TENACIOUS TOYS: To start off, what's your name and where are you from?
STEFF BOMB: Hi! I'm Steff Bomb and I am originally from Philadelphia, PA but about two years ago I moved to Chicago.
TT: What got you into creating designer plushies?
SB: Around 2004, I read about an all plush art show, and something inside of me said, "YES!"...like a light bulb went off or both halves of my brain hi-fived. I guess I never realized that there was plush life beyond teddy bears. The next day I bought a really crappy cheap sewing machine, some fabric remnants, and button eyes, and taught myself how to sew. It was just a hobby then and I was really bad at it (and I am still working on being good at it). The first toy I ever made was supposed to be a robot, but really just looks like a gray turd with eyes.
TT: So how did you progress from a gray robot turd to food plushies?
SB: I don't know at what point exactly I made the jump from gray robo-turd to food, but it went something like this: robo-turd, ugly square Domo-ish monsters, ugly hour glass shaped monsters, food. I love eating and I'm always hungry, so I guess it just naturally worked itself out that way. It's like the Descendents said: I like food, food tastes good.
TT: HA! So how do you choose which foods to turn into plushies? Does it come in a flash while you're eating that food? Or are you sitting around one day on your couch and it suddenly dawns on you that you need to make an ice cream sammich?
SB: Pretty much both. Basically, I was trying to not be a fatty last summer (FAIL), but I wanted to eat an ice cream sandwich so badly. So, I made a plush one instead...which back fired because it actually made me want to eat one even more...then I did, and it was awesome. Currently, I'm working on something called "Grumble Buns" which is a grumpy burger...but it's also what I call my boyfriend when he is being a big ol' grumpus.
I watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy the day before I made the wizard sandwich. At the same time, I could be riding my bike and TAH DAH...out of nowhere I wanna make a whatever-bot-thing-wich. So I carry a notebook with me for that kind of stuff. Other than that, sometimes my brain turns into a giant fart and I can't think of anything to make...but I am very lucky to have some pretty clever and supportive friends. They always point me in a good direction.
TT: You're hysterical! So what's next for Steff Bomb? Any new plushes in the works that we should look out for? Do you make any other Steff Bomb products besides plushies?
SB: There are always new plush in the works. I have a dry erase board & a pocket sized notebook full of ideas that I want to sew. Grumble Buns is next though. I've drawn him an official seal, planned out a few friend for him (Would You Like Cries With That), a few variants, blah blah blah, etc.
I just love making things so I tend to get a little a head of myself. I am also debating whether of not I wanna make a color variant of the chainsaws. Green mayhaps?
I make some things besides plush. I am making patches, I have buttons. I sew an occasional top tube pad for bikes. I made my very first print of a shark-horse the end of last year, but that was just a small run of 50 so they are long gone. I am thinking about making shark-horse shirts but I don't know if anyone would want them. Ha.
I just bought a Gocco Printer from my friend James (Veggiesomething), so I am really excited to use that. Also, I do artwork for records, band shirts, and show posters too. That's always a nice break from plush. Sewing may have consumed my life, but drawing is my true love. There are a lot of things I wanna sew and make. I always wanna do everything and all at once, but it's never as easy as I think it is.
TT: Ain't that the truth.
Well, we're excited for your next plushies! I just received our first shipment of plushes from you and I have to say, I am very impressed with the quality and execution. They are all perfect, every single one. Much better quality than some of the mass-produced plushes we've stocked.
SB: Aww, shucks...thanks. ((totally blushing)) I don't know about perfect, but I try and make them as nice as possible.
TT: Thanks so much for chatting it up with me!
SB: No way man, thank you!!! P.S. I know it's a bit of a ways off, but if anyone is going to be at Pitchfork this year, I'll be there peddling my wares...so feel free to stop by and say hello. <3 <3 <3
To learn more about Steff Bomb, visit her website SteffBomb.com, and support her by shopping for her plushes at Tenacious Toys or the Steff Bomb Etsy shop. And stay tuned for more info on Steff Bomb's Shark Horse and the other fun plushes she makes, by hand, slaving over an overheating sewing machine in the good ole US of A. Go Steff Bomb!