Whether it’s a happy cruise around the world or a tour through a mansion with no windows or doors, all the attractions at the Disney parks focus have a central theme: storytelling. That appreciation for the art of storytelling trickles down to us–the legion of Disney fans. While all of us cannot be Imagineers, we can bring our own spark of imagination into everything we do. I wanted to share with you some of the ideas and passion behind Disney fans that started a shop to share their art and creativity with the larger community.
1. Lorena’s Story
Her Shop: Lovelies by Lo https://www.etsy.com/shop/loveliessbylo
Lorena’s shop has clever decals and adorable shirts. She started crafting when she found herself with some extra time while her newborn son napped. She went a little label crazy! She stuck decals of Simba and Mickey with his name on everything she could find. She continued on with that Disney trend, because she lives what she deems as a Disney lifestyle, which I think we can all relate to. When she goes to the Disney parks, she is overwhelmed by the color and optimism, and she tries to model her daily life after it. Once she labeled all of her son’s things, she moved on to making Disney decals for her friends’ cars and POOF Lovelies by Lo was born. As a single mom pursuing her education, this business is more than just a hobby. It is a hope for a Disney filled future for her family. After school, she is hoping to be one of the lovely cast members that add that extra magic to our Disney experience.
2. Jessica S.’s Story
Her Shop: Sonita’s Yarn Stash https://www.etsy.com/shop/SonitasYarnStash
Jessica fills her shop with a mish mosh of items made out of yarn including hats, scarves, and plushies. Her journey actually began with her late grandmother, who loved to crochet and showed her love by giving her creations to others. One day, Jessica was marveling at some blankets her grandmother passed down to her, and Jessica’s curiosity began to grow. She turned to Youtube and crafty friends to help her learn her craft. She was a quick learner, and in just a few years, she was able to master crocheting enough to write and design her own patterns! Jessica is one of the lucky Disney fans, who is able to go to the Happiest Place on Earth frequently, and she soon started to use her hats and scarfs as part of Disneybound outfits. She started her shop, because she felt like she could contribute to, not only her craft, but also to the Disney communities with her hand crocheted or knitted products, which are truly a labor of love!
3. Jessica N.’s Story
Her Shop: The Enchanted Shoe https://www.facebook.com/TheEnchantedShoe
Jessica creates hand painted items such as shoes, jewelry, canvases, etc. She ended up stumbling into the crafting community when she first painted shoes for herself for a Dr. Who costume she was making for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Because her first pair was so much fun to make, she made a pair inspired by The Little Mermaid. The Disney and crafting communities were so supportive that she has just continued to make them and started her own business. As a Florida resident, Disney was and is a big part of her life, which helped to focus her creative endeavors on bringing that Disney magic to others. She is a 4th-5th grade teacher during the day, and her painting business has turned into a SECOND full time job. She is just taking this day to day and enjoying the opportunity to be creative and share her art with others.
4. Kim’s Story
Her Shop: So This Is Love Designs https://www.etsy.com/shop/sothisislovedesigns
Kim makes handmade Disney accessories for the everyday Disney fan that are primarily sewn goods like unique ears, cosmetic bags, and business card holders. Her story began when she was in elementary school. Her mom is an avid quilter and taught her how to sew, and Kim has been making bags, purses, dresses, and quilts ever since. Everything that Kim puts in her shop is something that she wanted for herself. She started her business, because her friends started to want the same things that Kim wanted, so she thought that others might enjoy them as well. She is one of us–a Disney addict, and she grew up going to Disneyland. The Disney theme of her shop just came naturally to her. Although all businesses have their ups and downs, Kim likes to focus on the many great people that she has been able to meet through starting her Disney inspired Etsy shop.
5. Schenley’s Story
Her Shop: Now Ur Talkin https://www.etsy.com/shop/nowurtalkin
Schenley’s shop has autograph ears and planner inserts. Her shop is a product of her oldest munchkin’s imagination, who loves to get autographs from characters. They already had books and pillowcases filled with memories and autographs from trips to Walt Disney World, and her daughter thought of asking them to sign ears! During their trip, they received a lot of praise and attention from the ears that Schenley made, especially from cast members. So, both of her munchkins encouraged her to start a business. They felt so special when they wore them that they wanted others to feel the same! Her business is still new, but she loves meeting and connecting with other shop owners who also keep the magic of Disney alive.
These are just a few of the small shops that share their love of Disney through their talents while making tremendous products for us Disney fans. Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Stories From Small Disney Shops”. In the meantime, please feel free to comment below and share any shops that you enjoy buying merchandise for the Disney enthusiast from.