We are excited to have Alison Sorensen at Handmade market! If you are looking for something to spice up a bed, couch or chair in your home, check out her wonderful chunky blankets and pillows. They will brighten any corner of your home.
Alison, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Alison Sorensen of Alison Sorensen Design Studio and I have been married to my favorite person coming up on 13 years. We have 2 girls that are 6 and almost 3.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating?
Because I’m a maker, I’m always searching on Pinterest and finding new things I want to try making. Right now, I’m finding so many weaves that I want to try, but I’m finding it is more time consuming than I thought.
As a family, we really love spending time together and playing board games as well as having “fights to the death” (which is really just play wrestling). We also have a show that we’ll watch together and right now we are watching Naruto, and playing the Nintendo Switch. In the summer we love going on hikes and exploring in the mountains as well as bike rides and walks. Before kids, my husband and I really enjoyed snowboarding together.
My husband and I love watching shows together and one of our favorites is the ‘Great British Baking Show.’ We just started watching, ‘This Is Us’ a few weeks ago and I don’t know why we continue watching it because it’s sooo sad!! But, I love it because the things that these characters go through are real-life things that real people go through.
Where did your creative spark begin and can you trace your path to where you are today?
I started my journey with interior design. I have a bachelor degree in interior design, but I became a stay-at-home mom not long after getting my degree. As my daughter grew out of the newborn/super needy stage I found myself becoming bored.
I started working as an eDesigner during my daughter’s naptime and at night after she’d gone to sleep. An eDesigner is simply an interior designer that works with clients through e-mail. This makes the process of hiring a designer much more affordable than a traditional interior designer.
Since I had to source all my products online for clients that had small budgets, it became very clear to me that there isn’t a huge amount of home décor items that are unique and affordable.
When you need musical inspiration, who do you turn the volume up for?
I grew up playing the piano and practicing classical music, I kinda sort of hated it back then. But, now when I’m sewing my pillow covers I really enjoy listening to classical piano music because it’s so soothing and peaceful.
What do you create and what makes it so special?
I started making pillows because there isn’t a huge list of places that sell them. I wanted to give my clients and anyone else the option of having handmade unique pillow covers that aren’t the same as what your neighbor or friends have.
I’ve made sure to include some pillow covers that are more neutral colored and patterned for those people that love neutrals. and have made sure to create some with bolder colors and/or patterns for the color lovers.
One day, I found some chunky yarn and decided to gift it to myself to make a chunky knit blanket. I quickly fell in love with the yarn and the knit pattern. I became obsessed with the yarn and started buying more and more and making blankets with it. It quickly evolved and I have added it to my Etsy shop. These are the chunky knit blankets you see all over Pinterest.
Mine blankets are half the cost of others because they aren’t 100% wool, the yarn I use is 20% wool and 80% Acrylic. The great thing about this yarn is that it is hand-washable where the 100% wool blankets are not.
How long have you been in business? What can you pinpoint as a turning point to your business?
I’ve been doing eDesign for about 5 years and just started doing pillows and blankets in November 2017. I decided to branch out from selling solely on Etsy and began selling at local markets.
I did my first market just last April and it was a huge turning point for me. I’ve also taught a few classes on how to make the chunky knit blankets that you see all over Pinterest and the locals have really loved them.
What is the best way for people to connect with you?
There are several ways that people can connect with me. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook as well as at my website, alisonsorensen.com and on Etsy. I’m also available by email if anyone has questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.