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Member Profiles

Jane Ragasa: Janie XY

Academy Of Handmade



Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business: I make cuddly plush animals, fruits, and inanimate objects for children of all ages to enjoy and create memories with. I design, create patterns, and sew the toys and my incredibly supportive boyfriend, Sergio stuffs the toys for me all in our hometown of North Hollywood, CA while watching hours of Netflix movies and TV shows.

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? I absolutely love working with fabrics (mainly fleece because I don't have to worry about fraying) and paper. They're a blank canvas for me that start 2D and after some tweaking can become 3D! It's always fun seeing the things I make take form and come to life.

Q: Who inspires you? Luckily, I grew up in an incredibly creative family. My dad works in the garment industry as a couture designer/pattern maker, my mom is a kitchen wiz, and my sister was the person that would replicate disneyland tickets so there was some reality to our imaginary trips to disneyland with our toys. My mom's brother is a very successful mixed media artist and my sister and I spent a lot of time with him when we were young. He and my parents were the proof to me growing up that pursuing a career in something you're passionate about was possible and could be even more lucrative than a traditional office job. Then, I met Sergio and he made me realize that art and creativity was an individual trait--I may not be as technically skilled at drawing and painting as dad or uncle, but what I made was my own.

Q: Name three guilty pleasures of yours: They are as follows in no particular order: 

Pop Music - I love listening to pop music when I sew. It's the only kind of music that keeps the momentum going. 
Sweets - I don't care what time of day or year it is, ice cream, pie, and any other pastry/sweet is always on my list of things I want right now.
Movie/TV Binging: I love waiting until tv seasons are out on Netflix so I can watch the entire season in a weekend. I do the same with movies. We can watch like 3 or 4 movies in a row and love every minute of it. I try to make myself feel a little better about the binging by working on the toys or other projects during these bouts.


Q: What is your favorite part of being a maker or supporting makers? Two things: I love the community that comes with it. Everyone is always so nice! Ok, I don't like to generalize, so I'll say almost everyone is so nice. (But really, I haven't come across a maker I don't like.) And secondly, I really like the period when I finish the project I'm working on and others get to enjoy it. I like seeing people's reactions to my toys and I really love when they come back and tell me all about the adventures they went on with their toys.

Q: As a professional in the booming handmade economy, what part of your work do you find most difficult? The most difficult thing I deal with is time management. I love working on the toys, but I have to find time for them since I have a full time job and work on the toys full time as well. Then, on top of that, I try to maintain some level of a social life with Sergio, friends, and family. And of course, time for ice cream.

Q: What drives your creative process? I'm on a constant search for the next toy I'm going to be obsessed with making. I love going out because I really find inspiration in the weirdest places. Sometimes, it's seeing something super cute, but most of the time, it's seeing everyday objects and evaluating it's hug potential or humor potential. I ask myself things like, "What would a baby look really funny shaking as a rattle?" That's how the drumstick rattle was born.

Q: Where can people find your stuff? Oh the choices! You can check out our toys at any of these links: