My hopes for Heart Handmade is to introduce new handmade finds and the artists behind the work. I want to open up this little space of mine with feature posts of other Etsy store owners sharing their stories, what prompted them to start their creative business and make readers aware of what handmade items are out there and where you are able to purchase them!
Today, I am featuring an Etsy shop called Timo Handmade! When I first saw Timor's items on Etsy, I was instantly drawn to her creative dolls. I love the way each one has a new look while staying true to Timor's style.
Timor not only makes creative dolls, but she also has other handmade items for sale like fabric books, bags and teething balls. Timor's shop is very well presented with fun fabrics, lengthy legged dolls and simple photography that really make her shop stand out. I hope you enjoy her products and interview!
My name is Timor Cohen. I’m 32 and I live in Jaffa, Israel. It’s a port city, and the port itself is only a few minutes walk from my house.
It happenedquite by accident – and I actually didn't really know that much about it, at the time. There was a brief mention of my studioin WMagazine's 2010 holidaysgiftguide, and I neededa web store that could be up and running over night. ETSYwasthe mostimmediateoption. I certainly did not expectit to become such a significantchannel for sales nor such an amazing platform for meeting a creativecommunity. I definitelynever imaginedthat it would be suchtime consuming…
2. What would you say is your favorite part about owning an online handmade business?
My favorite partis that a webstorehassomethinganarchistic in its very nature. You are not obligated to the “market” or to taste of a gallery/shop owners. You can just can run wild, creatively speaking, and not be committed to large series, mass production or anyone else's style.
A webstoreis likea glimpse intosomeone's studio, very private and without a middlemen…
It is alsoexcitingin the sense it gives of no boundaries – it creates such fascinatingconnectionsworldwide.
In my ownwork It’s also nice not to have to be practical in my designs, like one must be when designing clothes or furniture. When a product doesn’t have to meet any practical need, it allows for a lot of freedom – and it also leaves room for the owner to decide how to relate to it.
3. I read that you like to use recycled materials for your dolls and products. Where do you collect your materials?
For starters, there isn't a home without abox ofbuttonsand old shirts you can't wear anymore, and yet can't bring yourself to throw away. That's how I got started, and it kept me running for a long time – using such materials from my own place, and then from family and friends, which I still do. now I liveright next tothe Jaffa fleamarket, and for me it's like to live near a wishing well. There are some businesses and designers that transfer to me cloth scraps and On top of that, I buy fabric scraps in ETSY.
4. I love your family dolls and bead dolls! Where do you find your inspiration for your pieces?
The familydollsserieswas inspired by a couple of homosexual friends of mine, who had a child and were looking for alternative family model dolls.
So now I make all these different characters that can be put together as families, and they come in all skin colors, ages and genders.
The most charming thing is that people are actually assembling every family model that you can possibly think of: two men and a baby, a single mom and twins, a family that consists of a grandmother, a brother and a sister, or of a dark-skinned father, and oriental mother with three children. Every once in a while I even get an order for just a “traditional” family, with uncles, neighbors and a dog.
it’s always a delight to see that love really does come in all shapes and colors!!
As for the inspiration, I can hardly say. So many people and things inspire me, and so many things stimulate my eyes. But I think the house I grew up in was the beginning of it all, and really paved the way for me from infancy. My mother has her own studio, she's a carpenter and sews wonderfully. So it was from her that I learned not to fear any material or any creative idea.
And with this as my starting point, everything is inspiring.
That being said, a new project always begins with the material itself. I don’t have any established routine besides that. Each new project or design asks for something different from me and from my work environment.
5. If you could pick one item in your shop, which item is your favorite?
I'm particularly fond of the book.
It's made solely of textile, and inspired by a fabric book my grandmother made.
She immigrated to Israel from Germany, and her children were born in the village they all lived in. She had no books for them at the time, so she embroidered the Grimm Brothers' tales for them on a length of sheet.
The book I've made is also something I see as passing from generation to generation, leaving a vast space for the child's own imagination and sensory stimulation.