Do you happen to recall a posting about a certain visit to a particular Renegade Craft Fair that occurred a few weekends ago? If so, you probably know exactly where this happy little post is going. If you’re new to The Scarlet Peacock (welcome!) and we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised that we get to chat with the lovely sisters of Lil Sprinkles! The delicious little dollies that sisters “J” & “C” create are some of the most adorable TSP has ever seen (and which are clearly made with lots of care and lots of love). Eldest sister “J” has very kindly given TSP and you, dear Reader, a wee peep into their charming lil’ shoppe- Lil Sprinkles.
TSP: Hi big sis J! Absolutely lovely to meet you at Renegade… Bug adores her little sister doll and has named her Cherry Pearl. Where did you and little sis C come up with crafting your cheery little girl dolls?
J: Neither of us have any formal training in art, textiles, or design. We both studied “non-artsy” subjects in college. Lil sis C was a business major and I was a psychology major. Upon graduation, lil sis C found a profession in accounting, and I attended graduate school and became a clinical social worker. Despite our background, we have always had a crafty side. We have been long time scrapbookers and have dabbled in so many different areas, including card making, knitting, cross stitching, embroidering, and drawing.
Our creations came about when I purchased a doll for my daughter from a retail store. Unfortunately, she wasn’t too fond of the doll and neither was I. So I researched and studied different aspects of dolls that I liked, and with the help of lil sis, we created one of our own. The difficult part in that was learning how to sew with a machine. Lil sis had just taken a class at a local craft store and I learned how to sew by studying the instruction manual. We’ve only been sewing for the past year and a half, when we opened our shop. In fact, the first few dolls I created were sewn entirely by hand!
TSP: Only a year and a half?! That’s amazing. So how does sisterhood in particular come into play your designs?
J: My sister and I have similar likes when it comes to crafting. The shop mainly came about out of a desire to put something out there that was ours and that we thought others would enjoy. And after the birth of our children, our natural inclination was to make items for children. We keep each other on our toes and motivate one another to keep creating new and different things. We are always scheming up new projects and ideas.
TSP: What is the inspiration for you both when it comes to all of the lovely little girls in your shoppe?
J: We really are inspired by anything. It doesn’t take much to get us going. But we do LOVE fabric and trims, especially the Japanese imported fabric, which we incorporate in our items. That’s probably where the process begins with us. I think because we let the fabric dictate what we are going to do, we often get stuck. Not a good thing but when we finally incorporate it, it is such an accomplishment.
TSP: Are there any particular artists that feed your creativity?
J: We love Audrey Kawasaki’s paintings and appreciates her focus on the female form. Her work can be described as a mixture of art nouveau and Japanese manga. She is such an inspiration; she actually started drawing by reading manga comics. Going from that to now drawing these ethereal women whom people get tattoos of, it just goes to show how one’s creativity can evolve and become something bigger than imagined.
TSP: How would you describe your artistic/creative style?
J: Cutesy and simple. I think this is what draws us to Japanese imported fabric (we love the little pictures and the details on the fabric). We can appreciate this because we tend to be detail oriented too.
TSP: If there happens to be someone reading TSP who wants to try their hand at their own crafty shoppe, what advice would you give?
J: We still feel like we are such beginners! Starting and maintaining a shop has its challenges. But if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you actually enjoy it, AND you stand behind your product, your shoppe will succeed. We are big believers in providing great customer care. In this day and age, going above and beyond to make sure each customer is happy with their doll is so appreciated. Another aspect we found to be helpful was starting a blog. We created one shortly after opening up our shop and it’s the perfect way to introduce yourself, as well as new items. It gives a bit of a personal feel to our creations, and helps to connect with others. Other social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook help with networking as well; these online tools have become so user friendly by all linking together. And if you want to do it all, i.e., maximize your exposure, connect face to face with your customers, network with other crafters, and you should definitely participate in craft fairs.
TSP: Business savvy advice! What’s next for Lil Sprinkles?
J: That’s hard to say. Lil sis C has a 7 month old and I have 3 year old twins and the busier the kids get, the less time we have to craft. We would love to include other baby/child related items to the shop but at this time, most of our free time (during their naps and bedtime) is spent on creating new dollies for the shop or craft fairs.
TSP: Before we say au revoir for now, what are some of your favorite etsy shoppes?
J: Our favorite shoppes are elm studios online, Sara Paloma, and Craftpudding.
Now through August 12th, Lil Sprinkles is kindly offering TSP readers a free gift with any big or little sister dolly purchase! Just enter ‘The Scarlet Peacock’ in the message to seller to take advantage of J & C’s very special offer. Many hugs to Lil Sprinkles for giving TSP a glimpse into the shoppe and everything that makes their sweet little dolls such sweet little dolls!