Hey! I’m Dana Muskat, and I make stuffed animals under the name Big Stuffed. I live and work in Paris.
After completing my BA in fashion design, I came to Paris to pursue my career. I was lucky to work with big fashion houses – including Lanvin and Giambattista Vali – but after a short while, the industry started to wear me out. That’s when it dawned on me: I wanted to create something of my own.
Big Stuffed was conceived sort of by chance, following the birth of my baby niece. As a welcome-to-the-world gift, I made her a big white octopus that was more than 3 feet long from head to tentacle! A short while later, I made another as a gift for my good friend’s new baby boy. From there, the word spread very quickly, and Big Stuffed was born.
Following the demand for more products, I began to expand my array of characters. The octopus was joined by the humpback whale, a starfish, some sting rays, one long sardine, a huge crab, and last but not least, the sperm whale. I draw my inspiration from real animals: their shapes, colors and textures. I simplify the shapes for my designs so they resemble a pillow, allowing the body to embrace them.
I work mostly with natural cotton and wool fabrics, and use mostly pastel colors with bright, bold accents for some animals. Each finished creature has a unique look and feel, with Big Stuffed’s trademark droopy eyes.
Thanks to Etsy, many of my stuffed animals have been able to find loving adopters. Etsy has also played an important role in my creation process by allowing me to have a dialogue with customers and listen to their ideas and wishes. That’s a great source of inspiration! Big Stuffed in growing right under my nose and it keeps surprising me every day. I’m planning to keep it that way.