Fellow Philadelphians: Sue Eggen

This week's Fellow Philadelphian is the dear Sue Eggen of Giant Dwarf. When I contacted her about being the next Fellow Philadelphian, she was ecstatic to have the opportunity to engage with us here on Streets & Stripes! So one afternoon Sue invited me over for a chat at her studio in South Philly and welcomed me with a glass of wine.

Now hold your horses, because we're about to head back to the beginning of the indie boom, circa 2002. Sue was living in Portland, OR at the time (an epicenter for the DIY movement that popularized sewing, knitting, and other skills) and was enjoying life on the west coast.

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From Pittsburgh To Philadelphia

In 2003 Sue moved to Pittsburgh with her fiance.  After two years of settling into Pittsburgh, Sue opened Giant Dwarf, a place to sell the prettiest sparkling star headbands and felt flower headbands, on Etsy.com. She heard about the online marketplace, from founder Rob Kalin, at the very first Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair she was vending at in Pittsburgh. In December later that year, Sue and her fiance relocated to Philadelphia where she took up a job with Reload Messenger Bag Co. There Sue  took on the role of designing custom crafted bags for the company.
I absolutely love this new design of sweater clips Sue added recently! A huge trend for Fall 2012!
After two years of balancing work at Reload and running her own online business, Sue decided to take the plunge and go into selling on Etsy full-time. She started contacting boutiques to see if they would carry her line on consignment. Then Giant Dwarf started getting some online press, and things started to pick up!  Soon enough all of Sue's hard work was starting to make the ends meet and she was able to leave her job at Reload to work full time on Giant Dwarf

Her sparkling star crowns made an impression on the Etsy community, and people couldn't get ENOUGH of Sue's headbands, which were covered in imported glass & silver from Germany for that extra shine. Since starting to work full time on her business Sue hasn't looked back since!

Into The Future

As for the future of Sue Eggen and Giant Dwarf, Sue shares that she's interested in pursuing designing a children's clothing line as well as a wedding collection! And when she's not purusing bigger and grander things, Sue loves to travel. A huge source of her inspiration comes from her international travels which she and her husband aim to embark on annually.

Thank you to Sue who so generously welcomed me to her space and shared her thoughts and shared her story. Surrounding yourself with fellow creative people is what inspires and motives me, and I hope it does for you as well!

Also, stay tuned for next week as we'll be hosting a giveaway from Sue's shop! You'll be able to win a star headband!

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Maira Gall