DeborahWillardDesign

Original Hand Painted Clothing and Accessories

Winston-Salem, North Carolina On Etsy since 2011

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DeborahWillardDesign

Original Hand Painted Clothing and Accessories

Winston-Salem, North Carolina | 546 Sales

Announcement    March 2020 Coronavirus has turned life upside down. Studio location closed temporarily, so I am painting at home on my mother's dining room table. Like the rest of the U.S., I am staying home for however long the crisis lasts. Fortunately, I have plenty of work to do, thanks to some great customers. Everything is closed in town-- Shops, businesses, most restaurants. Some are open for take-out only. All the special events have been cancelled. But I'll just keep painting. And drawing occasionally.
Please stay safe out there, my friends.
Deborah
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

January 2020
Happy New Year!!
This new year finds me working in a new location! I have moved my creative workspace to a community maker space called Mixxer. This is an exciting move which will inspire me with new oppportunity and direction for my artistic endeavors.

Mixxer offers space for woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, laser cutting, sewing and much more.

I will continue to create handpainted clothing for my wonderful Etsy customers.
In addition, I am looking forward to adapting my designs to new media.
Stay tuned!!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

************ IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT *******

November 2019
Greetings to all my wonderful customers and admirers,

In December 2019 ( will be moving my working studio to a new location. I am excited about the move, except for the fact that it is happening in December.

For orders placed in December, it will be important for me to know whether you need them by Christmas OR by a certain mailing date for your gift items so that I can allow for painting time during the moving process. I try very hard to meet everyone's deadlines. If I think I'll have a problem, I will let you know.

There will be no changes to my shop or contact info other than my physical address.
Thank you for your continued support and patronage!!

Deborah


**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************


October 2o19 Greetings, I now have men's polo shirts available! These get a little tricky because there are so many different fabric blends and treatments out the. Some of those treatments are not paint-friendly, so I continue to look for all cotton, plain cotton.
I have found a 100% cotton pique knit with a plain (no pocket) front. If you want a pocket, choices are rather limited. I can get Hanes Eco-Smart with a pocket. These are a cotton blend and I have at least one customer who orders them all the time.

For those of you who like cover-ups or sleepshirts, I now have a style that comes in different sizes: S/M, L/XL, and 2X/3X. Color selection is somewhat limited, but white and a heather gray are available. They have a v-neck which is very flattering. I continue to stock the one-size-fits-most style in several colors: white, light pink, light blue, and . .

For those of you who like the outback hat but would prefer a smaller size, I have found a nice altervative. Wide brim, chin strap, all cotton; several color choices: white, tan, putty. Very nice hat that is sturdy but packable. The outback hat is more of a rigid shape and is a heavier canvas fabric, chin strap, one size (XL). Still one of my most popular hat styles.

As always, I continue to work up new designs featuring animals and different flowers.

Thanks always for your interest in my shop.
======================================================================


Mid-to-late August and golly-gee, almost September! I'm in the process of listing some new stuff. I have a new v-neck cover-up in 100% fine-jersey cotton, available in 3 sizes : S/M, L/XL, 2X/3X. This is a nice alternative to the classic one-big-size fits mostly bigger people style that has been very popular. But, for some, it's just TOO doggone big. So this new style is a good one. Available in white and ash gray. Also comes in black, cobalt blue and key lime. You'll need to twist my arm a little, but I OCCASIONALLY agree to paint on black. Just not my favorite since it involves extra work to get a decent design to show up.

I have some other shirt styles that I haven't listed very often yet. 100% cotton raglan-sleeve baseball shirts in adult and kids sizes. Classic style with color-block sleeves that are pretty easy to match up with a lot of my painted designs. I have always loved this style. The raglan sleeves are great.

We had our first taste of fall weather this week. In North Carolina, our weather can go from summer to spring to fall and sometimes winter, all in one week. Yep, it's crazy.
I try to keep long and short sleeve styles around all the time. I have plenty of fleece hoodies and am trying out some new hooded t-shirts.

