Business Name: Playful Bunny Children's Apparel Website: N/A Established: 2013 Questions answered by: Kristy O'Toole
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
I make quite a few items ranging for all ages. One of my most popular items is my bear cowls. I also make hooded animal blankets, mitten clips, pacifier clips, growth charts, burp cloths, rattle taggies, amigurumi stuffies, and much more. My specialty is crochet so my cowls, hats, blankets, and amigurumi are all crocheted by hand.
With the Winnipeg local maker community continuing to grow, what is the most important thing you’d like potential customers of your company to know?
Quality is something I strive for with my products. Because each item is handmade by me, I’m very critical of myself. Unlike mass marketing products that you see in box stores, I pride myself in quality items that I can be proud of. My thought process is, if it’s not good enough for me, it’s not good enough for my customer. Every item is handmade with love and care.
What inspired you to start your business?
My daughter did actually! It all started with burp cloths and pacifier clips. The burp cloths I was purchasing from the “box stores” were never big enough and I always ended up spit up all over my shoulder and down my back. Gross, I know. So I decided to do some research and make my own large ones. I figured there had to be other parents out there who needed bigger cloths just like me.
The next item was the pacifier clip. I had purchased a few different styles from big retail stores, but they all had the same plastic clasp which never was strong enough to stay attached to the clothes. It was really frustrating. So again, I did my research and found a supplier for quality metal clips with inserts that were safe for clothes, but strong enough to stand up to tugs and pulls from infants. The rest of my products were developed over time and inspiration stemming from my daughter.
What was the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest struggle in my life was actually not business-related. I suffered from postpartum depression for four long years after having my daughter. My little business and constant family support are what got me through the toughest years of my life. My biggest regret was not knowing enough about it to realize I was suffering from it until three years in. I am always willing to share my story so others know they are not alone. We all have struggles, but that’s what makes us stronger.
What has been your biggest success as a maker?
Oh my, I have to say my cowls. The first time I posted them on my Facebook page using my daughter as a model, the orders started pouring in for them. I was so overwhelmed with emotion for the desire my customers had for these creations. It was amazing to see. They are still one of the most popular products I make for all ages (yes, adults have bought my cowls too). My success is being able to provide products my customers can be proud of.
Do you have any advice that you would pass on to someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
Let your creative mind go exploring. Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking you cannot make something until you try. Think outside the box and be inventive. Always put quality into your creations and it will show. Nothing comes easy, so never give up and work hard to achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself. You are amazing!
Please share any upcoming events as well as the best place(s) for people to purchase your product!
Once the pandemic and restrictions have eased to allow for craft sales in person again at schools, you will always find me at the Chief Pegius Craft Sale and the ICS Winter Extravaganza Craft Sales. I also post upcoming events on my Facebook page.