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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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River Otter Wedding Cake Topper - River Otter Sculpture
River Otter Wedding Cake Topper - River Otter Sculpture
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Kitsune Fox Guardian - White Kitsune of Springtime - Nine-tailed Fox
Kitsune Fox Guardian - White Kitsune of Springtime - Nine-tailed Fox
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Fox Wedding - Red Fox and Arctic Fox Wedding Cake Topper
Fox Wedding - Red Fox and Arctic Fox Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Ganesha Statue - Handmade Blue Elephant Sculpture
Ganesha Statue - Handmade Blue Elephant Sculpture
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Wishing Bear - Brown Bear Carrying a Heart
Wishing Bear - Brown Bear Carrying a Heart
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Groundhog Wedding Cake Topper - Groundhog Day Gift
Groundhog Wedding Cake Topper - Groundhog Day Gift
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Red Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Handmade Red Fox Sculpture
Red Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Handmade Red Fox Sculpture
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Lion Wearing a Griffyindor Scarf
Lion Wearing a Griffyindor Scarf
BonjourPoupette
$75.00 USD
Bear Grooms - Brown Bear Wedding - Gay Wedding Cake Topper
Bear Grooms - Brown Bear Wedding - Gay Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Tamandua Anteater Wedding Cake Topper with Pink Sakura Blossoms
Tamandua Anteater Wedding Cake Topper with Pink Sakura Blossoms
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Sea Otter Wedding Cake Topper
Sea Otter Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
The Owl and the Pussycat Wedding Cake Topper
The Owl and the Pussycat Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Red Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Wishing Foxes
Red Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Wishing Foxes
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Weasel Wedding Cake Topper
Weasel Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Cat Nurse Figurine by Bonjour Poupette
Cat Nurse Figurine by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Cat Wedding Cake Topper
Cat Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Nubian Goat Poupette
Nubian Goat Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Badger Wearing a Hufflepuff Scarf - Eurasian Badger Figurine
Badger Wearing a Hufflepuff Scarf - Eurasian Badger Figurine
BonjourPoupette
$75.00 USD
Black Bear Wedding Cake Topper
Black Bear Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 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
Red Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Foxes Holding Hands - Fox Wedding Gift
Red Fox Wedding Cake Topper - Foxes Holding Hands - Fox Wedding Gift
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Poodle Wedding Cake Topper
Poodle Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Otter Wedding - River Otter Cake Topper
Otter Wedding - River Otter Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Arctic Fox Wedding - White Wedding Cake Topper - Winter Wedding
Arctic Fox Wedding - White Wedding Cake Topper - Winter Wedding
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Beaver Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
Beaver Wedding Cake Topper by Bonjour Poupette
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Siamese Cat Wedding Cake Topper
Siamese Cat Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Wishing Fox - Arctic Fox Wearing a Coral Stockinette Scarf
Wishing Fox - Arctic Fox Wearing a Coral Stockinette Scarf
BonjourPoupette
$50.00 USD
Jackalope Wedding Cake Topper
Jackalope Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Autumn Kitsune Fox - Red Nine-tailed Kitsune - Red Kitsune Fox
Autumn Kitsune Fox - Red Nine-tailed Kitsune - Red Kitsune Fox
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Quokka Wedding Cake Topper
Quokka Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Lion Wedding Cake Topper
Lion Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Coyote Wedding Cake Topper
Coyote Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Weasel Wedding - Ermine Wedding Cake Topper
Weasel Wedding - Ermine Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Mouse Wedding Cake Topper
Mouse Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Owl Wedding Cake Topper
Owl Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Black Pug Wedding Cake Topper
Black Pug Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Meerkat Wedding Cake Topper
Meerkat Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Dinosaur Wedding Cake Topper
Dinosaur Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Hamster Wedding Cake Topper
Hamster Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$100.00 USD
Alligator Wedding Cake Topper
Alligator Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$125.00 USD
Red Panda Wedding Cake Topper
Red Panda Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD
Deer Wedding Cake Topper
Deer Wedding Cake Topper
BonjourPoupette
$150.00 USD

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