Meet the Sheep Shop

Hey!

If you're reading this, thanks for stopping by the new site! I am so excited you are here.

I thought I would use this shiny new blog space to share a little bit more about MotBS and where it all started. I created this project when I was 18 and still in high school. The lengthy process consisted of dozens of pages covered in concepts, goals, and potential shop names I would scribble down in the middle of class to make sure I wouldn't forget them. This is where MarchOfTheBlackSheep began!

I had spent the previous year devouring textile magazines and stuffed animal pattern books, spending most nights attached to my sewing machine until I was too tired to stitch a straight line. I have always been very drawn to learning new things. It is actually rare that I DON'T want to learn whatever the new thing is. So I taught myself to use the sewing machine and off I went.

Let's backtrack a minute. Growing up, my stuffie collection was out of control. Literally as long as I can remember, I have always been surrounded by softies, stuffies, and the like. I guess I never really grew out of it. (You think?)

Now I grew up in the wonderful age of Toy Story, which means all of my stuffed animals had lives and backstories of course. Like most kids, I remember laying out elaborate tales and quests for my plushies. Each one had a different purpose, style, and meaning. Including one very special little polar bear I named Hematite, who was the guardian of my dreams and kept me safe each night.

Fast forward to teenage years, and even as the heavy metal soaked into my brain, the plushies never went away. Right along side the black fishnets and Marilyn Manson posters were shelves of stuffed animals living out their colorful lives just the same as they always had.

Skip ahead another couple years, and that puts us back at the late night sewing machine phase. Both of my grandmothers were seamstresses, and talented ones at that. This is how I landed in front of the sewing machine, which you may be aware is not where my artistic endeavors left me. So I did spend many months sewing away creating monsters and animals and some that were a little of both.

A group of sewn stuffed animals sitting together on a chair.

Here is where crochet comes in. Once at a family gathering, my aunt was working on a crochet blanket for my grandmother who was ill with Parkinson's. I sat down with her, asked her how she was doing that, and she showed me. 

That's all it took.

When I got home I picked up a hook and some yarn, opened my laptop to YouTube and watched more crochet tutorials than I can remember. I started a scarf that night (with Red Heart acrylic, CRINGE,) that still sits unfinished to this day almost ten years later. I can't bring myself to undo it.

A couple years down the line of countless beanies, cowls, scarves, and bags, I kept going back to my stuffies. I started researching crochet animals, stumbled across a blog on amigurumi, and here we are. 

Crochet had become my therapy, my coping method, and my happy place throughout the remainder of my high school years and immediately following. There had been several deaths in my family, the divorce of my parents, and my own personal battles with the ever crushing depression I still live with today.

Yarn was where I found my confidence again, my creative niche, and the color in my life. Making tiny little bears and chubby round rabbits went from personal therapy to something more than I ever could have imagined.

I found Instagram with its tremendous handmade community of people all sharing their creative outlets and therapies and I joined in. I met all of the incredible people who have literally shaped my life, made friends across the planet, and have since been able to call MotBS my full time job, (even if I do still have to work in the real world to make ends meet. For now.)

So for those of you who made it this far, THANK YOU. Thank you for reading this, visiting my new site, following my journey, and supporting my work. 

One more thing, by the way.

I never intended to make money here. I simply wanted to share my work, and enjoy the community. The support I received from you all is why Beans today have homes around the GLOBE. The Beans and I are so grateful, never forget that!

Until next time,

Ariel


7 comments

  • Ariel,
    Yours is one of the first Instagram accounts I stumbled into on my journey to discovering amigurumi. You have been inspirational to me with your creativity and courage. Both the monkey and bunny I have ordered from you sit proudly on my bookshelf as a reminder of how dynamic and fulfilling this craft is. Thank you for being you and inviting us all on the journey with you.

    Kelly
  • Absolutely wonderful to learn about how my favorite plushies came to be!! You are such a talented and creative person! I’m overjoyed at your success with The Sheep Shop!! Keep up your passion and creativity, the world needs it!!💕
    All the best for you in life and this endeavor!!✨🧚🏼‍♀️✨

    Lisa
  • Omg Ariel I’m so proud of you! This website is so professional, glittery, fun, and so YOU! I can’t wait to see where this journey takes you, congrats on all your hard work!

    Meg B.
  • Ariel!! This was so awesome to read! You should just be so proud. We love your beans so so much! They truly are like little lights in this world! Congratulations on your new website! It’s perfect! 💕💕💕

    Hollye
  • Ahhh I love it! You and your art are so lovely and this is so exciting to see the next step into your journey!

    Renee

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published