photo by John Santoni
I first saw Desiree's creations when I was walking past Seed People's Market in Costa Mesa last year around Christmas time. She had done a really cute (extreme alliteration coming) woodland winter wonderland window display. Inside the store, I admired her adorable woodland creatures which she sews herself from reclaimed fabrics. Fast forward to summer time and I saw her at her space at Crafted. She was warm and friendly, and you can really tell she loves what she does. So I asked her to be a part of my then future blog feature!
Hello, my name is Desiree. I am a maker of plushies, accessories, and a greeting card line.
Where do you source your fabrics?
Mostly charity affiliated thrift stores, wherever I happen to be. I found a wonderful blue striped blanket in a red cross shop in Bath, England once. If I think that there might be some wooly treasures I will dive in.
You've also added greeting cards to your repertoire. These are your drawings?
Yes, they were a bit of an accident. I made a thank you card for a man that had fixed my surfboard and then just started drawing lots and lots of birds.
The first time I saw your products was when you did the holiday window at Seed in Costa Mesa in 2011. Can you tell me more about that?
I am lucky enough to sell some of my products there, and they were spotlighting vendors each month, and I cheekily asked if I could have December as I had this idea in my head for it. It took a lot of work finding and making the props but it was such a fun thing to do.
What is the Furry Travel Buddies Project?
The FTBs, as they are known, are an intrepid bunch of global travellers. When I first started sewing, I drew monsters and then made 3D versions. They each had their individual character, likes, and dislikes. From that came the blog where I would get owners to send me their photos and I'd then make up a story to accompany them.
You have a space at the new Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. Tell me more about this!
I signed on to do Crafted in February as I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to showcase my work and meet other creative people. I loved the space too, it has so much character. Since it opened I feel like I have been sewing constantly to replace sold items which has been fantastic if slightly exhausting. This morning I was up at 7am sewing some cats and bears.
Where else do you sell your creations?
I have a couple of stores Seed Peoples Market, Hapa Collective in Seal Beach, and Green Bliss Cafe in Fullerton, as well as Crafted.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?
Love what you do and do what you love. If it makes you happy then you won't mind the long nights and early morning starts, your enthusiasm and passion will win people over, and every day will bring new discoveries.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?
Walking and running with my dogs, surfing, cooking and searching for new materials.
What would be your dream life?
Having come from London to Huntington Beach, I feel like I'm already living it. I have beautiful weather and the ocean on my doorstep. Life is pretty good.
Can you share some of your favorite local Orange County spots?
Love The Camp, obviously. Blackies Newport Beach is my surf spot. Sandy's Grill for good music, Portola Lab and Green Bliss Cafe for great coffee.
Where can we find you online?
imustdraw.com is my rambling collection of thoughts and pictures. Coolcrafter.blogspot.com is the collection of FTB's stories to date. Facebook page handmadebydesireeb. I do hope to have an online store that is well stocked one day.
Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed! I love my little owl friend. He currently watches over us from our fireplace mantle.