As for themes and subject matter, I continue to draw and paint animals. Look for more wild ones--giraffes, elephants, bears, meerkats, and ostriches that are coming to a t-shirt near you........ And I'm painting more dogs too, especially somewhat realistic ones on shirts. Big step for me--I used to limit myself to cartoony ones in painted designs.
So if you've got a furry friend that you want on a garment, you know where to find me!

Thanks always to my wonderful customers who keep me busy just about all the time.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Oops, what happened to June? It's July already! People are ordering hats left and right, which is great. Hats make great gifts---there are enough t-shirts out there already!
I try to list as many different options as I can in terms of style, size and painted design. But if you have something in mind that you can't find in my shop, send me a convo message. I have some other styles that aren't listed, and I have access to suppliers who can ship pretty quickly when I'm out of something. Just let me know when you need it, such as your trip departure date or birthday celebration, and I'll tell you what I can get to you sooner and what might be later. I really try to accommodate deadlines as much as possible. If I have the item in stock, sometimes I can get it to you within a week.
Happy Summer!!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It's the merry month of May, and the weather is just all over the place. We have a hot spell, then we have a cool spell. Then it's snowing somewhere. So I have a lot of options available in terms of sleeve lengths. I paint on styles with short sleeves, long sleeves, or no sleeves. I paint mainly on all-cotton fabrics,, with an occasional cotton-poly blend that heathered fabrics generally contain. Hoodie styles are not just for winter any more. I just painted on a wonderful soft-cotton, long-sleeve hooded jacket in a light-weight cotton jersey.. I'll try to work it into a listing soon.

I still have hats and caps in all sizes, and I have a source for EXTRA-LARGE hat sizes as well.

During the slower, months, I've been drawing and sketching all kinds of animals to work into new painted designs. I recently had a request for a bear, so I sketched bears for a week or so before painting one. Came out well, I thought, If it hadn't, I would have painted another one until I got it right. I like meerkats, giraffes, elephants, dogs and cats. I also like the strange newly discovered "critters" discovered in deep-dive expeditions. Dumbo octopus, frog fish, squid, cuttlefish and out-of-this-world jellyfish.

If you are ordering for an upcoming vacation, be sure to let me know your departure date. I can usually accommodate.

Keep cool or stay warm, wherever you are!!



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hats, hats, hats! You need a new hat! A custom painted hat,no less.
I now have some hard-to-find BIG sizes in bucket and baseball caps. So if you're one of those folks who can never find a hat big enough to fit, look no further!

As always, if you want a certain style or design, but don't see it among my listings, just send me a convo message with your request. I make every effort to accommodate everyone!

Need that order sooner rather than later? Let me know your departure date or celebration date and I'll let you know if it's possible.

Cheers !!
Deborah

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some FAQs......

NEED IT BY NEXT WEEK? It is entirely possible if I have the garment already in stock.
Let me know.....I try to accommodate deadlines as much as possible.

CUSTOM ORDERS: I can still take custom orders for any of these items when you need a different size or design. I just have to add some turn-around time. My turn-around time is often 3-4 weeks.

NEED IT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER: If I already have the blank garment in stock, I can usually get it to you in a week or two. Send me a message...they call it a "convo" here, short for conversation. I try to respond to your convo messages as soon as possible, often in an hour or less.

WHAT SIZE??? With clothing, I know that sizing is difficult. I do my best to recommend a size based on other customers' experiences. If I steer you the wrong way, we'll work out a return/exchange. Even if you've washed a cotton dress once and it shrank too much, please let me know. We can still work out a suitable exchange arrangement. My philosophy in general is that I want you to enjoy wearing your hand painted item. I don't want you to shove it into a drawer because of the fit. We'll work it out!!

SPECIAL REQUESTS: . I'm having a blast with some of your custom orders! Some recent custom requests include Texas Bluebonnets, California Retirement Hat, Iguana on Black Tshirt, Realistic frog with realistic bugs..... I have painted dresses with foxes on them; also dresses with alpacas, a peacock, sunflowers and cow faces.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABOUT MY WORK: When I hand paint a garment, I work freehand, without patterns or stencils, with artist-quality acrylic paints which are permanent. Everything machine washes beautifully, and chlorine bleach may be used on white items without affecting the painting. I mix my paints with a combination of water and acrylic medium so that the paint works itself into the fabric. The designs will not wash or peel off, nor with they fade onto other garments in the wash.

