Welcome to From Me To You. I'll be reviewing the best of the best to be found on the web. I'll be reviewing mostly handmade, eco-friendly products, but you just never know what you'll find here. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today's Feature - The Snuggle Herd

I have found the cutest shop today! I mean, seriously, how can these plushies not make even the most hard hearted person say Awwwww!!!

For instance, take a look at Elsa The Elephant

And Zandra The Zebra

and tell me they aren't just the sweetest, most adorable plushies you've ever seen! And they're all made of upcycled material!

I am in love!

When I found this shop, I just HAD to have them as a feature. So, I sent off the questions, and here are the answers:

Tell us a bit about you and your product.

The Snuggle Herd was founded by me, Beth Hempton, & my husband, Patrick, in the summer of 2008. I have worked as a graphic designer and as a high school art teacher and enjoyed many aspects of both positions. However, having my own creative business that allows me to draw on all of my skills and interests, and to follow my artistic whims, is the ultimate dream! I am lucky enough to be living this dream right now - shepherding The Snuggle Herd is my full-time job.

I love painting, drawing, collage-making, sewing, going to garden centers to get ideas for our future garden (we're in the process of buying a house), and exploring all the wonderful local boutiques & eateries in Austin. Patrick & I moved to Seattle on a whim, stayed for 11 years, & just returned to Austin this summer. We're loving every minute of it!

Snuggle Herd toys are made from upcycled, snuggly-soft cotton t-shirts. I gather them at thrift stores, looking for the ones that have a stain or an undesirable "Fun Run" type of slogan. I don't want to cut up the shirts that are still perfectly wearable, just the ones that are destined for scrap material or the landfill. The toys are stuffed with shredded wool fiber from unwanted sweaters, made by Washtucna Fiber Regeneration. So all-in-all, these toys are made from about 90% recycled materials! Only the thread, embroidery floss, lining adhered to the t-shirt material, & some printed fabrics used for small details are new. Not to worry though, the used materials are all carefully washed & odor-free! All Snuggle Herd products are handcrafted in my smoke-free, one-cat home studio in Austin, TX. Kitty cat is not allowed to frolic in the fabric. My toys are baby-safe (no small parts), made to last & machine-washable!

What inspires you?

In terms of the toys I make, I am inspired mostly by the fabric itself. When I see a knit shirt with decorative stitching on the sleeves, or little embroidered flowers near the hem, or a shirt that has a fabulous softness to it hanging on a thrift store rack, I immediately imagine an adorable animal made out of it. I also looooooove picking out printed fabrics & have to restrain myself when I'm in a fabric store! I also get inspired when looking at the scraps I create from cutting out the animals' bodies & think of ways to fold, twist, or piece them together to make new details like an animal's tail. I'm always trying to find uses for my scraps.

Seeing all of the other amazing artists & crafters out there is also hugely inspiring, & I browse blogs & other Etsy shops all the time online, as well as frequent stores that sell local & handmade goods. There is so much creativity here in Austin that I am inspired on a daily basis!>

What is your favourite item and why?

Not sure if you meant a favorite item made by me or by someone else, so I've included both!Favorite item of my own: Ginny the Giraffe:

This is my fave because of all of the little details I put into it: the sweet little eyes, the spots, and the tail, which always has some kind of decorative edge stitching.

Favorite item by someone else (so hard to pick just one!):

This Art Deco Millie print by matouenpeluche:

I love everything by this Australian artist because Art Deco is my favorite design era!

If the world could only know one thing about me, I would like it to be:

Wow, that's a tough one! I guess I would like everyone to know that I believe we are all in this together & therefore we should help each other out every chance we get! Life is too short to waste time being judgemental, pessimistic or rude! (sorry, I guess that was 2 things!)

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A cup of Whole Foods' Blend coffee, and 2 pieces of whole wheat toast - one with butter & cinnamon sugar, one with butter & my mom's homemade orange marmelade. YUM!

If you were a colour, what colour would you be?a bright & happy shade of olive green - it's my favorite color & it looks healthy, happy & lively, just like I feel!

Make sure that you stop by The Snuggle Herd shop today. Everyone needs a bit of Snuggle in their lives!


June Shin said...

I love the way those plushies are photographed!

Beth H said...

thanks so much for the feature! I'm a little embarrassed at how long my answers are compared to everyone else's! : )

315thomas said...

those plushies are adorable! great interview too :)

Uneekdolldesigns said...

cute plushies!