Like I’ve said many times before, I have a weakness for soft, stuffed, animal toys. So, it was only natural that my heart skipped a few beats when I stumbled upon I do believe that the first creature I laid eyes on was Olga’s hedgehog. My shoulders scrunched up to my ears, my head turned to the left, and I leaned towards my computer screen hoping to be transported to the magical world where this hedgehog and I could play and cuddle all the days away…then I realized I was running late for work, or something like that. Snapped-violently-back to reality where people would look at me very funny if they saw me playing with toys in public at the ripe age of 24.
Anyhow, Olga was enthusiastic and excited to do an interview for us, so without any more of my opinions, meet Olga of Wassupbrothers!!
1. Who are you/tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Olga Zamyatina and I am owl addicted softie maker based in Moscow, Russia with my beloved husband Igor a photographer, who always supports me and make beautiful photos of my creations for my shop, Wassupbrothers.
Over the past 10 years I tried to find myself in different kinds of arts and crafts : illustration, fine arts, fashion.
It was a long journey. Since 1998 I studied in 3 different universities and jumped from one subject to another.
Later after going up and down I’ve been stuck on the art soft toys. They gave me the opportunity to use all the skills and creativity that I have accumulated ,and bring me much joy and pleasure.
I make them for not long time, and decide to come out with them seriously in the beginning of 2012.
When i made my first owl, I did not think it’s serious and now I can’t imagine that once there was a time when I did not create my soft little friends. Huge Thanks to my husband, who believe in me and support in every way from the start and now)
2. What are some of your favorite things to do?
Well, first of all my favorite things are to create my owls and other little friends, take photos of them. I love all the time which i spent with my old Singer sewing machine. Beside that i love to spend time with my husband, read books, taking walks with our dogs, and i think all the things i do – are my favorite)
3. What three words best describe your personality?
open-minded, green, recycler
4. How would you describe your artistic style?
I dont think i have style yet, but i love to use vintage lace and fabric and i love my toys to have vintage look .
Sometimes i am chaotic recycler who just take pieces and scraps and trying to put them all together) Its a long and fun process.
5. What kinds of things do you make and sell?
I make soft owls and other soft creatures . I try to repurpose, recycle,reuse different materials as often as possible.
Basically I do my softies without patterns, just taking the pieces of cloth and watch how one of them out. It’s a magic to see, how small scraps, vintage buttons, sweaters or old dresses turn to a soulful creations.
Mostly i use natural fabric and fibers. If I am not satisfied with the fabric tingle, i dye it with natural dyes like tea, coffee, cinnamon and others. Often you can see me in the kitchen cooking a large pot of vintage lace and doilies.
I love to give new life to the useless and old things. The idea that my eco friendly toys will bring a little bit of love and joy to you warm my heart.
I’m vegan , and do not use natural fur or leather for my creations. My owls and other creations, i think, are vegans too) They are positive and cruelty free.
6. If you had to be trapped in a book, which one would it be and why?
I think it would be a book about life of little vegetarian boy or girl who wanted to be a veterinarian, ( i wanted to be a veterinarian in childhood) with lots of funny and serious stories. Also there will be lots of veggie recipes included in a book )
7. Is there a special story behind your shop name?
I dont know when and why ”Wassupbrothers” stuck on me years ago, but i like to say its because i make brothers and sisters for brothers and sisters.
8.What drew you to creating?
My inspiration comes from the nature, morning sunshine, pieces of fabrics, strange colors combinations, my husband smile, our wonderful funny dogs.
Usually half of the day I do a million necessary and unnecessary things, i can sit for hours in the Internet, then tear off myself from computer and start clearing the workplace from fabric scraps, yesterday tea cups and many other things ) After that, I turn on music that did not distract from the process, and work. I know once i sit down with my sewing machine, i stuck here for long, and it is my favorite time!
9. Do you have any other job aside from your awesome shop?
No, my softie business is what im doing everyday and almost everynight for the last year.
Sometimes, when i dont have sales for some times and business going down i start thinking about taking dayjob again, but lately with my husband support i stay focused in what im doing , and working harder on my sewing and promoting , and everything just get better lately.
10. What words of wisdom could would you give to aspiring creatives wanting to take that next step?
Be ready for the hard work. Stay focused and positive! Follow your dream. Find your way and dont copy others.Everything is possible) You dont need to buy all the tools in the world to start create something, you can start with something you already have.
Much thanks to Olga for doing an interview!! Keep up the awesome softie work!!! <3