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Hello. I'm Holly.

I grew up in a working-class Minnesota family. We didn’t have a lot but my mom was always baking, sewing, drawing, and inviting me to create alongside her.  I used whatever I could find—fabric scraps, rocks, milk cartons, yarn, bubblegum-machine trinkets, shoe boxes--to construct toys that blossomed in my imagination.  I lived a lot inside of my head, in the dreamy places that lingered there—lands where mythical beasts existed, where you could ride clouds and slide down rainbows, where forests were made of candy and the animals talked...Yep, MAJOR NERD.  

Entrenched in 80's belief systems, I decided that doing something arts-based with my life was impractical and probably impossible. I started community college as a pre-Veterinary medicine major, transferred to St Olaf College my junior year and ended with a creative writing major and a minor in the psychology of the creative process.  Um, what do you do with that?


I fell down a decades-long rabbit hole of various jobs and careers entirely NOT arts-based—worked in social services, directed a non-profit, became a corporate admin assistant, and finally, an organizational development (OD) consultant.  You’re probably wondering what the hell that even is—let’s just say it involved working for a multinational corporation, doing projects for lots of old white guys in suits, traveling the world, and being paid generously for doing that.  It was an intellectually interesting job, I had the smartest and BEST co-workers, but despite the perks, my corporate consultant job never felt like me.  It was like I'd put on a coat that just didn't fit and I was always shifting around, tugging at it, trying to make it feel better.

It took the birth of my son to bring my creativity back out into the light. I was inspired to make unique toys for him. As a baby, I'd take him to the thrift store and I started seeing the clothes differently--the racks of brightly striped tees became a rainbow of fat little bunnies, the yellow wool sweater was a chicken plushie...and that's how Beeper Bébé was first born.  First, toys for my son, then a decade-long wee side-hustle with an Etsy Shop and one annual holiday sale thrown in there. I discovered I loved making toys--picking out secondhand fabrics, drawing my patterns, hand sewing, photographing my designs...I spent years doodling toy designs in the margins of notes at corporate meetings, my head drifting back into those dreamy places I'd always loved.


 It took almost 15 years, but in 2019 I finally made this my full-time (dream) job.  I wake up every day excited to do what I do. My head burbles with design ideas night and day.  I am also part of a group of women artists (and a few honorary righteous dude members) called the Creative Badasses.  They welcomed me into their wonderful, crazy group just before the pandemic (it was truly spirit-saving—and probably saved me from giving up on being a full-time artist).  


And now here I am: art toy maker and plushie designer. I’m still inspired by the same things that I loved as a child: dimestore toys, rainbows, teeny-tiny things, fantastical worlds that don’t exist (Narnia, Willy Wonka, Harry Potter)…but now you can add the particular color or texture of a piece of thrifted clothing, the art of other artists, and finding more ways to be kind to the earth--though vintage Fisher Price toys do remain my one true muse. 


Today I live in Minneapolis with my husband (Brian, kindest man in the world, kick ass partner to this lil' business), and my college-age son (Julian, cool as fuck and kind-hearted). We have a sweetly-smart rescue-dog (Django) and a very old but spry black cat (Socrates). You can find me and my creations at art fairs (in Minnesota and around the country) and in my home-based studio. I embrace the joy of playful activities (games, visiting theme parks, biking), and do it all to a soundtrack of podcasts, vinyl records, audiobooks, and meticulously curated playlists.  Life can still be unruly and damn difficult, but I find magic in so many unexpected places—and this is the space in which I try to exist and create my plushies. Come play.

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More about Beeper Bébé Studio...


View Plushie Designs

Sustainability &

How I Make My Plushies

Beeper Bébé

Design Manifesto

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