also do loads of cooking and eating--and then lots of walking.
Your Harry Potter plush set is adorable! (especially Harry with his little glasses peaking out of his outfit- so kawaii). What are some of your favourite items you have created?
Thanks! Hmm, probably my Surprised Bacon Pillow. Which I guess is kinda ironic since I'm a vegetarian, but I used to really like bacon, and his O faces me laugh. I have a soft spot for cookies, and cute monster stuff, so I'm also fond of my plush
Cookie Monster charms and Little Monster characters.
How do you advertise your shop? Do you have any tips for new sellers out there on how to get their shop out there and in the spotlight?
I just opened my Etsy shop late last year, so I'm still learning the ins and outs of marketing. I sell at a lot of anime/comic conventions so I always bring a stack of business cards to give out. I also use social media: facebook, twitter, blogger, etc. I'll be trying giveaways and sales soon through these networks. I think good photos and a detailed description are especially important for online shoppers since they can't touch the item before buying. This is what makes stuff stand out for me, at least. I try to take clear photos from different angles (front, back, side). Photos that display the item's size, or show the product in use are useful, too.
Visit Quacked's etsy store. Like her on facebook or follow her on twitter. Be sure to check out her blog to learn more about this fabulous artist and her upcoming events!
Interviewed by kumacrafts in February, 2011.