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Friday, July 10, 2009

An Interview - Meet TotToppers

As I was browsing through TotToppers shop I realized that I’m going to HAVE to get my girlies these for Christmas this year…so many adorable items! I hope you enjoy meeting her as much as I did!il_430xN_69960534

Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts. When did you first start creating things?
I started "rogue knitting" over a dozen ago! However, I really started knitting for sale, and designing my own patterns just over a year ago.

il_430xN_75536444What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?
I have always been into baby hats! I was given a pattern book of baby hats when I was pregnant with my oldest, so I started off making those. Well, I got so many compliments when my son was wearing them (and so many people who said they wanted to buy them) that I figured I'd start up something. SO then I made a big boo boo! I started a blog selling hats, and using the original designs from that book. The designer was SOOO very nice about the whole thing but informed me that her designs were copyright and I could not sell them. This hadn't even crossed my mind, and I felt so bad. I hadn't had any sales or anything but I immediately took those hats off my site. So for a day or so I thought my knit-sales were over before they began...then I thought, you know, I think I can DO my own designs...and there it went!

Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
I'm finishing up a PhD in political science from the University of Florida and I'm a mom of 2 under 2! (sounds familiar…)

il_430xN_73001803Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
I'm sort of just beginning as a designer. I started with hats, but now I've designed shorts/bloomers, paci leashes etc. I think I'll probably stay in knitting, but I know I will be doing lots more in the future!

How did you come up with your shop name?
Lots of brainstorming, then it hit me. I googled the heck out of the name to make sure it wasn't taken.

What are your favorite shops on etsy? Why do you like them?


Bloome - Makes me wish I had a girl to dress
il_430xN_78195589 Zadyball - Fun looking toys

PogoShop - she recycles old sweaters and makes toys! I have also met her in person at a craft fair and she is a wonderful person!

Caffaknitted - Beautiful and truly unique knit patterns for kids toys

How did you hear about Etsy?
People who heard I was selling knit hats kept asking me if I had a shop. I figured I needed to check it out

il_430xN_60388980Any words of advice to others?
Designing should be fun, not "easy" or "hard" ...keep working on your designs until you are truly happy with them. For me, some happen really quick and work perfectly the first time. Others I have to mess with over and over, and rip out what I've done, and go back etc...I'm actually going back to some of my beginning designs and using my expanded experience to make them even better.

How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
I'll be closed down if I am required to test my hats. I haven't been able to figure out if the dyed yarn I use counts as "natural"!


Make sure to take some time and browse through TotToppers shop and if you want to make your own TotToppers visit MakeTotToppers!


calicodaisy said...

Nice! I came over by way of Kate's blog. I'm friends with her MIL and now am getting to know Kate. Love her baby hat style!

DJ said...

I LOVE those owl knit figures. Adorable!

Thanks for sharing - great blog you have here.

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