I recently sat down with local craftswoman, Mouse Courtois, to talk about the stuffed animals she makes and sells on Etsy. Mouse sidled up to our table with a mug of coffee in one hand and a half-finished sock, bristling with knitting needles, in the other.
Mouse deals in elephants. She started selling her corduroy pachyderms earlier this year, but she’s had a profile on the craft website since 2005. The architecture of these animals appeal to her, she says, and is more interesting than the more familiar stuffed animals. Teddy bears are old hat. She gives life to the more neglected corners of the animal kingdom. Currently in the works is an aardvark, or maybe a platypus.
There’s an undeniable element of care in the animals Mouse creates and she makes very clear that she’s not mass-producing her wares from a pattern. “I’m bonding with the things I make,” she says. “I actually care about them. It’s not just an elephant. It’s one of my elephants.” Frequently, she walks around town with three or four of her animals under her arms.
Mouse’s stuffed animals go for $32.50 on Etsy. You can find her virtual storefront here. The coupon code "3L3PH4NT" will get you 10% off your elephant.
If you're an Etsy merchant that hails from Ann Arbor and would like your shop profiled on Damn Arbor, drop us a line.