A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaming up with Squishy-Cute Designs for a fall giveaway. What a fun time! I enjoyed finding another pattern source, where I'll be shopping very soon! Now, it's time to find out more about the person behind Squishy-Cute Designs!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from:
My name is Kelli, and I run Squishy-Cute Designs along with my mom, Greta. We have both lived in Vancouver, Washington all of our lives, and really enjoy living in the Pacific Northwest! We both have always been very creative, and love designing things and coming up with new ideas. We live next to each other, and I live with my wonderful husband and new baby!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
There are not too many surprising things about me, but there’s a couple of interesting little facts that some of my friends may not even know. The first is that I’ve visited all 50 states! I got the chance to do this over several summer road trips with my grandparents.
The second thing is that I have something called synesthesia. This is where one of your senses is tied to some other sense or experience. I have one of the most common types called grapheme-color synesthesia, where I associate certain colors with numbers and letters. For example, I always think of the number 5 as red, and the letter K as green.
What is one of your proudest achievements?
I would have to say that my proudest achievement is my 4 month old daughter! She has only been here for such a short time, but she has already become my whole life, and I am so excited to watch her grow and learn! I love being a mom, and could not imagine anything better than this!
When you’re not crafting or working on your shop, what do you like to do?
One of my biggest passions is art, and specifically watercolor painting. I have not had much of a chance to pursue this passion as much as I’d like, but I have done a few paintings that I’m really happy with. I also love hiking, and going on walks with my family. And I love gardening and playing around in the yard. Basically just being outside as much as possible! But I also like to decorate and shop around in thrift stores for fun home decor.
What is your favorite piece of work that you created?
My favorite piece of work that we’ve created in our pattern business is a very hard decision! But I think I would say that it would be our Backyard Bird collection as a whole. Birds are another passion of mine, and I’ve had so much fun capturing their essence in felt form.
But my favorite piece of work that I have done as a watercolor artist would be a giraffe painting that I did a few years ago. I feel like it turned out just as I had hoped and I finally was able to express my own personal artistic style.
When did you start your business, and what was your motivation?
We started our business in 2009. It started out as a general craft website, where we made all kinds of craft projects for the holidays and posted the tutorials on our website. But we loved working with felt and hand sewing, so we slowly transitioned into creating felt plushie patterns. And Squishy-Cute Designs officially started in 2010.
Our main motivation was to be able to be self sufficient and work from home. I knew I wanted to become a mom in the near future, and I wanted to have a job where I could stay at home with my kids, and also express my creativity. And that goal was realized in 2013, when I was able to quit my day job and work entirely on our pattern company!
Describe your workspace:
Our workspace is not any one defined place in our house. We’d love to have more of a work studio, but our life has been in transition for awhile. We are moving soon, and so we currently just work on the dining room table, on the floor, at the computer, and pretty much anywhere that there is some free space! Since we primarily do hand-sewing, it’s easy to sit on the couch or at the table and work on our projects because they don’t take up too much room. But that means that most of our living area is often covered in bits of felt!
What are the craft tools/supplies you can’t live without?
The main supplies we can’t live without would be National Nonwovens wool felt and DMC embroidery floss. These are what we always use to create our plushies! But the other important tool is Fiskars fabric scissors. We’ve had the same two pairs this whole time, and they’ve always worked very well.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
One of the more helpful tips we have for others is how to transfer an embroidery design onto felt, so that you can get your stitches exactly right. The key is to stitch through wax paper or tissue paper on which you have traced the design. We have a full tutorial on our website, as well as many other stitch guides.
Where else can we find you?
Do you have any pets?
We currently do not have any pets, but I would like to mention my kitty, Pixie, of 16 years that passed away just this April. She was my first “baby” and our work companion for years. She would happily play with the embroidery floss as we worked, and sit on my lap as I stitched. She is greatly missed!
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child I wanted to be either an artist, or a zookeeper. I always loved animals and art, and had a huge stuffed animal collection. So in a way, I have combined my love of animals and love of creating by designing stuffed animals of our own!
I hope you've enjoyed "meeting" Kelli, and had a chance to visit Squishy-Cute Designs! Check out their great tutorials and guides, and browse all the wonderful patterns - it's hard to choose a favorite!