Etsy.com, the world’s most vibrant virtual marketplace, sees creative folk from around the world buying and selling everything from hand-sewn tutus to crocheted boob pillows. We zero in on three Singaporean vendors and their kid-friendly creations
First published on 8 Aug 2010. Updated on 27 Aug 2010.
Chaong’s Simple Arts Planet, aka Saplanet, began as a pastime and grew to become a full-time profession. Chaong’s star products are intricately designed amigurumi dolls – the Japanese art of crocheting small animals or toys – and cutesy baby booties. While Chaong doesn’t have children herself, her items appeal to the child in all of us: ‘This is my opportunity to return to the younger state of mind and create an imaginary playground. I am a dreamer and I enjoy the fantasy where my little dolls live in a perfect planet…It is my wish that these creations will bring joy to someone’s life.’ See photo 3
Swee Leng van den Heuvel
Swiedebie operates out of this 33-year-old mother’s Netherlands home. Van den Heuvel specialises in ‘one-of-a-kind cuddly, wearable and functional handmade plushies’. The full-time crafter’s business spawned out of her hobby, sewing small felt cupcakes and sock monsters. After working for over two years off her Etsy platform, she credits the imaginary creatures from her own childhood – as well as her daughter – for providing inspiration. ‘[My daughter’s] spontaneous energy and cheerfulness has brought about so [many] ideas and [bundles of] fun with the designs.’ See photo 2
Kelly Anne Tay
When she’s not volunteering as an English tutor with Singapore Prison Service or performing saucy salsa moves, the 23-year-old English literature undergrad finds time to craft her next mini masterpiece for sale on Paper Exploits. Seeking to provide an alternative to the mass-produced cards you find in the stores, Tay’s impressive array of handmade paper goodies – think doodles of friendly monsters and hand-sketched bicycles on stickers – appeal to kids, as well as everyone with a soft spot for cutesy designs. Being a generous sort, she is not the only one benefiting. This is a business with a cause: ‘Ten per cent of all [my] proceeds go to fund [my] volunteering efforts with the Prison Service.’ See photos 1 and 4
This story first appeared as ‘Crafty sew and sews’ (Aug 2010).