Today we meet the lovely Katia from Plushka’s Craft –
I am a felt toys designer and maker, passionate about cross-stitch and crochet. I create my handmade goodies from Sydney studio by the beach.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was inspired to start creating shortly after I started my blog and read all the creative blogs out there. I saw a big welcoming creative community that I wanted to be a part of. I started doing cross-stitch, as that was my hobby back home in Russia. Then, I learned more and more different crafts and, after I received a sewing machine as a gift, there was no stopping me and thats how I embarked on this new adventure!
Is there an interesting anecdote behind your business name?
Plushka is a traditional Russian yeast pastry filled with poppy seeds or just sprinkled with castor sugar. In my family, they were only made on holidays (my Grandma used to wake up at 4am just to make a dough and let it rise properly) so you might say baking is in my genes. Since I was a little girl, Plushka was my favourite type of pastry as it had a pretty heart shape, and was handmade with love by my grandma. Its now even more than that, its a symbol of my love for everything made by hands.
What is the most satisfying part of what you do?
The best part is coming up with a new design and receiving a positive feedback with a lots of Plushka toys are now in the new homes, making little and not so little people smile! I have so many customers who buy my toys for themselves and not for the kids. Owls keep company to other crafters in their creative spaces, rabbits and birds sit on a bedside table sand my cross-stitched keyrings are dangling from so many sets of keys. Thats only 10% of the huge emotional reward I get when I make and sell my creations.
Have you tried something in business that didn’t work as planned, or on the flip side “ worked out better than expected?
Doing markets didn’t really work for me as well as selling on Etsy without any stock or collection to offer. I came to the conclusion that I shall come back to Etsy later on and I did just recently, a year later.
What would be your best tip for someone thinking about selling their handcrafted goods?
Get it out there! I started with no exact range in mind. My business got where it is so far by me trying things, then leaving what didn’t work behind and taking a huge experience with me forward. On my blog, I write a series of posts with handmade business advice that, hopefully, will be helpful to someone who is just starting.
What is your favourite item you make?
My absolute favourite at the moment is a Plushka bear toy, my latest design. I love the way their little feet cross, which I never planned to happen when I drew the bear. It happened during the making and made it look super cute.
Any personal or business highlights in the last year:
Its been a wonderful year, full of positive changes for the Plushkas business. This year taught me to priorities, take a leap and make significant changes in the way I do things.
I became vegetarian and improved my diet with still more changes to be made but I am so much happier person already.
3 things about you that people might not know:
- I’ve done skydiving once and will never do it again
- I cannot ride a bike
- I eat way to much eggplant