Welcome to GoHeyJudy, which is a small line of handmade rag dolls and cloth doll.
|Handmade Rag Doll|
First of all, thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions! I had a lot of fun answering them. The seeds for my shop, GoHeyJudy, were planted back around 2003 or so just off the top of my head when my eldest daughter came home from preschool with this little drawing she made in class that day. It was in pink marker on this crumpled sheet of paper. It was a large head sans a body with these crazy finger dotted in pink polka dots. I thought the face was the most endearing. It was like nothing I'd quite ever seen. I couldn't, at that time, figure out what it meant other than a little drawing, but felt drawn to it for some reason. I stored it away in a dresser drawer and came back to it on occasion saying, "This is something, but what?"
To backtrack, when I was a child, my father would orate to me at bedtime "The Judy Stories" which were about a girl and of his own creation. I begged for them nightly as they were completely ad-lib and hilarious causing me to visit "the potty" if I may say so on numerous occasions in order to keep my pajamas dry. She was so adventurous and smart and, above all, different. I loved that part. Much to my mother's chagrin, I was kept up way past my bedtime, but I'm so glad she relented as my father passed suddenly when I was the tender age of ten. I only wish he'd written those stories down.
One day I pulled out the little drawing my daughter did, and it hit me. This is JUDY! It was at that point I decided to turn that little drawing - somehow - into a rag doll. This is where the problems began. I started off securing trademarks and copyrights as I had the idea of where I wanted to take the project, but no ideas to get it off the ground other than contacting manufacturers and seamstresses in order to help me conjure up a prototype, but alas these efforts were not at all to my liking. I realized at that point I would have to re-learn how to sew again and create said prototype myself if this project was to go in the direction I wanted it.
It took three years and a lot of trial and error, but one day I came up with at least something I was relatively comfortable with and began taking her to local brick and mortars which, at the height of the financial disaster, were beginning to close up. One local and lovely lady suggested I try Etsy which I'd never heard of. I went home and jumped right in. Hey, Judy has evolved, of course, but that's the beauty of a handmade item I think.
Who or what is your inspiration?
Without a doubt, my children. They are SO full of energy and creativity. It's an absolute blast listening to them and getting their ideas. They keep me centered and on track. They're the first to say they don't like something. Usually I listen to them, but there are occasions I don't. I pay the price for that. I've learned my lesson.
My blog readers are another source of daily inspiration. They are my motivation to rise each morning at the crack of dawn and get to it. I may not blog about the rag doll trade - quite the opposite - but it does serve a purpose related to Judy which is another avenue I'm about to embark on which is very exciting. The first official Judy story has been written, and I probably would have never had the confidence to embark on that had it not been for the blog. I appreciate my readers like you can't imagine. They're an amazing group of people. I'm so lucky to have them.
What is your favorite part of your creating process?
Well, my LEAST favorite part is having an idea and the lack of knowledge to see it through immediately to fruition. I am not always the most patient person in those regards, but I've also learned that it really is important to wait and get it right the first time in that sense. My favorite part is probably seeing a Hey, Judy doll nearing completion when I stop what I'm doing and hold her up for a preview. It is then I beam and think, "Oh. My. Gosh. That is SO cute." At that point I have a tendency to slow down a bit whilst tweaking each doll realizing that she's never going to be a mass produced item and more of an heirloom. Floppy Doll
Do you have any special routines?
Oh, plenty. I run on the Naval Clock. One has to with children, a business to attend to. There are only so many work hours in the day so I have to be aggressively organized. It has come to the point now when I don't answer the phone or the doorbell but absolutely must focus on work. I wake at 5:30 AM and the first thing I do is comb the papers and international news feeds in order to get the blog written and posted by 9 AM. I then set to work on listing hopefully one small doll per day. My goal is to have a good 100 items in the shop by May. My day ends at 2:30 PM when time is then dedicated to my children with breaks later and planning the next days addition to the shop and getting that prepped and ready while the children focus in on their homework.
What is your most favorite item in your Etsy shop?
Well, I'm biased because they're originally my daughters creation so that's what I see. But I would have to say the original "Little Charmers" so far. The wilder the colors the better as far as I'm concerned. I'm particularly fond of my "Back In Seattle Again" one. I just love the juxtaposition of the flannels and the yarns.
Do you have any social media links?
Of course! I'm so glad you asked! My main website is, of course, GoHeyJudy.com
where there are links to everything including my blog and Etsy shop. We're working on an interactive game for children there, but that takes time and money. I'm hoping to get it launched by September. Fingers crossed.
The link to my Etsy shop is www.etsy.com/shop/GoHeyJudy?ref=si_shop
I currently only run one online shop. I'm far more focussed that way and can dedicate myself to quality and customer service.
The link to my blog - where we're all referred to as FellowCampers - is
Subscribers get a 10% off code. I'm working on even more ideas to expand it. Subscribers get a special coupon code to use in the shop.
I do have a Facebook page which I don't even remember the link to as I never go there, but you can definitely "like" me via the Etsy shop. Facebook seems to give me issues (technologically speaking) so I keep focused on other things.
My main social site is, of course, Twitter. @GoHeyJudy I have fun in there when time allows. I'm also on Google+ at GoHeyJudy and Pinterest of the same name. I adore meeting mew people so hopefully I will see some new peeps in the stream!
Anything else that you want to share?
I think the most important thing I've learned through all of this is to take constructive criticism and learn from it applying it where necessary, but to never listen to the naysayers. Especially those that say something can't - or shouldn't - be done. To that I say pffft. Politely of course!