I prefer to paint on white or light-colored, all cotton or cotton-rich garments. I often have other styles available besides what you see here, so please send me a message with any special requests you may have. And because I work freehand, I can paint to order, changing colors and design motifs or placement to suit you. "Please use lots of pink!" "I like mostly blues and purples" "I don't want the starfish" or "I want more turtles!!" If you're not sure about something, I can take a digital photo and upload it so you can see it before I mail it to you.

FAMILY-PLAN DISCOUNTS: If you have several people to buy for, please send me a message. I've been known to offer discounts on multiple items.

STARVING-ARTIST-FRIENDLY PRICES: Been there, done that, still do. Just ask. Let me know what your budget limitations are. I try to work out pricing with everyone who likes my work but don't have a lot of disposable income.

Thanks always for visiting my site and especially for LIKING my stuff. Even if you're not ordering, your likes are much appreciated. It lets me know what I should keep painting.

NOW I'VE GOTTA GO PAINT!!
Deborah

Announcement

Last updated on Mar 22, 2020

March 2020 Coronavirus has turned life upside down. Studio location closed temporarily, so I am painting at home on my mother's dining room table. Like the rest of the U.S., I am staying home for however long the crisis lasts. Fortunately, I have plenty of work to do, thanks to some great customers. Everything is closed in town-- Shops, businesses, most restaurants. Some are open for take-out only. All the special events have been cancelled. But I'll just keep painting. And drawing occasionally.
Please stay safe out there, my friends.
Deborah
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

January 2020
Happy New Year!!
This new year finds me working in a new location! I have moved my creative workspace to a community maker space called Mixxer. This is an exciting move which will inspire me with new oppportunity and direction for my artistic endeavors.

Mixxer offers space for woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, laser cutting, sewing and much more.

I will continue to create handpainted clothing for my wonderful Etsy customers.
In addition, I am looking forward to adapting my designs to new media.
Stay tuned!!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

************ IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT *******

November 2019
Greetings to all my wonderful customers and admirers,

In December 2019 ( will be moving my working studio to a new location. I am excited about the move, except for the fact that it is happening in December.

For orders placed in December, it will be important for me to know whether you need them by Christmas OR by a certain mailing date for your gift items so that I can allow for painting time during the moving process. I try very hard to meet everyone's deadlines. If I think I'll have a problem, I will let you know.

There will be no changes to my shop or contact info other than my physical address.
Thank you for your continued support and patronage!!

Deborah


**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************


October 2o19 Greetings, I now have men's polo shirts available! These get a little tricky because there are so many different fabric blends and treatments out the. Some of those treatments are not paint-friendly, so I continue to look for all cotton, plain cotton.
I have found a 100% cotton pique knit with a plain (no pocket) front. If you want a pocket, choices are rather limited. I can get Hanes Eco-Smart with a pocket. These are a cotton blend and I have at least one customer who orders them all the time.

For those of you who like cover-ups or sleepshirts, I now have a style that comes in different sizes: S/M, L/XL, and 2X/3X. Color selection is somewhat limited, but white and a heather gray are available. They have a v-neck which is very flattering. I continue to stock the one-size-fits-most style in several colors: white, light pink, light blue, and . .

For those of you who like the outback hat but would prefer a smaller size, I have found a nice altervative. Wide brim, chin strap, all cotton; several color choices: white, tan, putty. Very nice hat that is sturdy but packable. The outback hat is more of a rigid shape and is a heavier canvas fabric, chin strap, one size (XL). Still one of my most popular hat styles.

As always, I continue to work up new designs featuring animals and different flowers.

