Simpli Jessi BUT I do remember thinking "O-to-the-M-G, I need me some of those!" And if you ask, sometimes you receive. Thank goodness I did, I love these so much. Here's a little interview I did with the artist.
S- How did you begin making toys?
SJ- A good friend of mine was having a birthday party a couple years ago, and I knew I wanted to try to make him something by hand. I thought, and thought....then all of a sudden I decided to make him a replica of himself as a doll. I rummaged the house for scraps of fabric, I think I even cut up one of my shirts, and worked stitching and sewing for a good 6 hours straight. Of course it was the day of the party, I get these crazy ideas last minute. When the doll was revealed at the party, it was a huge hit. It looked just like him, and my friends encouraged me to start selling them. A couple years later, I found Etsy and Simpli Jessi was created.
S- I carry your toys in my shop (as you know) and when someone is looking for a doll for their little girl, I always steer them towards your dolls. I feel like they are the kind of dolls that little girls will drag around with them for year's and love to bits and pieces. Did you like dolls as a kid? Have a favorite?
SJ- I loved dolls as a kid. I was definitely a Barbie girl. My parents were lovely enough to give me my own designated space in the house to play with them so they could stay set up. My little friend from down the road would bring over her dolls as well, and we would play for hours. I think my favorite part was setting them up and dressing them.
S- What's the craft scene like in Michigan?
SJ- It really seems to be growing. There is a great scene in downtown Detroit, that's really eclectic. There seems to be a growing number if indie craft shows happening too, especially in Ann Arbor like the Tiny Expo that I participated in last December.
S- How often do you make custom dolls?
SJ- I would say at least once every two weeks I am working on some sort of custom doll order.
S- It seems like you use several online shop's for your work. Do you have any insight for other seller's on what you like about each one?
SJ- Something I look for in the different shops I sell at is location. For example, an online shop in Belgium is wonderful because it reaches a different group of people. I try to spread out as much as I can, throughout the US and Europe.
S- It seems like you are always working on some kind of project. Anything you are working on right now?
SJ- That's very true! I have a large painting I've been working on here and there. Also, the new collection of Simpli Jessi greeting cards are keeping me busy. I've always got my sketchbook around and when I'm tired of sewing, I usually sit and draw. That's how I come to some of the designs for the dolls. The cards have come to life from those sketches.