Hey there! My name is Cara Wade, and I am the face behind the sewing machine at Wade Handmade. Thanks for stopping by! Wade Handmade is my one woman needle and thread operation based in Anchorage, Alaska.
All of my products are designed, cut, sewn, marketed, and sold by me! I am often asked if I use existing patterns for my animals, and the answer is no--everything came out of my head at some point and made it's way into a 3D being. When I get a new idea, I try it out....some don't work, but those that do make their way into the collection. At this time I have 22 species of stuffed animals and 23 species of puppets. I like to keep my work fun, and not get bogged down in the details. Part of the whimsy of my work comes from allowing it to be "perfectly imperfect"...just like myself!
A little history.....I grew up in Anchorage and went to college in Montana. I graduated with a degree in clothing design from Montana State University in Bozeman. I worked for a number of theatre companies around the country before settling in Ashland, Oregon at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I spent 18 years working backstage, using my sewing skills to repair and care for costumes, as well as run shows and assist actors with quick changes. After Covid shut down the theatre for more than a year, I decided to move back to Anchorage where my family still lives.
I know that I am beyond lucky to do what I love to do, and know that every other struggling artist is right there with me. Most of us are a moment away from giving up and returning to a more lucrative job working for someone instead of ourselves. I support those who charge what they are worth, not what will compete with mass manufactured items. That being said, we are all underpaid considering we are creators, marketers, content creators, retail salespeople, and entrepreneurs. I try to shop small when I can, re-purpose materials, and advocate for others to do the same. Thanks again for stopping by!
Currently you can find my products at:
The Tiny Gallery in downtown Anchorage
Chickadee Coffee near downtown Anchorage
The Kobuk in downtown Anchorage
The Great Alaska Wood Bowl Company in Fairbanks, AK (puppets only)
Interested in selling Wade Handmade products in your store? Let me know! I'd love to discuss with you! email@example.com