I love custom orders because it is supremely satisfying to create something imagined in the mind of a child. On my own, I shop for colors and patterns that evoke my personal memories, such as the honey brown plush that reminds me of the Cocker Spaniel that shared our home while I was growing up in Michigan. Her name was Midget and she loved to hunt toads and bark at visitors. In the Knees and Paws Etsy shop, you will see a Chocolate Lab set that is inspired by my mom's dog, Bear. Bear is one of the star actors in our first made for television and youtube commercial. Somewhere behind the products in my shop, there might be a memory of the animals in my past. I also work with regularly occurring colors in nature that are common to all of us. Fusi and Jensen, inventors of the Tiny Tears (TM) doll say that "the most effective toys are those that simulate reality". Knees and Paws are specifically designed to simulate the reality of having fur while pretending to be an animal without overheating the body.
But my customers have wisely stated that going a little beyond reality turns ordinary into extraordinary. It is their imaginations that make outstanding contributions. While my memory provides a starting point, their minds make my work so much better.