Antarctica Black is not afraid of monsters. If they're the ones she’s created, that is.
The monsters designed by this former fine arts major are not the scary kind at all. As anyone who meets them knows, they are lovable and huggable – and when you pick one up, you’ll most likely want to take one of these plush creatures from home to snuggle with.
Antarctica, of Washington Township, got her idea for her product, “iloveyoumonster,” when she was studying sculpture and ceramics at University of Massachusetts in Amherst a few years ago. She was in her fourth year and was looking for a special Christmas gift.
“I wanted to give my parents something huggable so they’d remember me and wouldn’t miss me so much. So I picked up a needle and thread and started sewing,” the 20-something artist recalls.
Her parents loved their quirky plush creations and from there, her venture was born. Antarctica started making a variety of creatures of all shapes and sizes.
“Each monster is different and designed to snuggle up to the nook of an arm or in a big chest hug,” explains Antarctica. “They all come with a story and a special message of love, and are enjoyed by children and adults alike.”
Antarctica credits her late grandmother for her sewing talents and is often reminded of the bond they shared while her grandma taught her how to stitch. She still uses some of her grandmother's wonderful button stash to make some of her creations.
Where is her journey headed since it’s gone from a hobby to full time business? More than one buyer has suggested she bring her creations to Shark Tank, a TV show about start-up businesses. For now, she sells them on Etsy, at craft shows and gift shops.
Antarctica also teaches children’s sewing workshops called “Make a Monster Club” where kids get to make their own special monster. “They have fun seeing their creations come alive – and so do I.”
You can meet Antarctica and her monsters, from 2-8 PM on Thursday, October 11 at Eco Galleria, located at the historic train station in Oradell at 400 Maple Avenue. If you can’t meet her in person, go to www.iloveyoumonster.com to learn more about Antarctica, and her family of monsters.
Eco Galleria features a wide variety of handcrafted items created by artists primarily from North, Central and South America. If you are looking for a unique gift or something for yourself, you’ll find jewelry, pottery, glass, wood, firber and garden decor. You will also find whimsical, fun gifts that tickle the imagination.
During October, Eco Galleria is supporting local women artists by showcasing them at trunk shows right at the shop. The following artists will be showcased from 2-8 PM on the following dates:
- Oct 18 Cynthia Soroka-Dunn Fine Art Photography (Haworth)
- Oct 25 Cynthia Shevelew Handpainted porcelain (Oradell)