Welcome back to my new series,Â Friday Five! I’ve beenÂ recruiting indie crafters/sellers and asking them five questions about their work. Brooke from Paper Playgrounds is our guest today. Brook and I met at a recent Urban Folk Circuit meetup, and we immediately connect over our prairie roots (she’s a native Nebraskan and I’m a North Dakotan). Â Her work is super interesting, particularly her stop motion animation video, which you can watch below!
If youâ€™d like to be a part of the Â Friday Five series, check outÂ the Features pageÂ and email handsoccupied-at-gmail-dot-com with your responses for me!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.
My name isÂ BrookeÂ Glaser and my business is Paper Playgrounds. I make handmade greeting cards and decorative hanging mobiles. In college I studied filmmaking and made a stop-motion animation as my final project. This meant I had to handmake all the sets and props. Because the film industry is such a wasteful business, I made it my goal to use as much recycled and recyclable materials as possible. You can see the quirky minute and a half result onÂ vimeo. Â I fell in love with making things and when I graduated I knew I needed to continue.
2. Why did you decide to go in to business making this/these particular product(s)?
Some of my favorite possessions are items that hang from my ceiling, whether they are tapestries, string lights, and (my favorite) wooden mobile with flying elephants. Yet, I never see mobiles for sale at craft shows. When I attended a Renegade Craft Fair this summer, I noticed that a lot of vendors had cute things hanging from their tents, but no one was selling any mobiles. I love them, but there just aren’t many of them out there unless they are machine built in China and sold at a Target. I could find very few that adults would enjoy hanging in their living rooms either. So I came up with my Mustache and Bow Tie Mobile Design, which I like to call the Mustache Mobile.
3. Do you have a day job, pets, a family, or a partner? How to you balance everything?
I have a part-time night job at a restaurant and bar in Chicago. It gives me time to do the work of starting a business and crafting during the day. I work at the bar on the weekends and a few nights a week, so that leaves me several days during the week where I can work strictly on business. It’s a lot; I work 65+ hours a week easily, but I enjoy making the cards and mobiles so much I would probably be doing it anyway.
4. Whatâ€™s your favorite thing to make or do when youâ€™re not running your business?
Whenever I move to a new city, my first priority is to get my library card. If I had all the time in the world, you would find me in the library reading how-to-craft books and other art books. I rarely buy books, because I consume such a wide variety. I end up paying so much in overdue fines, but I never mind. I like to think of it as supporting my local library.
I’m also a stumble addict and love to search the internet for how-tos and inspiration from awesome illustrators. I know how to make a lot more than I’ve ever attempted to make.
I also love to visit a lot of the boutiques in Chicago and window shop all the amazing product designs. I love shops that sell ‘things’ rather than clothes.
5. Where can we find you online? (Website, Facebook, Etsy, Twitter, etc.)Â
You can find me atÂ etsy.com/shop/paperplaygroundsÂ andÂ facebook.com/paperplaygrounds. It’s just me running the business, so you know someone is going to see if you ‘like’ the facebook or make any comment. It definitely makes me smile.