[B&T] We fell down a rabbit hole when it comes to getting into making toys, and ultimately we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We started from scratch. Neither of us had sculpted before this, or 3d printed anything, we had never molded or worked with silicone. We decided early on to go “all in”. So it was crash course in research, learning, and developing everything. And we are very much still learning.
Bubbles is very accomplished at intricate nail art. She did that in the salon she worked at, and has been interested in visual arts. Tie is a musician and songwriter and has been into photography as well.
[Fergus] Are you two full time with VA or do you have day jobs?
[B&T] We are currently in a position where both of us can focus most of our time to VA, we both are able to do a little free lance work also. But to get this going, we put our life savings into Velvet Alley at a time when neither of us were sure about the future.
[B&T] These were the biggest expense for us starting up, but Bubbles would absolutely not go forward without them! It was a challenge to find a manufacturer who would retool their equipment to make them, because they were custom measurements, and not over- charge, but it was worth it. It does take a long time for them to be produced and we have to order them months in advance. Eventually we’d love to have more color options for our coffin boxes.
[B&T] We are children of the 80’s. A dark arcade was like, the best place you could be when we were kids. Growing up around Portland Oregon, there was a chain of nickel arcades called Wunderland where Tie developed a love for pinball. That, and we have a Back To The Future Pinball Machine. It needs a friend. And now we’re jealous of Kudu Voodoo for a reason other than their amazing pours, they have an arcade?! Can we come play?
This has been an interview with the shop owners of Velvet Alley. It’s been interesting learning more of the people who create these amazing products and to get an insight into what goes on in an independent shop.
Equally, if you think you might have an interesting story to tell and want to talk then feel free to contact us as well, we would love to hear from you.
Also feel free to talk to us on our discord server!