Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet A Maker-Samaria Project

We'd like to introduce you to this week's Meet A Maker!
Meet Jessie Skriner, creator of Samaria Project
Location: Chandler, Arizona
the awesomeness: Love Bot Bots & Mr. Fronch Toast

*how did you come up with the name Samaria Project?

My husband, Vin, and I had just moved to Montana from Salt Lake City, Utah. During one of the many 10 hour drives that we had to do before moving there, I was daydreaming about having a creative business. I kept trying to come up with names that would sound neat and was drawing a total blank - at that second we passed an exit sign for a tiny town called Samaria. I kept thinking that was such a cool name....after we were all moved to Montana the creative business idea came up again as my "side project" (motivated by my wonderful husband). The first name that came to mind was Samaria...and Samaria Project was created!

*Can you tell us a little about your background and what compelled you to start a craft business?
A craft business is probably one of the last things anyone would have expected from me! I graduated with a BA in Art with an emphasis in Photography and Printmaking. Soon after graduating I was swept up into the "glamorous" life of music promotion working with Sony BMG as a marketing rep in Salt Lake City. It did that for a few years and went to thousands of concerts! Then life slowed down a bit and I worked the traditional 9-5 for a few years...but eventually the creative itch came overwhelmingly back. Feeling too disconnected because I didn't have a dark room or printmaking studio to inhabit and feeling sick of the stuffiness of traditional art- I started looking for other avenues of being creative I experimented in a handful of mediums and eventually fell in love with plush making. As you can see I am still dabbling in many mediums (since I have 4 etsy stores! LOL!) I love working with my hands and creating something from nothing :)

*Where does your inspiration come from?

A lot of it comes from my family and fellow artists on Etsy. My first plushies were experiments to make one of a kind gifts for my nieces...since then I have been hooked (and they have been equally hooked up with awesome toys from their auntie Jess!) Once I discovered Etsy - it was like a whole other world that opened up! I couldn't believe it had existed for so long without me knowing about it! It has been such a crucial piece in getting Samaria Project up and running. Another HUGE influence has been being a member of the THE PLUSH TEAM. Such a wonderful, crazy, hilarious, supportive group of plush artists who are constantly amazing and astounding me with their awesome creations. I feel so lucky to be part of it and love the constant challenges to expand!

*2 favorite websites?

Only two?? Well, if I had to admit where I spend a lot of time I would say:
Etsy (of course!)
ICANHASCHEEZBURGER (my daily dose of giggles)

*What’s next for Samaria Project?

More and more plushies!! I am currently dreaming up new characters and thinking about other avenues to take them. Did I mention sewing and more sewing :)

*Any tips or advice for anyone starting their own craft business?

Never give up! I think a huge part of any business is passion about what you are doing. I put my whole heart into everything I make. It is such a huge reward to me that my little plushies make people happy!

* 5 random facts about you!
-I am allergic to tons of foods :( which means I usually have a stash of Jess friendly food with me :)
-I am a huge nerd to the core
-I LOVE puppies - especially Dexter :) What a cutie!
- I work @ a toy store!
- Vin and I move a lot. As my mom calls us, "urban nomads" :)

You can find Samaria Project plushies at The Felt Bird!!
Wanna know more about Jessie and Samaria Project?
Samaria Project
Samaria Project Photography
Cloud Labs
Travel..A Go Go...

Thanks Jessie!!


  1. Yay plushteam. It was great to read more about you Jessie. Yet another great blog discovered to favorite and read.

  2. She's such a cutie! I love the robots, and it seems like the reason they have so much personality has a lot to do with who made them. I can totally relate to her initial reaction upon discovering etsy. I was like "Omg how did I LIVE without this place?" Cute interview!