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Featured Shop: Bonjour Poupette

May 8, 2015

by Sofie Skein-Hall

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Sofie Skein-Hall, and I sculpt figurines for my line, Bonjour Poupette. I live with my husband Nicolas in a small fishing village on the Oregon coast.

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Animals and art have been an integral part of my family for as long as I can remember. I grew up next door to my parents’ veterinary clinic in a tiny mountain town, and my mother, who’s a gifted artist, used to spend hours drawing and sculpting animals with my sister and me. After college, I moved to Portland to work as a designer at an architecture and urban design firm. I longed to create artwork full time and move away from the city, but I couldn’t imagine transitioning into another career. Then in 2009, the economy took a downturn and I was laid off. I looked for another position but no one was hiring, so I started taking on freelance creative projects. When Nicolas dared me to set up an Etsy shop, I did.

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Within a week of setting up shop, I sold my first figurine. I was delighted, but I knew that I would have to work hard to make this my full-time occupation. I made a commitment to make and list a new figurine every day for a year, and I also began studying the Seller Handbook to learn everything I could about running an online business. Eventually, I was able to support myself exclusively from my sales and devote myself full time to my shop. Since then, my line has grown to include wedding cake toppers and custom figurines.

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I’m still committed to sculpting my figurines every day. This practice has helped my skills and aesthetic mature, even as my style and subject matter have endured. I make each character by hand, one at a time, which is always a surprise and a delight. I enjoy exploring the characteristics that animals and humans share: sweetness, sincerity, vulnerability, humor and bravery.

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For me, Etsy was the critical link that made it possible to make a living from my artwork and fulfill my lifelong dream of living near the sea. This venue has made it easy for new customers to find my shop, and for loyal clients to keep track of what’s new. It has also has made it possible for me to evolve my business at my own pace and get exposure to potential customers worldwide.

All photographs by Bewilder and Pine.

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Wishing Bear - Brown Bear Carrying a Heart
Wishing Bear - Brown Bear Carrying a Heart
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Red Fox and Arctic Fox - Foxes in Love
Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Red Fox and Arctic Fox - Foxes in Love
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
The Owl and the Pussycat - Cat and Owl Wedding Cake Topper
The Owl and the Pussycat - Cat and Owl Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Fox Wedding - Red Fox and Arctic Fox Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
Fox Wedding - Red Fox and Arctic Fox Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Otter Wedding - River Otter Cake Topper
Otter Wedding - River Otter Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Silver Fox and Arctic Fox
Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Silver Fox and Arctic Fox
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Red Fox and Arctic Fox Sculpture by Bonjour Poupette
Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Red Fox and Arctic Fox Sculpture by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
White Elephant Sculpture - Sacred Elephant
White Elephant Sculpture - Sacred Elephant
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Custom Alligator Figurine
Custom Alligator Figurine
BonjourPoupette
$75.00 USD
Black Pug Wedding Cake Topper
Black Pug Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Egyptian Falcon Sculpture - Horus Altar Statue
Egyptian Falcon Sculpture - Horus Altar Statue
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Fox and Bear Wedding Cake Topper - Arctic Fox and Brown Bear Sculpture by Bonjour Poupette
Fox and Bear Wedding Cake Topper - Arctic Fox and Brown Bear Sculpture by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Red Panda Wearing a Striped Scarf - Red Panda Figurine
Red Panda Wearing a Striped Scarf - Red Panda Figurine
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Quokka Wedding Cake Topper
Quokka Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Coyote Wedding Cake Topper
Coyote Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Lunar Hare Sculpture - Moon Rabbits Pounding Rice Together
Lunar Hare Sculpture - Moon Rabbits Pounding Rice Together
BonjourPoupette
$175.00 USD
Squirrel Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
Squirrel Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Brown Bear Wedding Cake Topper - Bride and Groom Bears
Brown Bear Wedding Cake Topper - Bride and Groom Bears
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Honey Badger Wedding Cake Topper
Honey Badger Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Alligator Figurine by Bonjour Poupette
Alligator Figurine by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Mouse Wedding Cake Topper
Mouse Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Bear Grooms - Brown Bear Wedding - Gay Wedding Cake Topper
Bear Grooms - Brown Bear Wedding - Gay Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Sloth Wedding Cake Topper
Sloth Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Alligator Wedding Cake Topper
Alligator Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Hamster Wedding Cake Topper
Hamster Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Vampire Cat Wedding - Dracula Cat and Bride of Dracula Cat - Halloween Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
Vampire Cat Wedding - Dracula Cat and Bride of Dracula Cat - Halloween Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Mushroom Person - Purple Mushroom Friend
Mushroom Person - Purple Mushroom Friend
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Eagle Wearing a Ravenclaw Scarf - Eagle Sculpture
Eagle Wearing a Ravenclaw Scarf - Eagle Sculpture
BonjourPoupette
$75.00 USD
Arctic Fox Wedding - White Wedding Cake Topper - Winter Wedding
Arctic Fox Wedding - White Wedding Cake Topper - Winter Wedding
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Owl Wedding Cake Topper
Owl Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Candy Corn Love by Bonjour Poupette
Candy Corn Love by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Eurasian Badger Wedding Cake Topper - Badger Sculpture
Eurasian Badger Wedding Cake Topper - Badger Sculpture
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Black Bear Wedding Cake Topper
Black Bear Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Groundhog Wedding Cake Topper - Groundhog Day Gift
Groundhog Wedding Cake Topper - Groundhog Day Gift
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Tamandua Anteater Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
Tamandua Anteater Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Raven Wedding Cake Topper
Raven Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Raccoon and Bear Wedding - Gay Wedding Cake Topper
Raccoon and Bear Wedding - Gay Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Deer Wedding Cake Topper - Stag and Doe
Deer Wedding Cake Topper - Stag and Doe
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Pisces Wedding Cake Topper - Fish Cake Topper - Fish Sculpture
Pisces Wedding Cake Topper - Fish Cake Topper - Fish Sculpture
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD

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