My name is Raquel Schleimer. I am the creator and mastermind of monsterami™, which is my unique twist on the Japanese art of amigurumi. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small stuffed animals that are typically endowed with human characteristics and a pervading aesthetic of cuteness (kawaii). Rather than making the usual bears and bunnies, I focus on creating fun, weird, one-of-a kind monsters. Each monsterami™ is one-of-a kind and has its own name and “personality” based on my own personal experiences (some lighthearted, others deeply personal). They are hand made using yarn, felt, safety eyes and fiberfill stuffing. Since I began in the fall of 2009, monsterami™ has developed a loyal, cult following throughout my hometown of Austin, TX and beyond.
The genesis for monsterami™ began when I was a child and my mother taught me to sew, crochet and knit (none of which I particularly excelled at). I fell in love with Hello Kitty® at an early age and collected anything made by Sanrio® that I could get my hands on. My fondness for all things strange and obscure became apparent as I entered my formative years. As a teen, I was often described as “the girl who marched to the beat of a different drum,” which is certainly evident in my monsterami™ creations.