Spotted at this year’s BSB Chamber Market Day were these adorable unicorns, mermaids, cute kitties and smiling whales. They are the creations of Erica Garcia for her line Pops of Whimsy. The 100% handmade children’s boutique is based out of Bulverde. The Branch immediate fell in love with the items and sat down with Erica to find out more:
When did you start Pop of Whimsy?
Last October was the official start of Pops of Whimsy. I had just started setting up our Etsy Page when I had the notion to try a craft fair first. We set up at Boerne Market days that same month and never looked back! The customers we had that weekend, along with the other vendors at the market gave me the praise and motivation I needed to really get this shop rolling.
What does the line include?
We make pretty much everything you need to help equip a new mother in fun unique patterns. Currently we offer terry cloth bibs/burp cloths, cotton dresses, one-of-a-kind dolls, pillows and our famous ultra soft blankets!
What inspired you to start the business?
Pops of Whimsy was never something that I had planned, it kind of just came as a wonderful surprise. I have five beautiful nieces that I love very much, and I actually made my first dolls and blankets just for them. At the time, I was happy creating exclusively for family but as I brought more of my creations to baby showers and birthdays I began getting requests for gifts. From there I just kept taking orders and before I knew it I was starting up my own Etsy site.
Where do you sell now?
Well we have our Etsy & Amazon accounts for the online shoppers, but the majority of the time we attend craft shows all over Texas. We occasionally do Bourne and Bulverde Market Days, along with Boerne Handmade Market, and a couple of little craft shows in-between. But we are at Gruene Market Days every third weekend of the month.
How has the response been?
Texas has been good to us. I cannot say enough good things about the people who live in this area. Our customers are always so generous with compliments, and seeing little ones faces light up as they look at our dolls is always priceless.
Any other big plans for it coming up? New products?
Other than our plans to potentially have a shop in the next year, I am currently working on getting the majority of my dolls on our website. We have, up until this point, only made one-of-a-kind dolls (unicorns, cats, girls, bears, mermaids, etc.) and sold them exclusively at market shows, but now that they are gaining so much recognition it’s getting to be impossible to leave them off. Also, I am in the midst of writing a children’s book that will feature the dolls I am putting on the website as characters in a fun adventure!
What’s the most popular item?
Blankets for sure! The blankets that we make are so soft and comfy that pretty much everyone who feels them is instantly hooked. We use a Sherpa backing with a flannel front, it’s a combo that any baby/adult/dog/cat/grandma will love.
What inspires your designs?
The majority of the time it’s the fabric. I spend hours in different stores just feeling or looking up close and then from a far, feeling each piece to make sure I am using the best material for the project I want to accomplish. I truly love every piece that I finish in hopes that my customers will too!
Where did you get the name?
We actually started as ‘Happimess baby’, a name I quickly began to dislike because we were labeled as strictly a baby shop, when we were so much more! Knowing I needed to make a change I began simply with the word I had heard many times from our customers ‘Whimsical’. Other than that ‘pop’ just happened to be my niece Briar’s favorite word that week, put them together just felt right.
Do you have a staff that helps you?
I currently do not have a staff, just my Husband and my mother (who is also a beautiful seamstress) who help to pick up my slack. My Mom has been so great throughout this experience, she helps make dresses and purses that I take to craft shows, along with helping to keep me motivated! She is a true inspiration and I have learned so much about sewing from her!
Do you do custom orders?
Definitely! I love getting custom order requests. On our Etsy page one of our best seller is a ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ costume that looks identical to Max’s character in the book. That entire concept was created simply because I had a customer who wanted to dress her daughter up as Max for her ‘wild one’ party in the middle of July. I knew I couldn’t go traditional and making a dress offered a breezy option for the twelve-moth old. Every time I get a custom order request I always do a little happy dance because that is where I feel my creativity really shines.
Find more Pops of Whimsy HERE.