Thanks always for your interest in my shop.
======================================================================


Mid-to-late August and golly-gee, almost September! I'm in the process of listing some new stuff. I have a new v-neck cover-up in 100% fine-jersey cotton, available in 3 sizes : S/M, L/XL, 2X/3X. This is a nice alternative to the classic one-big-size fits mostly bigger people style that has been very popular. But, for some, it's just TOO doggone big. So this new style is a good one. Available in white and ash gray. Also comes in black, cobalt blue and key lime. You'll need to twist my arm a little, but I OCCASIONALLY agree to paint on black. Just not my favorite since it involves extra work to get a decent design to show up.

I have some other shirt styles that I haven't listed very often yet. 100% cotton raglan-sleeve baseball shirts in adult and kids sizes. Classic style with color-block sleeves that are pretty easy to match up with a lot of my painted designs. I have always loved this style. The raglan sleeves are great.

We had our first taste of fall weather this week. In North Carolina, our weather can go from summer to spring to fall and sometimes winter, all in one week. Yep, it's crazy.
I try to keep long and short sleeve styles around all the time. I have plenty of fleece hoodies and am trying out some new hooded t-shirts.

As for themes and subject matter, I continue to draw and paint animals. Look for more wild ones--giraffes, elephants, bears, meerkats, and ostriches that are coming to a t-shirt near you........ And I'm painting more dogs too, especially somewhat realistic ones on shirts. Big step for me--I used to limit myself to cartoony ones in painted designs.
So if you've got a furry friend that you want on a garment, you know where to find me!

Thanks always to my wonderful customers who keep me busy just about all the time.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Oops, what happened to June? It's July already! People are ordering hats left and right, which is great. Hats make great gifts---there are enough t-shirts out there already!
I try to list as many different options as I can in terms of style, size and painted design. But if you have something in mind that you can't find in my shop, send me a convo message. I have some other styles that aren't listed, and I have access to suppliers who can ship pretty quickly when I'm out of something. Just let me know when you need it, such as your trip departure date or birthday celebration, and I'll tell you what I can get to you sooner and what might be later. I really try to accommodate deadlines as much as possible. If I have the item in stock, sometimes I can get it to you within a week.
Happy Summer!!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It's the merry month of May, and the weather is just all over the place. We have a hot spell, then we have a cool spell. Then it's snowing somewhere. So I have a lot of options available in terms of sleeve lengths. I paint on styles with short sleeves, long sleeves, or no sleeves. I paint mainly on all-cotton fabrics,, with an occasional cotton-poly blend that heathered fabrics generally contain. Hoodie styles are not just for winter any more. I just painted on a wonderful soft-cotton, long-sleeve hooded jacket in a light-weight cotton jersey.. I'll try to work it into a listing soon.

I still have hats and caps in all sizes, and I have a source for EXTRA-LARGE hat sizes as well.

During the slower, months, I've been drawing and sketching all kinds of animals to work into new painted designs. I recently had a request for a bear, so I sketched bears for a week or so before painting one. Came out well, I thought, If it hadn't, I would have painted another one until I got it right. I like meerkats, giraffes, elephants, dogs and cats. I also like the strange newly discovered "critters" discovered in deep-dive expeditions. Dumbo octopus, frog fish, squid, cuttlefish and out-of-this-world jellyfish.

If you are ordering for an upcoming vacation, be sure to let me know your departure date. I can usually accommodate.

Keep cool or stay warm, wherever you are!!



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hats, hats, hats! You need a new hat! A custom painted hat,no less.
I now have some hard-to-find BIG sizes in bucket and baseball caps. So if you're one of those folks who can never find a hat big enough to fit, look no further!

As always, if you want a certain style or design, but don't see it among my listings, just send me a convo message with your request. I make every effort to accommodate everyone!

Need that order sooner rather than later? Let me know your departure date or celebration date and I'll let you know if it's possible.

Cheers !!
Deborah

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some FAQs......

NEED IT BY NEXT WEEK? It is entirely possible if I have the garment already in stock.
Let me know.....I try to accommodate deadlines as much as possible.

CUSTOM ORDERS: I can still take custom orders for any of these items when you need a different size or design. I just have to add some turn-around time. My turn-around time is often 3-4 weeks.

