Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My love affair with plush began when I was about 5 years-old and I first laid eyes on my childhood stuffed dog, Westcliff. My sister had plush dog, Patch for a year or two before I got Westcliff and I longed for a furry friend of my own. Once Westcliff arrived at our doorstep (literally. My mom’s friend left her in a brown paper bag hung over the door knob of our front door since we weren’t home), the four of us went on all sorts of “adventures" together. Our bunk bed turned into an RV which we constantly drove to Disneyland and since none of us were old enough to drive, our “RV” conveniently had an auto drive mode. Patch and Westcliff also started their own band where they became instant pop sensations with their hit, “Surfing in the USA”. And in our down time, Westcliff wrote in her diary. I can’t recall the things I would write about, but I was always amused when in the date section of the diary entry, I would write, “yes please” or “not yet”. i always thought Westcliff was a little boy crazy.

So, when my niece was born in 2008, my boyfriend, Sergio, and I were on a quest to find her the perfect toy for her to grow up with. After a trip to several toy stores including the famed FAO Schwartz, we seemed to only find licensed toys that just didn’t appeal to us. I felt the need to take this dilemma into my own hands and create a toy for her—which would be more special than any toy I could ever buy her. The only knowledge I had of sewing prior to this was watching both my parents sew during my childhood summers—but I was determined. I sketched a whale, and sat myself down at my dad’s work table and just began creating shapes until I found one I felt fit my design.

I haven’t looked back since. The most rewarding thing I find in making plush is hearing everyone else’s memories with the toys I’ve created. People of all ages come to me at shows or email me telling me about the road trips, baseball games, sleep overs, etc. they’ve experienced with their toys and I can’t wait to hear more!

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