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Moss Vale

The Vintage Toy Box specialises in unique, fun & funky vintage & retro inspired toys, games and gifts for children (and big kids!) of all ages.

Our Makers - Ephy's Kraft

Spotlight On

Our Makers - Ephy's Kraft

Saskia Sharp

Introducing … Ephy’s Kraft

In a nutshell, tell us about your business

Ephy’s Kraft came about as a result of my love for crocheting. I particularly love to crochet miniature animal-like figures, mostly in the Amigurumi style (Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures).

Tell us a bit about you

We moved to the Highlands about three years ago. Having visited on many occasions in the past 20 years we decided to escape Sydney to a more attractive rural area. My working background was 10 years working in After School Care. Prior to this I worked in IT at Qantas, and before this I was an industrial chemist. Such a wide range of careers, culminating in Ephy’s Kraft!

What inspired you to set up your business?

I was taught crochet by my mother (some pieces of hers decorate our home) and then I took it up again later in life as a hobby. I was drawn to the Amigurumi style as it deals mainly with animal-like figures created as separate pieces sewn together to make the whole.

I liked the idea of having my work sitting in other homes and found Highlands Handmade in Moss Vale (originally set up by Angus McKinnon) through local chatter. Highlands Handmade gave me the opportunity to showcase my creations, and send them off to loving homes.

When the Highlands Handmade shop closed down and The Vintage Toy Box reached out to toy and card makers to give us the opportunity to sell our creations in the toy shop and continue the Highlands Handmade concept, I jumped at the chance.

What do you make?

Predominantly, on the smaller scale, animal-like figures. I usually add clothing or facial expressions to give them an individual personality … and after talking to them, Charles, my husband gives them a name!

How do you make them?

I crochet separate elements using cotton and soft-fill stuffing, which I then sew together to create wonderful animal-like creatures and characters.

Describe your artistic style

I create using the Amigurumi pattern and then add my own ideas to enhance their characteristics and give them their own personality.

What do you love about your business?

I gain immense satisfaction once each animal-like figure comes together from the individual pieces. After chatting with each animal, they acquire their own character and personality. It’s such a joy to see them eventually relocate to another loving home.

Where would you like to see your products?

Initially in a shop like The Vintage Toy Box that sells similar products that appeal to children and adults alike.

Favourite toy as a child and why?

Back in the day there was a table-tennis shaped bat with a small rubber ball attached by an elastic… it was known as a ‘ding-bat’ and it became my favourite as I didn’t have to run and fetch the ball! The elastic attachment ensured my lack of eye-hand coordination didn’t come into play, unlike my many failures with other ball games.

Only later in life did I appreciate the frustration this inability could inflict upon someone else when my husband Charles thought tennis was a good idea, albeit for a very short time. Soon he also gave up on me throwing him any object after said objects inevitably ended up anywhere else but with him… you did ask!

To check out some of Ephy’s wonderful creations, and to learn more about her (and them!), drop into The Vintage Toy Box or check out her Facebook page:

We can guarantee that Ephy’s handmade (with love) toys will fill you with joy!

P.S. Just for the record, we also sell the bat and balls (Ding Bats) that Ephy remembers so well. The Vintage Toy Box. x