The following is an interview with Knees and Paws from Etsy! Her products are absolutely adorable!
Q: How did you get started in making animal costumes for children?
A: "Knees and Paws are not something that I really consider to be animal costumes, but I suppose they are in a way. I think of them as an alternative to full body plush animal costumes, a set of hand and knee coverings for kids who love to play cats and dogs. They came into existence when I noticed an ongoing game of "doggies" at my son's preschool. A group of children there played pets for months. One mom said that she was unable to find soft, slip on knee pads online.
At that time, I was working an exhausting job that had me up at 3:00 am every day, but home at 1:30 so I could be available for my son after school. I had no idea that Etsy even existed. I did not know how to operate a sewing machine. I enjoyed making things with my hands, drawing, painting, and gardening but fabrics were an untouched medium.
I made a set of slip on knee pads for my friend's daughter by hand stitching together the calf section of a pair of soccer socks, adding polyfiberfill and covering it with novelty plush. I added the idea of paws later, after thinking of the spork...combination spoon and fork, combination paw and hand....
After the children at preschool received these prototype knee pads with delight, I wrote a patent pending application and received the official number in September 2009. That's when Knees and Paws and my gig at the sewing machine began."
Q: What is your greatest source of inspiration?
A: "I am continually inspired by my family, my friends, by philosophers like Bernie Seigel and Patch Adams and by people who survive extraordinary events. I believe in useful things or information that teach self reliance, hope and positive ways to enjoy life."