NEED IT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER: If I already have the blank garment in stock, I can usually get it to you in a week or two. Send me a message...they call it a "convo" here, short for conversation. I try to respond to your convo messages as soon as possible, often in an hour or less.

WHAT SIZE??? With clothing, I know that sizing is difficult. I do my best to recommend a size based on other customers' experiences. If I steer you the wrong way, we'll work out a return/exchange. Even if you've washed a cotton dress once and it shrank too much, please let me know. We can still work out a suitable exchange arrangement. My philosophy in general is that I want you to enjoy wearing your hand painted item. I don't want you to shove it into a drawer because of the fit. We'll work it out!!

SPECIAL REQUESTS: . I'm having a blast with some of your custom orders! Some recent custom requests include Texas Bluebonnets, California Retirement Hat, Iguana on Black Tshirt, Realistic frog with realistic bugs..... I have painted dresses with foxes on them; also dresses with alpacas, a peacock, sunflowers and cow faces.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ABOUT MY WORK: When I hand paint a garment, I work freehand, without patterns or stencils, with artist-quality acrylic paints which are permanent. Everything machine washes beautifully, and chlorine bleach may be used on white items without affecting the painting. I mix my paints with a combination of water and acrylic medium so that the paint works itself into the fabric. The designs will not wash or peel off, nor with they fade onto other garments in the wash.

I prefer to paint on white or light-colored, all cotton or cotton-rich garments. I often have other styles available besides what you see here, so please send me a message with any special requests you may have. And because I work freehand, I can paint to order, changing colors and design motifs or placement to suit you. "Please use lots of pink!" "I like mostly blues and purples" "I don't want the starfish" or "I want more turtles!!" If you're not sure about something, I can take a digital photo and upload it so you can see it before I mail it to you.

FAMILY-PLAN DISCOUNTS: If you have several people to buy for, please send me a message. I've been known to offer discounts on multiple items.

STARVING-ARTIST-FRIENDLY PRICES: Been there, done that, still do. Just ask. Let me know what your budget limitations are. I try to work out pricing with everyone who likes my work but don't have a lot of disposable income.

Thanks always for visiting my site and especially for LIKING my stuff. Even if you're not ordering, your likes are much appreciated. It lets me know what I should keep painting.

NOW I'VE GOTTA GO PAINT!!
Deborah

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Deborah Willard

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Deborah Willard

Reviews

Average item review
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(142)
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quality 14 shipping 9 customer service 14

About DeborahWillardDesign

Sales 546
On Etsy since 2011

Deborah Willard Design: Original Hand painted Clothing and Accessories

HISTORY/BIO

I have been drawing pictures ever since I could hold a crayon. During my college years in the 1970's, pen and ink seemed to be my natural medium. My love of foreign languages took me to Europe a few times, and I enjoying rendering favorite sites in pen and ink.

I discovered the art of hand painted clothing in 1989, when I moved to St.John , USVI, and immediately got a job as a contract artist for a boutique specializing in hand painted clothing. Something about painting it and wearing it appealed to me, and I've been painting clothing ever since. I established a studio/shop of my own in St.John in 1996, which I kept for 8 years.

After returning to my native Winston-Salem NC in late 2004, I shared some studio space for several years, but had only limited space for painting clothing. From 2010-2014 I had a shop called "Willy Nilly" on Trade Street in the Downtown Arts District. It was great painting in my larger space, but alas, drop-in traffic is not yet what we want it to be along Trade St. So I closed the shop and established Willy Nilly Studio, sharing space in a wonderful gallery and studio with other artists within the Arts District. I am so very happy that my Etsy sales have increased to the point that they have overtaken studio sales. A ZILLION THANK YOUS TO YOU, MY CUSTOMERS, FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND FEEDBACK!! You are making a BIG difference in the life of this artist.

In January 2020, I dissolved the studio and moved my creative production to Mixxer, a community maker space in an up-and-coming neighborhood adjacent to the Arts District.
I am really pleased to be associated with this amazing organization. Mixxer offers woodworking, metalworking, digital lab with 3D printer and laser cutter, sewing machines and more. I am looking forward to new creative opportunity and direction.

