Sonja Zelen design
Tell us about your business.I am an artist specializing in the decorative arts. Painted walls, murals, painted furniture and the applique pillows allow me to offer many custom accessories to the clients home or office. The applique pillows began when I could not find interesting pillows at that time. Using vintage and new fabrics , beads, yarns and buttons I was able to create unique pillows for the rooms we were working on. It starts with an idea for a scene or object for the pillow. Then I find the fabrics and embellishments to create the image the client wants. All the pillows are appliqued by hand by me. Eventually people were interested in having their pets portrayed on pillows. They gave me photos of their pets and I applique the animal on cloth. It is made into a pillow filled with a down insert. On the back of the pillow I embroider the pets name. Over the years I've done boats, pets, florals and especially the dogs. These pillows are very tactile and feel great to touch.
What makes your business stand out?I offer a one of a kind product that is done by hand. The dog portraits in the applique form are unique pet portraits as they are usually painted or drawn. These pillows can be used anywhere and offer art in an unusual form. Needle arts are not as appreciated here in the states but the fabric textures on the pillow offer a tactile experience. women especially are drawn to them to touch and view. There really aren't many things like them anywhere as they are very time consuming to create.
What's the best business advice you've received?Do what you love.
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