Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The Belly Button Bunch
I've been meaning to post this for a long time. You NEED to look at this site. But let me tell you a little about it first.
A few months ago, I went to visit my friend Jessica with another friend, Whitney. Jessica is a-maz-ing and is forever on my "I love this person" list because of all the help she gave me backstage when I was co-directing a musical last spring and was 8 months pregnant. That, and she's just a great lady. (By the way, directing is not an activity I recommend when 8 months pregnant. Just because others have done it does not mean it should be attempted. Moving on...)
Jessica is a cardiac surgical nurse and works some long hours. She was tired the day we went to visit. As we sat and talked, I kept stealing looks around the room because all around us were these glorious, colorful felt animals sewn and pinned to large felt pieces. As I looked around at all of them and asked what kind of project she was working on, you could see the stress of the day melt away from her as she started talking about her project - The Belly Button Bunch.
Jessica's sister had drawn a series of fun animals when in college and Jessica had always loved them, so she took the original art and recreated them as felt wall hangings. Jessica's eyes just sparkled as she talked about creating each character and giving names to each one. She mentioned that she was thinking of creating kits and selling them so other people could make them too, but that she wasn't sure how to proceed and she wasn't sure what to do. And then I turned to Whitney, and Whitney's eyes were sparkling too. You see, Whitney finds her greatest joy in helping people accomplish their dreams. In doing what they think they can't and in realizing that the things they think are ordinary are extraordinary.
Over the next few months, each visit would bring a report from Jessica on how things were going with the business. She worked through several obstacles - both in the business and in her personal life - and was still making the time to work on the characters because they made her so happy.
And now, Jessica has her business. And we couldn't be prouder. Whitney wrote an excellent blog about Jessica's journey to create this website and company which includes quotes from Jessica. It's a fun read and worth checking out. Whitney's post also includes a shot of Jessica's art featured in Organize Magazine.
After you read Whitney's blog, take a moment and go check out Jessica's gallery. And then come back here and tell me which animals are your favorites. (I like Bert, Benny and Bongo and I also love Horis, Hank and Harriet.) Or if you are up for a fun felt project (Felt is so hot right now!), order a kit and bring some friends from the Belly Button Bunch into your home!