Halloween may have come and gone but that doesn't mean the little ones have to stop playing dress up. Playing princess has never been easier or more adorable than with a tutu from The Fairy Garden. With only a little tulle and a little sparkle, shop owner Heidi Duss has created an invitation to the magical world of make-believe for your child.
Looking through the Fairy Garden tutus takes me back to my own youth, playing dress up in my ballet recital outfits and transporting myself to a land of frills and lace. Duss' tutus are a reminder of what is frilly and fun about being a little girl without a care in the world.
The Fairy Garden has a wide variety of tutus for dressing your own princess, with many colors to choose from. If you can't find the exact tutu you are looking for, a custom piece can be designed at your request. The Fairy Garden also carries cute play accessories, bows and hats to tickle your whimsy.
Duss answered a few questions over email about her work and art.
The Daily Page: How do you motivate your creativity? (e.g. do you listen to music while you create and if so what?)
Duss: I am motivated by everything that is around me! I am constantly researching the latest trends, seeking out recycled materials, and scoping out the local shops! I am always finding something new to try; I don't usually just stick to one thing. I like to be different and versatile for all age ranges.
Describe your workspace. Are you at the kitchen table or in a dedicated work area?
I am currently finishing my "studio" space (ok, the bedroom in the basement). But hey, it is mine! I have an L-shaped desk and shelves above it stacked with Rubbermaid containers of different supplies. From paper and felt to buttons and bottle caps, I seriously have it all! The walls are painted a teal blue with a chocolate brown accent wall to match my business cards. I have a bulletin board and a magnetic board to hang my reminders. Even though I have a TV in the room, I usually like to hang out with my husband in his "man cave" -- yes, again in the basement, right around the corner -- to watch TV together. This way I can con him into helping me cut tulle or glue pieces together!
What is your favorite piece and why?
Right now, I love the little fairy Tutus' from The Fairy Garden! They are so adorable and I have had so many compliments on them! One mother said her two-year-old daughter Betty "…loved the tutus! She kept spinning around saying 'Twinkle Toes, mama.'" Another mom said, "the tutus are absolutely adorable and my little girls look like princess fairies wearing them! I love how the tutu can be worn as a skirt or a dress."
As for Storyline Design, the coasters and bottle cap necklaces top my list! There is seriously something for every age group from young to old! I cannot begin to tell you how many necklaces I have made for my little sister to my grandmother.
What advice do you have for people interested in starting an online store? How do you make the separation between your store and your day job/personal life?
Ha! There usually is no separation for me. I work from home as a Resume Writer, which really allows me the flexibility to come and go. I will write for a while and then do some crafting or run to the store for supplies. Building a business is hard work! It takes a lot of time and patience. You have to believe in your product and be willing to put it out there.
I am truly lucky to have a supportive husband who backs me 110% in my ventures.
What is your favorite local shop in Madison?
I absolutely love Tuvalu Coffeehouse and Gallery in Verona. Erika, the owner, has a great setup and friendly staff. There is a train set for kids to play on as the parents visit, drink coffee, and shop in her store where she carries many products from local artists. She hosts several events and is constantly promoting local art!
Etsy is an online marketplace whose mission is to "reconnect makers with buyers." These explorations will connect you with the makers in your neighborhood.