In this Featured Crafter, we hear from Julie from Miss PrettyPretty. Julie’s playhouses are incredibly imaginative, be sure to check out her store to view all her themed houses. They are customizable so your little one can have their own unique playhouse.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Julie. I am married to a really wonderful man, and we have two children, a boy who is 5 and a girl who is 4. I am an “older” mom who feels very lucky to have started a business that enables me to be at home with my kids!
Where can we find you? (website, craft shows, etc.)
You can find me at missprettypretty.etsy.com . I am too busy with my online business these days to do craft fairs, but I am definitely an arts/crafts fair veteran! I earned extra money and sometime supported myself on craft fairs for about 20 years. Back then, I made a lot of embellished clothing, denim shirts, sweatshirts, etc. All of that applique work was a good foundation for making my playhouses.
What first got you interested in your craft?
I started sewing when I was very young, and am self taught. When I was about 20 years old, I invested in a really good (although used) New Home sewing machine, and discovered machine applique. I loved it! I started making shirts for my mom, then her friends started buying them, and suddenly I was doing craft fairs and doing very well. I have always loved putting all the applique pieces together to make a picture, almost like a puzzle. That was almost 23 years ago! Now,
with my card table playhouses, I am still doing applique work, only on a larger scale. Some of the designs on my playhouses are actually designs I created many years ago to embellish children’s clothing.
Please describe your creative process (how, when, materials, etc).
When my nieces and nephews were toddlers (about 12 years ago), I decided to create these little houses for them to enjoy. I love handmade toys that encourage children’s imaginations and help them to play creatively. Now, I have my own children who help me dream up new designs! A couple of years ago, my sister encouraged me to sell my playhouses on Etsy, and the business just exploded! It’s been so much fun for me, and I have been very, very lucky.
Usually, I get an idea about a playhouse and think about it and mull it over for several weeks before I draw it out. I try to imagine what would spark my kids’ imaginations, and that helps a lot with the designing. My husband has had a lot of great ideas, too, and some of my customers have helped me create some of my most popular playhouses by providing me with their ideas. Sometimes it seems like a group effort! I really strive to make playhouses that will make children’s
eyes light up, and that will become an heirloom toy that is played with and remembered for generations.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I spend a lot of time working on my business these days, but I also teach water aerobics at a local college where I was the Aquatics Director before I had my first child. I have taught swimming lessons and water aerobics and have trained lifeguards and swim instructors for most of my adult life. I love to sew, swim, read and spend time with my family.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you so very much for the opportunity to be featured on your website! I do appreciate it so very, very much!