The first toy Katia ever made was a baby felt owl, the one that first got us smiling. Her creations are invariably fun and whimsical, always bright, colorful and happy. Every single toy she made has a different personality and we love how she brings together unexpected color combination, yarns and fabrics to create a unique yet adorable look. Here, Katia went on to talk about her passion for handmade and the things she love…
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and Plushka.
I was born and raised in Russia and have been living in Australia for about 6 years. I am married to a handsome pilot and live in the eastern suburbs of beautiful Sydney. I love craft, traveling, collecting vintage, folk art and everything French. Plushka’s Craft is a big part of my life and every minute I get, I create.
My grandmother loves baking, and one of our favourite recipes is ‘Plushka’ – a sweet and savoury pastry which has a pretty heart shape. That’s why I chose this name for my craft business as a symbol of my love for everything made by hand. Plushka became a label for felt toys, accessories, homewares and cross-stitched items.
2. Tell us about your passion and creations.
Creating from felt is my passion and I enormously enjoy making toys that are entirely hand-stitched with love. Although, my softies are my main and most popular product, there are other creations that I love like crochet baskets, doilies and felt pincushions.
However, long before the toys, crochet and felt creations, the love for cross-stitch got me into making things. I learned this craft as a child and would love to see it coming back in fashion. I am a strong believer in cross-stitch one day becoming more popular then other types of embroidery. I try to use it as often as possible in my creations that include key rings, notebook covers and New Year decorations.
3. How did you get started in doing what you do?
I love cross-stitch, hand-stitching and craft in general so my husband encouraged me to do what I love for a living. Being excepted to the Shop Handmade in Canberra, helped my little business to take off and motivated me to work on the variety of my collections and come up with new seasonal items. I opened my Madeit shop and since then I enjoyed every minute of my own WAH business! It’s been an enormous leaning curve with it’s ups and downs but I am so happy and grateful that I have the opportunity to do what I love. It’s only the beginning and I cannot wait to see what another year will bring!
4. What was your first creation and your best-selling creation?
It’s interesting that my first toy – felt owl is still the top seller in Plushka’s toy collection even almost a year since the first three were sold! The crochet baskets are the top selling item in “For your creative space from Plushka” collection and Christmas robins have been very popular recently.
5. How do you find balance between your creative life and your family?
Honestly, I am struggling with keeping a balance myself. I keep a list of projects and deadlines. Be organized is the key! I am still helping my husband to run his business so during the day I need to concentrate on crunching numbers and helping him to run his company. After work it’s all about finishing my projects and getting creative but I am lucky that I can take an extra day of here and there when I get very busy to finish some sewing off.
6. What is your source of motivation?
I just love what I do! Creating something that will make people smile, lovely feedback from the happy customers, meeting great people through business that become friends, excitement of new ideas… That’s all makes Plushka tick. Planning ahead also helps as having a direction for my little business is very important to me. It helps me to get through times when the shop is not busy and I know what I need to do – concentrate on building the stock, create and learn something new.
More of Plushka’s creations:Luulla store: http://www.luulla.com/store/plushka
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Plushkas-Craft/117669501578981