I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT and would say that my childhood was much like the Swiss Family Robinson with tree houses, exotic pets and high adventure. I received a BFA in Graphic Design at Southern Utah University then went on to graduate school at USC where I earned an MFA in Film Production. My creativity somewhat runs my life in the way it badgers me to make things and extends into many areas. I can go from writing a fantasy novel to sewing a plush to working on a film to designing a website, then go and redecorate my living room for the thousandth time, all in the course of a day.
Tell us a little bit about how you came up with the idea for Plush Peddler.
The arrival of my niece started it all. I wanted to give her an original stuffed animal that she would (hopefully) treasure through her childhood. I began sketching during grad school classes and realized after making my first Plush Stegosaurus I hadn’t felt this kind of creative excitement and energy in a long time. So I chased the vision, began drafting other Plushes and the world of Plush Peddler was born.
How would you define creative success?
I love that you asked this because I really thought about it and still couldn’t come up with a straight answer. I suppose some would say creative success can be measured through monetary gain or social exposure but I’m not sure that’s true or those possible outcomes necessarily define success. For me creative achievement means I reached a personal goal, did my best and felt proud enough I could walk away from it forever. It means I am happy with the outcome. Even if that creativeness means I just moved a fern from one side of the room to the other.
Have you discovered any special marketing strategies that work for your business?
Heavens, no. Anything beyond creativity and construction is totally foreign to me. So it’s going to be a learning process for sure. Right now I’m just focusing on getting the knowledge of the product out into the world with some giveaways and promotion. As silly as it may sound, I believe in these Plushes and I won’t give up on them. They bring a very real happiness to my life and I’m hoping this creation of a fresh world of Plushes traveling the world will peak people’s interest and as with most businesses, will gain a following and appreciation over time.
Who are some creative women that you look up to?
To me, Jane Austen is a literary genius. She is a storyteller I often look up to as I write. Kathleen Kennedy is a phenomenal film producer and I someday hope to work with her. She’s been a part of making some really exceptional movies and it would be a dream to be mentored by her. My mom; she’s creative too but beyond that she’s been one of my biggest advocates and always supported my crazy creative dreams which have just been ridiculous sometimes. She pushes me when I don’t want to be pushed and has always been there to see projects through. She’ll be the reason for my success someday.
You are also a filmmaker – what are some of the film projects that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of?
To a certain degree, I’m proud of all the films I’ve made. Each have offered a chance to learn something new and to hone my skills as a filmmaker. However, very few hold a place in my heart. In 2010 I made a Hunger Games trailer that few saw but encompassed the absolute determination and love of filmmaking that drives me to this day. It confirmed to me that I could indeed chase this film dream. I haven’t really felt that ridiculous determination since and I guess I keep looking for that feeling. It will come back for a future film, I’m sure.
What films inspire you?
I love movies that take you through a grand adventure and ultimately lift your spirits when the credits roll. How to Train Your Dragon changed the entire course of my life. Which I know sounds crazy but inspiration comes from different and sometimes unexpected places. I wouldn’t be where or who I am without that movie. Movies were always more than just entertainment to me and that’s probably why I’m chasing it as a career. I want to be brave like Katniss, clever like Hermione and no nonsense as Elizabeth Bennet. If it’s a big budget adventure film, there’s a good chance I really liked it.
You went to University of Southern California and currently live in the Los Angeles area. What are some of your favorite places to go to in the city?
I love the LA zoo. If you ever feel down, go and watch the Amazonian River Otters for an hour. Everything will be ok after that. Also, during my time here I’ve started to surf. Sure, I’m not very good but it’s still fun anyways. There’s also a great donut place just up from my apartment (but you gotta get there early or all the maple bars are gone).
What is your favorite thing about being a creative woman?
My imagination. There is always something new to make, to write, to do. I am never bored.