Today we’d like to introduce you to Hyla Frank.
Hi Hyla, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started creating “free hand embroideries” when I was in college. This is a technique where you can essentially use a sewing machine as a form of drawing that you guide with your hands. I began making custom pillows for friends and clients with various text or images and worked with a friend who wanted a dog on a pillow. So using free hand embroidery, I made the first dog image on a pillow using this method.
Shortly after this first dog pillow, I changed up the style and instead of having the full dog (face and body) I created a more detailed portrait for the pillow. These first two pillows were both inspired by people moving away from their family homes and not being able to take their family dog with them. The pillow was fitting as they were housewarming gifts and the dogs represented their family pets back at home. I have always thought of them as a type of memorial or the soft equivalent to having a family photo up on the wall. The dog pillow then became a recognizable and loved concept and was able to grow by people envisioning their own pup on a pillow. Commissions for cats, horses, pet pigs and bunnies have been made too- any furry loved one! Today the concept and my line has grown to include more products besides the pillow. My shop offers custom portrait dog beds, patches and blankets.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I was very lucky to have a product that was and still is so loved. The pet pillows become a true treasured item for many families. I have had a lot of success due to the relatable nature of the embroideries. Some of the struggles I have had along the way have just been regarding perfecting my technique to find the perfect embroidery solution. Today, I am able to utilize all of the amazing technology we have to program hand drawings into an embroidery machine to achieve the perfect custom portrait that will capture the exact likeness of your pet!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am most known for my pet embroideries but I also have a background in all types of embroidery! I have made custom embroidered logos for bands, customized so many types of garments and different interior items such as curtains and lighting shades. My pet embroideries are known for the interior items such as pillows and blankets but I will be expanding to custom pet embroidered clothing too! The hand-drawn nature and look of my embroideries are definitely a defining characteristic of all of my embroideries. I am also known for my love of the outdoors and how nature, traveling, hiking and rock climbing are big influences in my artistic practice and inspirations.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Keep evolving! The pet pillows are timeless and classic but continuing to make them better and adding more items to my line keeps the fun and excitement going.
- $190 for a pillow
- $200 for a blanket
- $260 for one blanket with two pets
- $210 starting price for dog beds
Images property of Hyla F. Studio