THE PROCESS

I individually hand paint each garment or accessory item free-hand, without patterns or stencils which have a tendency to stifle my creativity. I love the spontaneity of working free-hand, happy accidents and all, often making up designs as I go. Design motifs seem to acquire a life of their own as I paint.

I begin many of my designs by drawing with a tube of acrylic paint with a plastic tip screwed on instead of its regular cap. After the lines are dry, I use flat-edge brushes to apply acrylic colors, blending color directly on the garment surface. This means working fairly quickly, before the paint colors have dried. I thin the acrylic paints with a combination of water and medium, which helps the paint work into the fabric and control bleeding while maintaining color brilliance. The mixture of paint and medium varies according to the type of fabric I'm working on and according to the desired effect.

When creating a design on a piece of clothing, I tend to use the entire garment as a canvas, keeping in mind that the item will not be hanging on a flat wall but will be worn by a person. Design elements need to be placed so as to flatter the wearer. I try to blend colors in such a way that the garment may coordinate with other items in a person's wardrobe.

My finished items are all washable according to the garment manufacturer's instructions. Most of the things I paint are machine washable and machine dryable. The paints I use do not require heat setting, and they will not run or fade onto other items in the wash. White garments may be bleached without affecting the painted design.

Buying a unique, one-of-a-kind wearable item is an investment for some, and I want people to enjoy wearing my designs for years and years. I have been painting wearables for over 20 years, and I have items whose paintings have held up for 20 years, through repeated wearing, washing, drying, and wearing again. And again. Lather, rinse, repeat....Wear, turn heads, and have fun.

Shop members

  • Deborah Willard

    Owner, Artist - Designer

    Willy Nilly Studio and Deborah Willard Design Native of Winston-Salem NC B.A. French/German, 1976 UNC-CH. 1995-2004, studio/shop DeborahDesigns,St.John USVI. Now work in studio in Winston-Salem's lively Downtown Arts District.

  • Deborah Willard

    Owner, Artist - Designer, Maker

    Native of Winston-Salem NC B.A. French/German, 1976 UNC-CH. 1995-2004, studio/shop DeborahDesigns,St.John USVI. 2005-2019, Studio in Downtown Arts District in Winston-Salem. 2020-present, Studio at Mixxer Maker Space, Winston-Salem.

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Apr 13, 2016
Frequently asked questions
Care instructions

Hand Painted Garments: Turn inside out, and machine or hand wash according to garment manufacturer's recommendations. Hand painted design will not wash out or fade onto other items in the wash. Bleach may be used as needed -- it will not affect the painted portion of the design. Tumble dry low-to-medium heat or line dry.

Headwear: Hand washing recommended.

Heat-Printed Items: Turn inside out and machine wash, delicate cycle. Remove promptly. Do not soak. Tumble dry low or medium heat.

Custom and personalized orders

Custom orders are encouraged! I don't always have a design already painted in a whole range of sizes. My designs are all created freehand and may vary somewhat from what is shown in photos. If you like a particular design motif visible in the photo, please send me your preference(s) in a conversation message.

Extra charge may apply, depending on the complexity of the requested design.

Personalization is available too, usually at no extra charge.

Sizing details

Manufacturers' size ranges vary. There is no uniform standard, unfortunately. I can furnish measurements upon request. I can also advise whether an item is preshrunk or not.

Unless otherwise specified, sizes quoted are unisex. If you are unsure of what size to order, let me know how you like your clothing to fit: close fit, roomy, etc.,so that I can make a recommendation based on whether the style in particular runs large or small.

In the case of dresses: if you plan to shorten the item, let me know so that I can adjust the painted design accordingly.

If you don't see your size listed, please send a convo message. I may be able to order what you need.

Gift wrapping and packaging

Gift wrapping is available at extra charge. Personalized gift cards are also available.

Wholesale availability

Wholesale orders are accepted. Please send convo message or email for pricing.

Quantity Discounts

Got lots of grandchildren to order for? If you are ordering several items with similar designs, please contact me for discount pricing.

Custom and personalized orders

If you have a specific color palette request,let me know. Extra charge may apply.