The Handmade Feature today is an interview with the owner of Pillow Pallooza on Etsy, a seller of fun and colourful handmade pillows.
How did you get started in your handmade business ?
I’ve always enjoyed decorating and making things for my home and I find that making pillows is one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to transform and update almost any room in the house. When I was first introduced to Eco felt, which is an environmentally friendly felt made of, if you can believe it….. fibers made from recycled plastic bottles ! I was immediately inspired by this humble fabric but I knew the possibilities where endless and I loved how soft it felt.
The first pillow I made using Eco felt fabric was for my boys bedrooms. It was an appliqued pillow based on a vintage poster of an actual police practice target: (www.etsy.com/listing/35964302/target-practice-20-x-20-inch-pillow-in) I wanted to experiment further and design fun and unique pillows. Ultimately this inspired and led me to open my online pillow shop on Etsy.
What first made you want to become an artist/crafts person ?
I never had a choice, it was in me right from the beginning. My father (who sadly passed away) was a very talented self taught artist who had a significant influence on me and in many occasions we used to draw and paint together but we were also each others worst critiques. Even before I began to offer my craft for sale I had been producing arts and craft for myself and my family. I find inspiration from within and the art just naturally makes it’s way out.
Apart fom crafts, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Having three teenage boys, (20, 18, and 16) at home keeps me quite busy. I like a clean environment and it’s how I stay focused, so keeping my home in tip top shape is quite time consuming. I also love to cook and bake so I spend a lot of time preparing healthy home made meals. I especially love to cook eastern mediterranean foods, it’s what i grew up with and I do it best to the beat of very loud Israeli, armenian or greek music!
How many different places do you sell from?
Etsy is the only place I sell from, at least for the time being . I have 2 other shops on etsy: thequeenofquitealot.etsy.com and bohemianwhimsey.etsy.com
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Well, this doesn’t qualify as “handmade” but rather “footmade”. I cherish my kids first shoes! They are tiny and simply adorable and when you look closely you can see their little foot marks printed inside….. now that is priceless !!!
In ten years, where would you like to be?
First, I plan on being in a drier, warmer climate than here in Oregon. Southern California would be just fine. I also expect my children to be settled around me in close proximity.
If you had to recommend one movie, which perhaps isn’t so well known, which one would it be?
I have so many favorites its hard for me to pick just one. I love to watch foreign movies and especially old movies from the 30’s and early 40’s. There is one particular movie that I’ve watched maybe a dozen times called Johnny Stecchino, directed and played by Italian actor Roberto Benigni. Now if you like watching Woody Allen movies then you’re going to like Benigni’s movies.
What is your favorite part of your handmade business?
Honestly, I love every part of it but my absolute favorite would be the finishing touches and when I finally insert the pillow form and it takes shape.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
That’s easy but I would want to have 2 super powers. The ability to speak any language at any given time and to time travel so I can travel back to when my kids where babies and I can kiss them a million gazzilion times with no resistance on their part.
What is your earliest memory of creating something you were proud of?
When I was in 6th grade I carved out a tea set out of plain class room chalk. It was the cutest thing but unfortunately my art teacher thought so too and she kept it.
Any other handmade shops you’d like to recommend?