Interview: Andreavida

I am Andrea from Budapest, creator of funny pets and charming dolls. I'm graduated as teacher of arts and mathematics - it is a strange combination, isn't it? I used to work with numbers and computers for years, but arts and crafts remained my passion forever.
I've been sewing since I was a little girl, as my grandmother and mother did. I've always been wearing my own handmade clothes, and when my children were born - almost twenty years ago - I started to make clothes and toys for them, too. Now my daughter and son no longer play with my toys and but I can't stop creating new dolls and plushies.

I work at home in Budapest, Hungary. We live in a small house with garden where I can find inspiration among trees, flowers, fruits and birds around me. My first creatures were country style ragdolls and farm animals - sheep, hens, rabbits and cats. I use rustic fabrics for them - mostly linen and canvas. These creatures are still my favorites, I really enjoy making them. I often sew charming clothes for my creatures, using upcycled fabrics - I have a cupboard full of old clothes.

My other passion is to create plushies. These soft and lovely toys always make me smile. However I make some conventional plushies like Reindeers and Bunnies, but I prefer weird animals like Sloths, Moles and Rats. These ones are less popular in the real world but really funny and charming in my shop.

Creation of a new doll begins with an idea which often comes in my dreams by night. I make some sketches when I wake up in the morning - and then I make lots of prototypes based on these drawings. When the shape of the new creature is ready, I carefully select the proper fabric for the personality of the new being. The most successful ones must be reproducible, so I can't use upcycled materials for them. They are made of high quality fabrics which I can get in my favorite shops.
Sometimes when I go to my supplier for fabrics, my normal creation process turns upside down - I find a really attractive fabric which brings me new ideas.
And at last but not least, I frequently get ideas from you, people of Etsy. Your ideas, feedbacks and suggestions are very important for me - you help me to improve my creatures and create new ones.

I get lots of help from my family. Taking pictures of the items is my husband's job. He always buys some materials for me, like stuffing and packaging accessoires. He and our children help me to pack and post the ordered items, and in the busiest periods the whole family help me in tayloring and stuffing. I think I couldn't work without them.

I opened my shop on Etsy two and a half years ago. The original plan was to work up the old fabrics from my cupboard, but it was failed. Now I have more and more fabrics and need more and more space to store my things. Rolls of fabrics, threads and needlepins, big sacks of stuffing materials, cardboard boxes and wrapping papers  are everywhere in our house. To run a shop on Etsy is much harder work than I ever thought but it is still a really exciting adventure for me.

Thank you Andrea for your lovely story!

To get to know more about her lovely creatures, please visit her shop.

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