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Bessbrook company’s quirky pillows feature in Celebrity Big Brother House

January 9, 2017

A Bessbrook woman who makes wonderfully weird plushies and pillows for a living says she is excited that some of her quirky creations are featured on the set of this year’s Celebrity Big Brother.

Marci Hunter, the talented seamstress who produces the colourful handmade pillows as part of her “Plusheez” brand, says she is delighted the comic book themed cushions were chosen by the Big Brother set design team.

Explaining how the production of her much sought after creations came about, the 30 year old Romanian native – who has been living in Bessbrook with her husband Davy for the last 7 years – told The Examiner it all started in 2010 when she entered a craft store and left with two bags full of felt fabric and other sewing supplies.  After sewing felt decorations by hand for fun, she moved on to plushies and after purchasing her first sewing machine, she spent the next 6 months teaching herself how to sew and slowly started to create bigger and better plushies and pillows.

With strong encouragement from her husband and father-in-law she improved her skills and products and things really took off when she opened an Etsy shop online in 2012 and rebranded to Plusheez.

“That’s when my hobby stopped being a hobby and became a full time job which I truly still enjoy every day.  Since then, we opened our own website www.plusheez.co.uk,” she explains.

Marci believes what sets her plushies apart is how unique and unusual they are.

“Most people don’t know they “need” one until they’ve seen one. In my shop, you’ll find all sorts of adorable plushies and pillows. From anthropomorphic critters who are too cute for real life, to food shaped plushies, to pugs in cube form, to chubby dinosaurs, to happy human organ plushies!

“In 2013 I had gastric surgery which gave me the brilliant idea of making organ shaped plushies – the stomach shaped plushie is my best seller and I’ve sold over 2 thousand of them to individual customers all over the world.

She now creates all major organs in plush form – from adorable kidneys, to happy lungs, to content hearts, fluffy brains and life size spines.  And she says most of the unusual plushies are offering comfort to many children and adults alike who have undergone surgeries.

“They help put a smile on their face while in the hospital or while recovering at home. Many refer to the organ shaped plushies as “comfort pillows.”

Another very popular range in Plusheez is the food range, which Marci says she is basically a plush version of all her favourite foods.

“In my shop you’ll find huggable avocado pillows, pizza pillows, huge and fluffy marshmallow, cute sushi rolls, bacon and eggs pillows and many many more.

“All my plushies are exclusively handmade by myself with love and care.  I do not outsource any labour and my customers love the fact that they’re not mass produced and that each one is made by hand and has character.

“At this point, I feel like my small business reached its potential and I hope it never changes. I  currently have over 300 active orders and more than 450 plushies to create . I do not look to expand my small business and mass produce my plushies even though there’s pressure and demand for it . I want to keep the handmade element in my business as long as I can . There’s a downside to hand making everything which is the turnaround time but my lovely customers are more than happy to wait for their item to be made.”

So far, Marci’s creations have reached over 60 countries on 4 continents, with the majority of her customers from the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Most of her customers use her pillows as home decor – adding a bit of quirkyness into their lives and homes – such as the comic book pillows featured on the set of Celebrity Big Brother.

“I was, of course, very excited when Big Brother contacted me through my shop looking to purchase 6 pillows.  I decided to share the news with my friends and family on my Facebook page and the response I got was overwhelming ! I’m very lucky to be surrounded by amazing people and their support is the reason why I’ve been able to bring my small business to this point.”

The Plusheez creator says she and her husband were very excited for the launch show of Celebrity Big Brother on Tuesday last and described it as “surreal” to see the pillows she created on her TV screen.

“I literally did a happy dance when the presenter, Emma, picked one of the pillows up during the Big Brother house reveal,” she says.

“That evening, all my social media was booming with so many friends sharing pictures of the pillows from the set of Big Brother

“I’m really grateful to be part of such a lovely and supportive community, both online and locally here  in Bessbrook, which I have proudly called home for the last 7 years.”

To check out Marci’s wonderful creations visit the Plusheez Facebook page, plusheez.myshopify.com or www.plusheez.etsy.com

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