When I first started making foods for the dolls I had no grand design in place.  I had no plan in mind for creating a brand or a blog or a shop or anything else that comes with it.  I was just happy to be creating, having fun with my girls and our dolls.

Pippaloo has evolved a bit over the last few years. In the beginning foods were listed randomly and I was able to fill custom orders for any of my items.  I realized, as my client base grew, that keeping up with orders was becoming a full time job.  I found myself working on items early in the morning or late into the wee hours of the night. Then one day I injured my arm while mixing colors.   It took that injury to open up my eyes.  My real full time job is being a stay at home mom to my two young girls.  I could suddenly see how my shop had almost swallowed me whole:  it was affecting my health, our household and my two girls as well.  

So I closed up my shop for a few months.  I needed time to give my arm a rest, but also to ponder the future of my shop.  I knew if I was going to re-open I had to make some changes.

First change:  no more custom orders for popular items or items featured on my blog

I hated having to implement this policy.   I still hate it, but it was truly the only viable option if I wanted my health and sanity back.  I knew I had to limit my work hours, restricting them to when my girls were in school.    I also realized that it was important for me to fuel my creative energies- and that meant having time to develop and conjure up new items.  Making seven dozen of the same items over and over does not tickle the creative fancy.

Second change:  listing all my items all at once, one day a month

This change was born out of necessity.  Again, there was no grand design. Seemed like the logical move to make.

I know these were unpopular moves,  but Pippaloo is just one person: me. Limiting the custom orders and listing all my items on one day has freed me up to enjoy my shop and to enjoy the whole process again.

The Creative Process

In my shop I use a variety of clays and tools to make my creations.  You might be surprised by some of the everyday items I employ.  Most of my items are made without using molds, so the majority are hand sculpted.  Molds are sometimes purchased and used- and occasionally I make my own.
Clays are hand mixed to create specific colors.  Some foods are shaded with pastel chalk, while others are painted for variation of color.  It always depends on the item.  

New items start with an idea: What can I make next?   Can I make that- and make it look real enough? I am always asking myself these questions. I have enough experience now that I know what I am able to make and where my limitations are drawn.  It's always a thrill and a treat when I can cross that line a bit and find a new way to make something that I had before, not realized.

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