Friday Artist Interview with Self Proclaimed Chief Cuteness Engineer of Felt Like It! September 27, 2013 10:59
I'm Amber Alves, Owner and Chief Cuteness Engineer of Felt Like It! Basically, I make adorable food- and state-inspired pillows and plush toys from fleece and felt. When I'm not doing that, I'm a freelance graphic designer. After spending 30 years of my life living in New England, I moved to Denver, CO last year. My studio space is also technically a guest room, but eventually I'd like to have a dedicated craft-only studio.
How did you get started with Felt Like It?
I started Felt Like It years ago five years ago when I felt like (see what I did there?) I needed to do something with my hands. As a graphic designer, I'm staring at computer screens all day, and Felt Like It gives me a chance to go back to my crafty roots (I did a lot of crafts as a kid).
What is your process? You said your studio and work have changed quite a bit since your last interview. How has your craft evolved or changed? What caused you to shift gears?
When I make things, it's either in small batches or made-to-order. I'd say that I'm no expert sewer because I use minimal or no patterns at all (because my designs don't rely on precision, this works). In recent years, I've expanded my size offerings. In the beginning, I made larger pillows but now I also make smaller plushy versions of my veggies. Also, I used to have cookie and cupcake pillows, but now the only food I make is vegetables and cheeseburgers. And of course, I've added all of the happy mini states to my repertoire.
What inspires you to make stuff?
I'm just... really into cute things. I could stare at photos of baby animals on the internet all day! But I also have a quirky habit of humanizing inanimate objects. And I also like the tactility of felt and fleece, and working a needle and thread with my hands.
What is the best reaction you've gotten to your adorable creations? Is there a customer reaction you really strive for?
Some people have gone speechless! I think that's a good reaction. Others will squeal with delight, or laugh because the sight of an eggplant with eyes is pretty funny. I just want people to look at my creations and feel happiness and warmth.
What is you favorite vegetable?
I love many vegetables, but broccoli will always be my true favorite.
What do you do for fun filled activities outside of your business? Have any hobbies? Working towards any pipe dreams?
I love exploring the geography out here. This summer, I hiked at the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico and it was beautiful - other-worldly volcanic rock formations and mountain views. If you go to Santa Fe, the Tent Rocks are a must! So you could say that I like big rocks. I also enjoy cycling and lately I've started running (okay, more like plodding). And even though I don't really have time for hobbies, I want to make a quilt. It might take me five years, but it would be an awesome achievement!
Thanks so much Amber! You can check out more of Amber's heartwarming creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/feltlikeit. Also, check back next week for another awesome artist interview!