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Shop Spotlight: Alexandra Ferguson

If you love pillows, then Alexandra Ferguson may be a familiar name to you. I love the fact that her pillow cases are made out of 100% post-consumer recycled felt, made from recycled water bottles. I never knew that plastic bottles can be made into something soft and cuddly like Alex’s loveable pillows. Check out this cool story here about how the shop came to be. But before you do, here’s a bit of this and that about Alexandra Ferguson:

What’s the inspiration behind your shop’s name?

I come out of fashion industry where everyone just names their brands after themselves. We like to save our creativity for other outlets. I guess.

How old is your shop?

I’m so grateful Etsy keeps track of these things. According to their records, I launched on Jan 16, 2009. I remember I did it on my lunch break using product shots from my iPhone.

Alexandra Ferguson at Brooklyn Flea Market_featured on beautifulhandmade
at Brooklyn Flea Market in May 2009

What inspired you to start your own home business?

I became obsessed with housewares when I bought my apartment 3 years ago. It’s an industrial loft space that used to be Bloomingdales department store. It’s a mix of poured concrete ceilings and bashed up wood floors, with a marble bathroom and stainless steel kitchen and old americana antiques. Apparently, in the design world, they call my style “eclectic.” In any case, it is a really inspiring space for my primitive-yet-graphic design aesthetic.

What was the toughest challenge you faced so far?

Multi-tasking. I think only 50% of the time I put into the company is spent designing/cutting/sewing. Actually, it’s lucky that takes as much as 50%, since it is my favorite part. My next favorite is working directly with my customers. I do a lot of custom work, and sometimes my customers have really brilliant ideas. It’s like having an international team of design assistants. In person selling is really hard for me. I am getting better at it but I’m not a natural. Accounting is just completely forgettable. Oh and balancing it all with my 3 other jobs.

How did you get over it?

Coffee / wine.

Alexandra Ferguson Sewing Machine_featured on beautifulhandmade
sewing outside under a spring time sunshine

Please Name:
the things you do when you’re not busy in your shop:

I am re-discovering a social life right now. Actually, I am partying like a rockstar. It’s a phase. But it’s fun. Life is just really good right now, and I’m enjoying every minute. I’m really lucky.

Alexandra Ferguson - earrings by Milkmade_featured on beautifulhandmade
Alex with her milk cap earrings by Milkmade

stuff inside your bag you can’t leave home without:
keys, wallet, iPhone.

your favorite shops:
Cakehouse, Kimmchi, knitknit, beacon bookmarks

your top 3 favorite picks from your shop:.

Privet pillow by Alexandra Ferguson_featured on beautifulhandmade
Privet
Bird pillow by Alexandra Ferguson_featured on beautifulhandmade
my bird family Charlie, Edward and Bella,

Birds pillow by Alexandra Ferguson_featured on beautifulhandmade

Orchids pillow by Alexandra Ferguson_featured on beautifulhandmade
Orchids

“Let’s Make Out” is my newest style. I’ve been feeling pretty sassy lately, so the next collection is going to be a lot of fun. I’m working on a couple of collaborations with some really cool friends which will also add a new dimension.

What tips would you want to share for aspiring home based entrepreneurs like you?

Find freelance jobs! This way you can keep your schedule flexible and have time for your company. And invest in good tools.

Any message to your customers and the people who support you?

Hi, mom. Seriously, the people I have met and worked with since I started my company are amazing. The crafting community as a general rule really rocks. I feel a sappy moment coming on. xoxo.

Thank you Alex for sharing a moment, despite your busy sched. See more of Alexandra Ferguson at Etsy or follow her on PinterestFacebook, and Twitter.

Check out these upcoming events as well:
October 17: Crafts in Chelsea, 21st St b/w 8th & 9th Ave, NYC
October 25: Boston SOWA open market
October 9-31: Madison Square Park Market (“NYCraft” booth)

*this interview was originally published on theshopbug

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