Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Handmade Project - Interview

I stumbled across Traci on Twitter and just had to know more about her wonderful business - The Handmade Project:
Here is what Traci had to say;

Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a fourth-generation kitchen gadget junkie who started sewing in 2001. I started The Handmade Project as a personal challenge to kick consumerism and give self-sufficiency a chance.

When did you start making these wonderful dolls?
I started making dolls in 2007 and this has been a long journey for me. There are so many talented women out there and I wanted to make sure that when I made dolls, that they were my own originals. I created a pattern and am in the final stages of my prototypes. My "Itty Bit" doll is a design that I'm really happy with and want to be known for... oppose to this poor gal who didn't quite make the cut:

She's a bit hairy and a little scatterbrained, but she means well (you can read more about her shortcomings here). I make a point to let readers see my best and worst to let them know that everyone has a starting point and you can only get better if you keep trying and not give up (Yo Gabba, Gabba, anyone?!)

Where did you get the idea?
I started making dolls for my daughter as I wanted her to have
a beautiful baby doll that reflected her image. A printable version of Emily is available here. You can also have fun with a virtual paper version of her at;

Do you make them to specifics or whatever you feel like doing?
I do fulfill custom orders, but only if it's for a special occasion. The last couple of orders were used for a fundraiser and another two dolls were shipped to Thailand! I'm proud to say that I've participated in these opportunities, but prefer making originals as they best reflect my creative energy at that moment.

Do you make boy dolls as well?
I do make boy dolls and have sold out when I sold at craft fairs. I hope to make a few "Itty Bit" boys this batch...

Where do you sell them?
You can find my toys at and coming soon:

Tell us about the play food?
It's funny because I was enamored like every other craftsters around 2007-2008. Felt play food is a common craft in Japan and we just got hip to it in America. When I saw it, I had stars in my eyes and wanted to make an entire line. I use to sell actual play food sets, but grew bored as I was following a trend and not my own invention--you know? I am glad, though, that I have sewing patterns available. I've had moms tell me that they used my patterns for their first sewing project with much success--and that's what's important about this craft business of mine, being able to encourage others to learn such a great skill and to make ethnic dolls that reflect a child's beauty.

How has the response been so far with your items?
My response has been really good, which was surprising to me because I didn't take a fancy workshop or earn an art degree. I am self-taught, but being so has allowed me to see that our personal expressions are just as meaningful as the experts'. Now, if only I could find more time...

Anything else you'd like to add?
Of course. I want to say to your readers that if you have an inkling to start your own business--go for it! Start small, stay courageous, and be very patient and it will come to you. Also, sign up for Etsy's "Success" newsletters--and read them! They are a wealth of knowledge for start-up craft businesses.

Last, but now least: I will be hosting a sewing pattern giveaway to celebrate this interview.

Leave a comment on Sandie's post to give her thanks, then visit mine at; and leave a comment with your email to register for the Veggie Salad and Veggie Pita PDF pattern!

Traci will also be featured on BlogHer on Thursday April 29th. Be sure to pop by and check it out :)

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