Meet Eve Winiarski of Paper Doll Time
tell us about your products. where they are made. who makes them. favorite product features.
I make magnetic paper dolls based on my own drawings, which I then assemble by hand onto adhesive magnets. I try to take into account pop culture, current events, and nostalgia when coming up with my doll concepts. A fun fact about these products is that all dolls (barring unusual items like animals) are drawn in the same position so the clothes from one doll can mix and match if a customer ever buys another.
tell us about your connection to Chicago.
I live in the suburbs, but spend a lot of time in Chicago, so I am familiar with the nuances of different neighborhoods. This inspired me to create several 'Chicago neighborhood' magnet sets specific to the styles, clothing, personalities, and brands of several Chicago neighborhoods.
what do you love about your business, your industry.
I have always loved being creative and artistic, and creating fun products like paper doll magnets is an opportunity to do this outside of my 9-5 job.
tell us about your design inspiration - space, smells, colors, textures.
I appreciate a more artistic touch in my products- they are meant to look homemade (in a good way)- unique, personal, and stylized.
what advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?
It's important to come up with a product that is unique as well as well-made.
share a favorite quote, a mantra.
Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc.
I have traveled to over 30 countries.
what's the most common question you get about your business?
Do I do custom magnets? (Answer: yes- I have done magnets for weddings and birthdays- my favorite has been doing custom magnets of dogs in different outfits)
tell us about your process for making + creating.
I create the body of the doll using a template to make sure all dolls have the same positioning, allowing for clothing to be mixed and matched between them. I use reference photos to create the face and then choose an appropriate pair of underwear for each doll. Using tracing paper, I create stencils of clothing and accessories that fit over the doll, then I use watercolor pencils and ink to color in everything. I cut the pieces out and rearrange them on an 8 x 11 page so that they are presentable and easily recognizable within their packaging and then run copies and assemble the product in my home.
name 3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.
I am interested in print making and enjoy many of the artists that display and work at the Chicago Print makers Collaborative. Sustainability and ethical production is as important to me as style, so I love Mata Traders out of Ravenswood and Andersonville, as well as Planet Access in Lincoln Square.
what is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business?
I spent a day working a craiglist gig helping out at a marathon post race shopping area. The guy I was helping had to get there early and stay late to set up all of his products, as well as rent a van to carry them to the different events he sold at. The girl next to him arrived 5 minutes before the event and dumped a bucket full of fun headbands on a table. Her booth was packed and the guy I was working for said it was like that at every event he did with her. He told me if I ever went into business to think about what products I was going to sell and make sure they were easy to transport and sell. My magnets are still pretty heavy when I have to move a ton of them at once, but they are easy to store and fit in my hatchback when I go to a show, which has been really handy.
are you offering Covet shoppers a special discount?
YES. products are usually $12 per magnet, with about an addition $3 for shipping and handling when purchased on etsy. At events I only charge $10, so it is worth picking out products in person for a savings of about $5 a magnet.
connect with Eve