One of our favorite things to do here at Jotaku is find small shops online with fun products from great talents. Today, we have the opportunity to spread the word about a small anime shop called PiggyPoof, and a sister shop called PuppyLoafShop. Sara Nicholes of PiggyPoof had an awesome Q and A with us about her shop and also gave us information on her pin partner’s shop.
PiggyPoof has everything from chibi DBZ enamel pins to Sailor Moon furby blankets and so much more. Sara’s unique creations are beyond adorable. If you love cute anime merch, as well as other nods to pop culture nostalgia, keep reading and enjoy the Q and A below.
Interview with PiggyPoof Shop Owner Sara Nicholes
Can you tell us a little about who you two are, what you sell, and how you got started?
So Lauren and I (Sara or Momo Pig) have known each other for over 20 years but really became best friends after high school, when we discovered our love of crafting and cosplay! Lauren had actually started selling at anime cons a few years before we decided to join forces. She needed a partner and I needed a creative outlet, thus PiggyPoof was born!! I’m not really sure how the name PiggyPoof came to be, but it took on a life of its own when the two little pig characters kind of became our personas. ‘Piggy’, the pink pig, is me, and ‘Poof’, the blue pig, is Lauren. Due to life changes and physical distance between us, we now have two different online shops (PuppyLoafShop by Lauren, and anything with the name PiggyPoof by me). But when we are together selling at cons, we still combine forces to sell the most kawaii stuff we can think of, like enamel pins, button packs, watercolor prints, and cute accessories of all kinds!
What made you decide to start a shop like this?
I think the love of anime and cosplay is what started it all. We would make all our own props and costumes, and that crafting kind of spilled over into making things from the animes or kawaii culture we loved and couldn’t find products for!
What’s your favorite anime? And what influences you the most in your work?
Favorite anime? That’s a tough one! I love SOOO many and for so many reasons, but I guess if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the one that started it all: Dragon Ball Z! Now as far as what influences my art, that is usually whatever crazy stuff Lauren and I get ourselves into. The piggies’ stories are usually based on real things that have happened. Or my fan art is based on whatever anime or manga I am into at the time the art was made.
What are you working on now?
At the moment, I am working on my fall/Halloween line of stuff–you know, cozy things like hoodies and blankets. And of course, new art for buttons, pins, and stickers! Fingers crossed that I get it all done in time for fall! Lol!
How do you find the time to work on your shop items?
So, I am a full-time mom and homeschool teacher, and those things always come first, but I try to schedule different tasks and art time for certain nights of the week, or if I find time during the day I try to do a quick sketch or two.
What are your favorite parts of making these creations?
My favorite part about the whole thing is when someone who buys my stuff tells me how happy it makes them. I know that sounds corny but it’s true, there is nothing like the feeling of knowing someone truly likes something you made and appreciates all the hard work you put into it. Oh, and money is nice too! lol
What do you find most challenging in your work?
I find the most challenging thing is to not compare myself to other artists. There are so many amazing artists out there and it’s hard to not judge my own work based on other people’s success and styles.
What are your goals for PiggyPoof?
My goals are to pay all the bills, not just be supplemental income. I would love it if someday my husband could come work for me! I would also love to publish a book of all the adventures of Piggy and Poof. I have started on this–well, the sketches anyway–which are up on my website. Basically, I want to be as big as Hello Kitty! Big dreams, I know. But if you’re going to dream, why not dream big!
Do you sell at anime cons, and are you planning on participating in any cons in the near future?
Yes, PiggyPoof LOVES doing cons! But unfortunately, with the pandemic, we have already had to cancel a con for both last year and this year. So, cons are not really going to be possible at the moment. But if anything changes, or we have events planned in the future, our followers on social media will know all about it!
Are there any areas you’re looking to expand in?
Yes, I am always looking for new products to stick my art on! Just to name a few: books, gaming pads, plates, backpacks, wall clocks…I could go on and on!
Where can we find you online?
A big THANK YOU to Sara for talking with us about her cute shop and sending us pics to get us started on perusing her items. And if you’re interested in more cute pins and items, check out Lauren’s shop, PuppyLoafShop, as well, and find kawaii pins like this one:
Pin available here.
You can also view Sara’s fun creation videos on her PiggyPoofTV YouTube channel, mentioned above. One of our favorite videos of hers is her tutorial on making a retro TV phone case. The craft makes it look like you’re watching an anime on your own little TV. It’s super cute and creative, and you can watch the video below.
What do you think of the fun items in these shops? And what would you like to see in Sara and Lauren’s shops? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter!