Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Heidi Kenney Interview

S-How long have you been working on plush toys?

HK-Well I have been working on the plush toys like the ones I make now for a little over 4 years. Before that I had been making some random little plushies, but those were all hand sewn and looked a bit different.

S-It looks like you have been participating in a lot of Plush Shows including Plush You this year. How do you think these shows have helped you build your craft business?

HK-I think the plush shows have been really awesome, even in just kind of getting my stuff out to different parts of the world, where people might not otherwise see it. Plus I think plush is sometimes one of those things you need to see in person, so you can squish it, hug it, and really combine all the senses for.

S-I was very excited when Kid Robot picked you up for the Yummy Donuts. How was that experience for you?

HK-It was a really amazing experience and pretty unexpected. They saw my stuff at one of the Renegade shows (but I didnt
know it at the time) and a little while later they sent me an email to see if I would be interested in working with them.

S-Networking seems to be a very important part of building your business yet it is also very time consuming. How do you balance the different aspects of building up your creative business?

HK-Well your gith is is hard, with the creative fun stuff there comes a lot of dull paperwork, calls to make, taxes to pay etc. I am still struggling to find my balance with all these things and I just try and remember that sometimes that means you have to say no to some things. Learning to say no can be a really hard thing though!

S-Every time I check out your site, blog, or flickr you have managed to turn some other object into plush. Is there anything you have NOT tried to make into a stuffed item?

HK-Haha, oh yeah I am sure there are billions of things. Its actually one of the things that keeps me going..knowing that the
possibilites are endless!

S-Do you have any suggestions for aspiring plush creators?

HK-Just to give it a go and keep it fun! There is no use trying to make anything if its a chore, or brings you to tears. Remember that like anything else in life sewing plush takes practice!

S-I think that the Internet has been nice for a lot of stay at home parents that enjoy crafting to talk about parenting, crafting, etc. Has it been hard to grow as a business when you have two kids? How do you juggle both? Do your kids ever help?

HK-At times it can be a struggle to work from home, and work as much as I do with two kids. I just feel very fortunate + lucky to have a totally supportive husband. Lucky for me he doesnt work until the afternoons, so it means most mornings I have free for sewing and business work. I also spend a lot of late nights working, and just trying to fit things in whenever I
can. While my kids think whaat I do is cool, and they always like adding ideas, or seeing the new things I make they don't ever help with the work part, haha. My youngest son does try and stuff things sometimes, but of course thats just for fun and I have to re stuff them afterwards. My husband has braided tampon tails, glued eyes, and even turned things inside out in a pinch!

S-Any shows coming up you would like to mention?

HK-I will be part of the Medical Experiments In Plush show coming up this weekend in NC, you can find more info at http://www.myspace.com/curatedbystupidcreatures

S-Do have any other exciting news you would like to share with your fans?

HK-Just that I am working with kidrobot now for some more exciting stuff that should be coming out in the fall!

If you haven't checked out Heidi's work before (which would make me very suprised) go here. Thanks Heidi for the awesome interview. I look forward to seeing new stuff and hearing more about all the excitement happening over at My Paper Crane!

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