Quick giveaway

I decided to do a small giveaway over on Facebook. If you share my page or tag me in a post on your own page or timeline, you’ll be entered to win a free Ruggle once I hit 200 likes. The winner can choose from the big cats (tiger, snow leopard, cheetah), bears (black, grizzly, polar), a monster, platypus or a duck.

Be sure “Bewhiskered” is in blue and that your share/post is public so I can see it. If you have trouble, you can leave a comment on the giveaway post ON FACEBOOK letting me know you shared. Don’t leave it here or I won’t count it.

Go, tag, be merry!

2011 Wrap Up

So with my taxes all done and whisking their way through the ethers to state and federal government, I can wrap up the year for Bewhiskered. For 2011 I decided to donate 10% of my profits (or $25 if I didn’t make a profit) to Pit Bull Rescue Central (www.pbrc.net). They’ll be getting their $25 in the morning. 🙂

For 2012 I’ve decided to donate to Shelter Angels Pit Bull Rescue. They’re an Atlanta organization working to rescue Pits from Dekalb County Animal Control. I’ve also decided that throughout the year I’ll add a few Ruggles whose proceeds will go directly to Shelter Angels. So they will get 10% of overall profits for the year, plus 100% of these special Ruggles.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting this wonderful organization!

A note on shipping

 

This is my mailbox. Labor Day weekend it jumped out in front of one of our elderly neighbors. Luckily, she was unhurt but both her car and our mailbox were totaled. We’re working with her insurance to get it fixed, but it might be another week or two. In the meantime, I’ll be shipping Tuesday through Friday only since it now means a trip to the post office proper. I’ll update when our pile of bricks is a shiny new mailbox. 🙂

A peek behind the curtain…

I’m so excited to get back in the swing of things, and I thought I’d start off with sharing a glimpse into the Bewhiskered Studio. Of course, calling it a studio may be a bit of a stretch. I refer to it as my nook. And unlike a proper Southern lady I didn’t tidy up before taking the picture so you get to see it – and me – in all our disheveled glory.

Yes I am wearing bunny slippers.

I realized that I’ve never answered my own interview questions, so here ya go.

Tell us a bit about yourself: Well, I was born in Macon, GA and raised in Alabama. I freeze instantly above the Mason Dixon line, but I enjoy a visit up North every now and again. I graduated with an English degree from The University of South Alabama, which I chose primarily due to its proximity to the beach and New Orleans. I worked in marketing after college, doing graphic design and promotions. After giving birth to my first son I became a stay at home Mom. Bewhiskered came along after that to fill my crafting void. My husband, another son and two cats round out our family.

How did you come up with your shop name?  I love animals and knew that whatever I’d be making, it would have some sort of animal connection. Thus the name Bewhiskered.

When did you start sewing? I honestly don’t remember. My Mother taught me to sew forever ago and I’ve dabbled with it off and on ever since.

What made you want to start selling your creations? When I became a stay at home Mom, I needed some sort of outlet for my creativity and sewing seemed like a natural choice. I was already sewing cloth diapers for my son, and he’s the reason Ruggles were born. They were so cute, I couldn’t stop at making just one. After I’d exhausted all of my pregnant friends, I turned to Etsy to give me a place to spread the Ruggle love.

Please describe your creative process? It starts with an animal. Sometimes I’ll see a new animal on Cute Overload or Zoo Borns and that becomes the inspiration for a Ruggle. Sometimes I sit down with a giant encyclopedia of the world’s creatures I have and flip through until I find something that catches my fancy. Other times the inspiration comes from clients who want something I’ve never done before. Then I just try and make the Ruggle resemble the actual animal as much as possible, while still keeping it cute.

What inspires you? The vast number of animals that exist and would make excellent Ruggles. 🙂

Is your shop involved in charity work? Yes! 10% of annual profits (or at least $25) from Bewhiskered is given to an animal charity. I also occasionally contribute to other causes, like April’s Army.

Are your items custom or premade? Although I try to keep a lot of Ruggles in stock in my shop, I’d say a full 50% of my work is custom.

Tell us two of your short term goals and one long term goal: One short term goal is to organize my studio space. I’d love to have everything neatly put away when it’s not in use! My long term goal is to have Bewhiskered be successful enough to fund my other hobbies: photography and horseback riding.

Walk us through a typical day in your life: I wake up around 6am when my youngest son Erik wakes up. I spend about an hour entertaining him until my older son Jake wakes up. Kiss my husband as he leaves for work and fix breakfast for myself, Erik and Jake. Drop Jake off at Preschool at 9am. Once I’m back home I’ll check email and return any convos I’ve gotten overnight. Prep and ship any Ruggles that have sold and spend an hour or two interacting with my Etsy team members and writing blog and Tumblr posts/updating statuses on Facebook and Twitter. Sew for a while. Pick Jake up from school at 1pm. Play with Erik and Jake until it’s time for afternoon naps. When they wake up it’s time for a snack and we play until dinner time. My husband comes home from work around 6 and we eat dinner as a family. After dinner my husband plays with Jake while I check my email one last time and put Erik to bed. Then it’s getting Jake ready for bed, getting myself ready for bed, journaling, reading a book or magazine and sleep.

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment? The Lion Ruggle. He’s so soft!

If you had any super power, what would it be? I would love to be a shapeshifter. Sometimes it would be very handy to be able to turn into an octopus, or a wolf.

So there you have it. This is where the Ruggles are born. And as you can see from that pile of fur on the right, a lot of them are waiting to be sewn so I’m going to get on that.

It lives!

The website, that is. 🙂 Check it out here: http://www.bewhiskeredblankets.com. Let me know what you think!

Eventually the blog portion will be integrated into the site, but I’m so over HTML and CSS right now. I want to get back to sewing for a while and give my brain a break.

Big stuff

I’m working on a website for Bewhiskered! I’m very excited about it, and it’s coming along nicely. This post is basically a “so that’s what she’s been up to…” one.

Stay tuned for the big reveal, hopefully later this week. I might have to come up with some sort of fun and revelry to celebrate as well. 😉

The First Look at a Giant Ruggle

I will most likely be adding a listing for giant Ruggles to my shop next Tuesday, March 1st but here’s a preview! Giants will be made to order, with an approximately 4 week turnaround depending on the animal chosen. They measure about 38″ from claw to claw and 51″ from nose to ‘tocks. Critters with tails or a big schnozz will be even longer. I’ll make any animal, dragon or monster into a giant (even those that haven’t been seen in the shop yet) except for monkeys. (I simply can’t make monkeys come out right.)

I am designing the giants to be used as photography props or a fun addition to your nursery or home decor, so they will not have the various fabric tag claws. Instead they will have feet appropriate to the animal. I could of course make one with the fabric claws, but you’d have to request that. As with the regular size Ruggles, no actual animal fur or skin will be used to create the giants.

Right now I have no idea what the shipping will be for the giants, but I can tell you that the heads are heavy. They will cost $120 each. Giants with flat heads (no stuffing, in case you wanted to nail it to a wall or use it as a blanket) will be $100. Downgrades in fabric might be possible (from Minky to Velboa which isn’t as soft) and will also lower the price. If you’re interested in a Velboa version Giant, just email me (kenzie at zamalzain dot org) or send me a conversation on Etsy.

And on to the fun part: pictures!

With my almost 3 year old

With my 1 month old

In the nursery

 

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