Friday, October 10, 2008

Dress-Up Delights

The Etsy community is filled with talented artists and crafters selling beautiful and unique pretend play toys that help preserve the magic of childhood. This post is part of my weekly writing series, "Imagination at Play". Stay tuned for more every Friday!

Every child loves to imagine herself in the starring role of a grand adventure. One flash of inspiration and suddenly your sofa cushions have been turned into an impenetrable fort, a tiny table has been artfully set for high tea with the queen or the backyard has been transformed into a medieval forest. 

Of course, no imaginary journey would be complete without a sheriff's vest, wizard cloak or pretty tiara, right? And if you're looking for the perfect costume or accessory for your son or daughter's dress-up box, then you absolutely must check out Etsy seller Natasha Henry's shop, Her Flying Horses.

With nearly 400 sales in just over a year as an Etsy seller, it's clear that Natasha's whimsical designs have struck a chord with parents and children alike. Every pirate gift set, superhero cape and race car driver vest is well constructed and designed so that young children can easily take them on and off. 

And while Natasha's background in fashion design and costume construction have certainly made her dress-up clothes stand-outs in the handmade world, it's the love and creativity that she puts into each design that really makes her shop shine.

Natasha's main source of inspiration is her daughter, who loves tea parties and ballet. "My daughter is a huge inspiration," she said. "It's a lot of fun to take her ideas and make them into reality. I know she'll have some wonderful childhood memories. She already has a strong appreciation for handmade things in a crazy world of mass produced and throw away items."

Talk to Natasha and you'll get the sense that she's an artist at heart. She's always on the hunt for new ideas, and finds inspiration around every corner. "I'm always creating and working on new designs," she said.  "I keep a sketch book of ideas. I'd go crazy if I couldn't create. There's something so wonderful and satisfying in creating something that didn't exist before."

All of these wonderful ideas have been turned into special dress-up clothes designed to get your child's imagination racing. And parents of little boys (who often have trouble finding a good variety of dress-up clothes) will be pleased to find an excellent selection of goodies designed with boys in mind. 

It's clear just how well Natasha understands children. Everything she designs, creates and sells in the dress-up section of her shop has the ultimate goal of inspiring fun and adventure. "I want children to use their imaginations and creativity," said Natasha. "Imaginary play builds self confidence and helps children problem solve. It's very rewarding to see the smiles and have parents tell me how much enjoyment their child has had from something I made."

I hope you take some time to browse Natasha's amazing shop. Who knows, maybe you'll find something special for your little one's next imaginary adventure!


  1. That is so cool you featured her for I just featured her other shop!! Love her work!!

  2. What a great feature...I wish I had a wee one to dress alas, I'm in tween/teenager mode these days! Thanks for sharing, nice blog!