Today marks a new installment of my Monday blog series titled Monday Must-Have. Each Monday I will feature a fellow talented Etsian and his or her phenomenal work. Each featured artist will have his or her own online Etsy shop where you can peruse and admire his or her one-of-a-kind body of work. Hopefully you will find new favorite artists and artisans whose work you MUST HAVE. :)
Today's featured artist is Animalicules.
Who are you (actual name/and or shop name)?
My name is Louisa and my shop name is Animalicules.
What do you create?
Cute handmade critters that I knit, crochet, and sew. My softies make great gifts for kids but I think they are just as good companions for grownups who need something to make them smile every now and then. They love to be played with but they also love to perch on mantels and windowsills and spruce up a room by looking cute.
Where are you located?
When did you start creating?
I learned to knit as a kid, and went through phases of doing that and other crafts. In 2006 I discovered that what I really loved to knit is softies (plush toys) and haven't stopped since.
Why did you choose your shop name?
Growing up, my dad always used animalicules as a funny word for animals. I think it's a good word to describe a species of cute little critters.
What inspires you?
Anything cute! Real animals, Japanese kawaii stuff, other softies, everything mini. Plus the shapes that you can make from knitting and crocheting because that's the starting point for any softie.
What is the most time consuming part of your craft?
The knitting! Designing new animalicules takes a long time but doesn't feel like it as much because you only have to do it once for each type of critter. So much love goes into knitting things because you have to work every stitch to create the entire fabric of the animal!
What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown and why?
Probably Harvard Square, which is where the university is and has lots of shops and restaurants. There's always someone to meet there, and things to look at - books, yarn, chocolate, whatever! The best part is when it's warm and I can sit outside and do some quality people watching!
What is your most popular item that you create (and why do you think it is so popular)?
I think so far it's the sheep. They come in lots of colors and they're really cute. They're not too expensive if you want a treat for yourself, but they look awesome in a flock too, especially when they have babies!
How do you acquire new clients?
I think I'm still figuring that out. A lot of people who already knew and loved my animalicules wanted to buy them when I started selling last Christmas. So now the challenge is spreading the word about them to others who appreciate cuteness, and getting them into the hands of kids that will love them.
What's your next project going to be?
Designing more different types of animalicules. I have so many ideas in my head and not enough time to sit down and work them out with yarn and fabric. I have plans for a hamster, bat, cow, and so many others, and I haven't even started on imaginary creatures yet.
What types of things do you do to turn first time buyers into repeat clients?
I like to include my little cut paper cards with packages, and I'm always up for a custom order. Mainly I try to make the critters cute enough that people will want to give them as gifts at every baby shower they go to!
What do you do when you are not creating?
So many things! I search for cute stuff online and off so I can analyze what makes it cute and record it in my blog (animalicules.blogspot.com). Then there's my day job where I work on educational Web sites for kids. And I also coordinate a local community group. Plus I'm trying to learn how to cook and because of that I work out as much as I can. No lack of things to do around here!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I pretty much live online and you can find me and the animalicules all over the place - etsy, flickr, facebook, twitter, and most especially the Animalicules blog. I love connecting with other people who love softies as much as I do, so look us up!
Be sure to swing by Louisa's shop to peruse her fantastic work. If you're interested in being featured in future Monday Must-Have segments, please feel free to convo me in my Etsy shop or email me. Have a wonderful day!