Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Stelabird in Urban Tulsa Weekly's Annual Manual
You can view the entire annual manual here!
Stelabird is on page 38!
My plans for tomorrow: The Great State Fair of OKLAHOMA!
haha shall be fun.
Here's what the article says:
Always a daydreamer and arts and crafter, Estela Romanos fine-tuned her sewing
skills while studying apparel design at Oklahoma State University.When she
changed her major to fashion merchandising, the sewing machine went cold
until April 2007. While putting off studying for finals,she decided to sew.
Taking inspiration from a dove decoy hanging from her curtains, Romanos
took thread, needle and felt and began to hand sew a bird,the first of the line that was to become Stelabird.
As Romanos tells it,“Once I made my first bird I couldn’t stop;it was so much fun.
My friends were the ones who encouraged me and suggested that I sell at boutiques.”
She also stumbled upon Etsy.com. Romanos began planning her brand,including
creating a name.“When I was little,my dad always called me Birdie, so I’ve always
admired birds. I love what they represent—freedom and flight.”
When her boyfriend once combined that nickname with her other nickname,Stela,
the company name was formed and on July 1, 2007, Stelabird was up and running as an
Romanos is the first to admit that running a business through Esty.com is not as
easy as it appears.“It takes work,”she said.“You can’t make something and post it on
there and expect to sell it in an hour.You must promote yourself.”
With aspirations to one day own a boutique, she said,“Selling my work online has
put me in a place where I have to wear all the hats:designing,marketing,management,
Until that time, the items she crafts are continually growing in popularity,and the
line is ever expanding.The self-described “quirky plushies”began as birds,but the
Stelabird line grows as Romanos becomes inspired.Everything—“nature,people,colors,
weather”—inspires her.The owl line came from a vintage owl plant holder on her
computer desk;the new donut collection came from a craving.
While Romanos says she will always make birds for the line,she is moving into
other creatures as well.One line,sold exclusively at Dwelling Spaces,where Romanos spent her summer break interning,is the Yeti (you know,abominable snowman) line.
Again,inspiration came from somewhere interesting:“I was obsessed with the
computer game Snood and one ofthe characters looked like a Yeti.”
The plushies are constructed out ofsturdy felt.The owls feature torsos in bright-
colored prints like rainbows,stripes or florals.The smaller plushies,measuring around
3x4”are ideal decorations for bookshelves,desks or as a child’s friend.The larger
plushies,6x10”,make for great decorative pillows to throw on a couch or chair.There
are also flying fuchsia birds that look good hanging from ceilings and rearview mirrors, but have sadly,also become very popular as cat toys.The donut plushies also make remarkable pincushions.
In addition to the plushies,Romanos has expanded Stelabird to include wall art and
accessories,like necklaces,pins and coin purses.The pins are miniature,flattened versions of the felt owls,and the coin purses have a similar nature theme,with wood-grain fabric and a multi-colored,striped lining.
As Romanos expands Stelabird’s line,she’s not neglecting what got her started.
Plushies to expect in the future include Big Foot and narwhals,the large manatee-like
sea creature that has a tusk coming out ofits head like a unicorn.Further down the
road,she also plans on expanding Stelabird to include clothing.
After she graduates from OSU,Romanos plans to move to Tulsa permanently
because “Tulsans seem to support each other,whether it’s craft,music,art,or a local
business.”She has already joined the Tulsa Craft Mafia and will be one ofthe vendors in October’s Indie Emporium.In addition to the exposure from Etsy.com and Dwelling Spaces,Stelabird has already expanded to boutiques throughout the state and nationally, with stores in Oklahoma City,Stillwater,Philadelphia,Echo Park,California and Bellingham,Washington carrying the plushies.
To find out more information about Stelabird, visit Dwelling Spaces,
www.stelabird.com or the Stelabird store at Etsy.com, stelabird.esty.com.