Friday, July 6, 2012

Jessica Waters

Made by Jessica Waters at Pillow Slip Posies.

This interview is the first in a series of interviews which will explore the 'daily bread' activities of those at The Simply Living Challenge community. 


"Don't chuck out everything just because it's not in fantastic condition any more -so much can be done with just about everything!" - Jessica Waters

Why did you start a home business?

I wasn't really trying to build a business in the begining. I like creating. I dabble in everything from sewing to paper craft to painting. There are only so many of your own pretties you can keep around on your own shelf! I had several annoying people telling me how good they thought my creations were and that I should sell them. My sister was there when I listed my first doll. Now I have started I am quite addicted to the feeling I get when a complete stranger buys and loves my work.

What do you hope for? Pocket money, solid income, fame?

 Not fame no. (Here she laughed.) Somewhere between pocket money and a solid income. I don't want to rely on the money because it would take the joy out of it. I love what I do and only do it when I'm inspired, and in the creating mood. I hope for a  good community of people who like and buy my work, and give me enough money to fund my shoe addiction! 

How did your business idea develop? 

  I started by creating floral hair clips and headbands. My Nan gave me a giant pile of beautiful vintage linen that was too worn around the edges to be used as linen but was perfect for sewing. The first clip I made was a rose made from one of the pillow cases I got from my Nan. That’s how the name of my business started - Pillow Slip Posies. I tired of making those very quickly because they were all very similar and I used the same techniques. 

I was browsing Etsy one day and stumbled across a pattern for a doll. The pictures of the handmade dolls they had up were pretty, but I couldn't help thinking about how I would change them and make them original and funky. 

Who are your dolls aimed at? They look very detailed. How long do they take to make? 

They aren’t really aimed at anyone. Kids can play with them or adults can buy them to display. They are just for people who love a good "pretty". Each doll takes up to 3 days, depending on how much of an idea I have in my head to start with. I don’t use patterns for the clothes so if I haven’t made a particular type of outfit before it takes longer. It’s a lot of trial and error.

Where do you get your inspiration? You write a character description to go with your dolls. That's a lovely touch. 

I get my inspiration from so many different places. Sometimes I have a beautiful fabric and the doll flows from there. That is how my first doll Ailish was created. I had the fabric I used for her body and the rest of the materials for her clothes and hair just felt right. The style kind of wrote itself. Most of my dolls actually write themselves. I get the idea for one small part of it, like the blue hair and the hair bow I put on Asta, and the rest just seems to fit. It's a bit hard to explain. I spend such a nice chunk of time creating each doll that they almost speak their personality to me as they are being created. 

I have planned some future dolls that are based on charactors I love: Marie Antoinette, Gwen Stefani (a 90's pop star), Kerli (singer) Kelly Eden (model).

How does your business fit into The Simply Living Challenge's philosophy? 

I buy very little of the materials I use. My nan is almost a neverending source of vintage linen; sheets, doilies and of course more pillow cases! I upcycle clothes whereever I can as well - mine, my kids', op shop finds. You dont need to buy new to have new things. My girls are each getting one of these dolls for christmas, made out of something they used to own or wear.

What can we learn from you?And how can we support you? 

You can support me by spreading the word! Share the shop with everyone! You don't have to buy my creations - though that is definitely appreciated... just realise that you don't need to buy your materials new! Don't chuck out everything just because it's not in fantastic condition any more -so much can be done with just about everything!

What can you learn from me? White chocolate and coffee are the best combination of flavours ever! 

Where can we find you Jessica? 

 I originally started with just an Etsy shop - but now I have a Facebook page as well -

Jessica you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing with us. 

Asta x


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