I really like the work by Beeper Bébé. It's really cool to think that this woman has only been making toys for three years now! Her work is really amazing. It's my great pleasure to interview Holly this week. Leave a comment here for your chance to win your own Woodland Baby Beasts, Your choice of which animal you would like too! Leave a comment along with your contact info.
S- How long have you been making plush?
BB- I’ve been making plush since my son was about 1 year old—which is the marker in my mind because his birth really gave birth to my interest in making toys. I have always been crazy about toys—although it was largely in secret from my friends and family because I felt it was kind of weird to be an adult and still love plush toys so much. Then, I had a friend who offered me the opportunity to participate in tandem with her in a neighborhood art crawl so I thought I would finally give it a try and make some patterns for some plushies. And they sold really well, and it all evolved from there. So, all said, I guess I have making toys for about 3 years now.
S- It seems like you use a lot of recycled materials. Where do you get most of your supplies?
BB- I do use a lot of recycled materials. I have utterly fantastic thrift shops in my neighborhood in south Minneapolis and I buy almost all of my stuff from one in particular—Savers. Although, I do have friends who offload their old sweaters and crafting miscellany to me knowing I will find a use. But I buy loads of wool and cashmere sweaters at my local thrift store, and unused fabric that they always seem to have in unreasonably large pieces (especially fleece), wool tweed suit coats, and then anything extra I might be looking for to make a particular piece. And I find a way to use most of the items I thrift—for instance, with a cashmere sweater, I will save the cuffs and make little scarves and cardigans and hats for my smaller plush, then I make little cashmere hats for babies from the bottom portions of the sweater with the ribbing, and will make larger plush from the body and arms of the sweater—and scraps that are smaller are made into smaller plush like my Beddy Bye Beasts, or if they are too small to use, I toss them in a sack and use some of these in combo with fiberfill to stuff my plush. So it is really like the native American philosophy of using the whole animal and wasting as little as possible.
S- You have been making those adorably small bitty bebe's a lot more. Is a lot different making items that small? Why did you choose to go so small?
BB- I chose to go small because I personally love bitty things and think when things are smaller, they are somehow more adorable. And I had this image in my mind of a little hand sized doll I had when I was 6 years old and her little clothes and how easy it was to carry her around in my little purse and always have her with me— I always found having to my toys with me to be comforting. So I wanted to create something that could create that experience for other kids.
Certainly, working smaller has its challenges. It required a whole new set of tools to be able to turn out all those little corners smoothly and firmly stuff the doll. And I also had to trace my patterns onto the fabric (rather than pin them on as I usually would) because such little pieces require much more accuracy in shape or you end up with blobby, instead of bitty, baby parts.
Read full interview here