Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Artist Behind The Etsy ~ Curious Orange Cat

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Being a part of the Etsy community, not only as a seller but as a customer, I have come across many talented individuals.  With this series, I hope to introduce you to some of these creative people, finding out where they find their inspiration, and a little bit more about them.

Good Sunday morning, friends! Something a little different today as we step into the world of fashion.  Altered fashion, if you will.  I am sure you have seen how two (or more) seemingly non-descript pieces of clothing are married together and wind up forming something so very chic and fashionable.  Bunny from Curious Orange Cat does just that. Bunny is also being featured in this month’s Altered Couture magazine!  Congratulations on your feature, Bunny!

Hello, my name is Bunny Henningsen and my Etsy store is called Curious Orange Cat. I have two wonderful grown sons and three cats. First off, I would like to thank Kathy for inviting me to be a part of her wonderful blog! Thank you Kathy!

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I have been sewing all my life and up until about 4 years ago had a quilt and gift store about 25 miles from Yosemite in California. With the economy crash of 2008, I hung on for two more years and finally lost my home, had to close my business and was forced to move to my mom’s house in Oregon. It was devastating to say the least. I of course had plenty of fabric left over from my quilt shop and my mom had a very large basement. So I put together a wonderful sewing studio and spent many a day there dealing with the upheaval in my life.

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I had been looking into upcycled clothing for quite a while but just didn’t know where to start. After finding an issue of Altered Couture magazine at a local store, I felt I had found something artistic and possibly a way to make some extra money until I could put my life back together. I loved how freeform and funky the clothes were. I opened an Etsy store and started to experiment with different items until I could find something that felt just right. I got my courage up and sent in an outfit to Altered Couture and amazingly enough the same day I put the outfit in the mail, I got an email from the assistant editor about a dress I had on Etsy. She wanted to know if I was interested in putting it in their magazine. (“Well, gee, I don’t know….) Needless to say I was over the moon. Not only that, but the editor of the magazine liked the dress so much she modeled it in the magazine and bought the dress from me.

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I started going to thrift stores and looking for garments that spoke to me. I had a large amount of vintage linens at home. Some of them were torn or stained, so using them in clothing was a great way to give them new life.

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Inspiration comes in many ways. Sometimes I just put a blouse on a dress form and wait. I have baskets filled with shirt sleeves, vintage lace and ribbons, vintage linens and remnants leftover from other creations. I may pass a basket and see something sticking out that begs to be included on a garment. There is so little planning involved. I try to come up with original ideas whenever possible. But I learn so much from other sellers. I’m working toward my own distinctive style. But sometimes imitation can be a great teacher as long as it is used sparingly. Not all my inspirations are Etsy sellers. One of my absolute idols is Selene Ahnese of Gibbous Fashions. Her dresses are to die for. I can only dream to obtain that level of art. Two other favorites are some of the most successful upcycled clothing sellers on Etsy. Creolesha and Broken Ghost Clothing are great designers and continue to inspire me.

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My Etsy store has led opportunities to me that I might otherwise have missed out on. I have learned so much through Etsy and working on my creations. I have improved my sewing skills with some of the custom requests that come through. I always panic a bit. But I always seem to pull it off.

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I simply would not be where I am today without Etsy. Etsy has given me back confidence, given me something I love to do every day and enabled me to earn much needed income being creative. My goal is to earn a living sewing my upcycled clothing and move back to California so I can be back close to my sons. My morning and evening mantra….one sale a day is all I need.

You can find me at my Etsy store and my blog.

www.curiousorangecat.etsy.com

www.curiousorangecat.com

Thank you, Bunny, for sharing your Etsy story!  I think that it is wonderfully inspiring how you found a way to deal with the upheaval in your life with a creative outlet. I wish you much success!  You can visit Bunny’s Etsy shop here.

6 comments:

NanaDiana said...

What fun creations, Kathy! My granddaughter would love all these wearables. xo Diana

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

Hi Kathy and thank you for introducing us to Bunny. Her shoppe is adorable and I love all the wonderful fashions she designs. Great feature!!
Hugs

chateau chic said...

This is the first I've seen styles like this...I know, where have I been! Bunny has amazing talent and such a great product. With her expertise and ingenuity, I'm sure she'll be moving back to California in no time.
Mary Alice

vivian said...

fun stuff! I would love to dye my hair pink and dress in funky stuff like that.. but with my job, I just dont think I could pull it off.. and I dont think I could show up in court on tuesdays like that! but I sure would like too!
as always, thanks for sharing fun stuff!
xoxo
vivian

Okio B Designs said...

What a fun little shop!

Jeanine

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

So sorry to hear about the unfortunate times of 2008 that affected Bunny so terribly...Bunny's designs are amazing and I am sure Bunny will be back on her own as a result of her amazing talents...Great feature here today!!

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