My mother taught me how to design patterns and sew teddy bears when I was eleven years old. It was something she inspired in me after coveting antique, mohair teddy bears years earlier, unable to afford them herself. She taught herself, then taught me and throughout my childhood we traveled the country selling her beautifully crafted pieces. For as long as I can remember this is what we did. We made things.
In my twenties and early thirties I successfully carved out a business making one-of-a-kind teddy bears and animals for collectors worldwide, but once I had my own children I questioned why I was making “toys” intended for adults, often relegated to decorations. I wanted the objects I made to be animated by play and imbued with the love children give their favorite toys. In 2012, I launched the Polka Dot Club with this in mind and in the intervening years I’ve seen how that simple act of learning to sew all those years ago, has so deeply impacted the way I live, work, and parent. I wanted to reinforce the idea that everything in our home was crafted and didn't just appear on a shelf ready for us to digest. It came from someplace and someone, which is a very powerful idea- one that I’m committed to. It feeds the Less Is More ideas about consumerism and quality but it also empowers everyone to become a maker themselves.