So ugly, it’s cute! Or at least I think so. Indira Villalobos brings us a fun collection of one-of-a-kind handmade dolls, aka Snuggly Ugly. They may be little monsters, but they’re little monsters made from recycled cashmere. If I were a cuddly little ugly, I’d want to be made from cashmere!
Indira was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Let’s get to know her a little better, shall we?
1. What inspired you to begin your collection?
Four months after my daughter was born during Hurricane Irene (another story entirely), as I settled into motherhood, I decided to chase my dream of starting my own company. The story began with two Christmas gifts: a sewing machine from my husband and a cashmere hat for our daughter that was made from a repurposed sweater. This led to my first project, a monster I made for our daughter with my husband’s accidentally shrunken sweater. That is how Snuggly Ugly was born.
2. Can you name a favorite source of inspiration?
I’m inspired by color, texture and my daughter. She is the one who “approves” her mama’s creations. I enjoy every aspect of my work, from designing to choosing and matching colors and working with materials making them come to life. I have the Color Index book from Jim Krause that has over 1100 color combinations and formulas and I love to play with all the combinations. I also use Adobe’s Kuler (a free web tool) for trying different color combinations.
3. What materials do you love to use?
I love to use quality repurposed 100% cashmere sweaters. I have experimented with some other materials, but I always seem to go back to cashmere. It is incredibly soft and perfect for young ones. I also like the contrast of the incredibly soft fabric with the idea of the rough monster. Also on eco-level, I think it’s a great message to send to kids that you can reuse things outside of there original purpose and this is what I do with repurposed sweaters at Snuggly Ugly.
4. Do you have a dream collaborator?
5. When you need a musical muse, who do you turn the volume up for?
I have been listening the WBGO Jazz 88.3fm radio every morning and I just love it. The first thing I do in the morning is turn on radio and make coffee while my little girl dances and plays in front of me. This is usually the perfect morning to start my day.
6. How do you use social media/blogging to promote your work?
Social media has been a great deal of help in getting the word out about Snuggly Ugly. I love engaging with people who I would otherwise never know. Making either professional or personal contacts for me is a way to build brand reputation and also a way to do so with a very limited budget. I blog and tweet about things I like and things we are doing on a regular basis. I want people to see who is behind Snuggly Ugly.
7. Where do you see your shop/project going?
My future goal is to develop a national brand while maintaining a ‘small studio’ uniqueness. I hope to continue to evolve and grow Snuggly Ugly … and most importantly – have fun doing it!
Besides that fact that I really appreciate hearing what inspires artists like Indira to create, her interview made me realize that I don’t feature enough handmade items for kids. I’ll be fixing that next week. Thanks Indira!