In 2004 I was given a Neo Blythe Doll (Pinafore Purple Inspired) by a couple of close friends who were from Japan. At the time I lived in Helsinki, Finland and worked as a floral designer. I had some vague memories of Blythe doll and of album covers of the grunge era that had featured her. (Marilyn Manson and I believe Korn) I also have a very fuzzy memory from 1994 of a cultural article about this failed doll who’s eyes changed color..and I remember thinking at the time, ‘Color changing eyes? I’d like to see that!’. At the time when I was introduced to Blythe, it was a tiny world. For a week she sat on a shelf in her stock outfit before I realized that ‘DUH, I bet I could check them out some more online!!’. It was a slippery slope and I joined the This Is Blythe forum operated by Gina Garan, long before there were even 2000 members. Dolls were not sold outside of Japan by Junie Moon (some licensing issues) so all dolls were purchased via obscure means…and only a handful of people were making clothing for our big eyed beauty. Necessity ….often is the mother of invention and in this case it became such. I did not have access at the time to all the super cute kawaii japan prints that some of my peers did..nor the cute tiny buttons and sewing notions…afterall Finland was sort of reclusive corner of the globe and sewing supplies were pretty…basic. This led me to I believe find my strengths..I took a look at my local resources and thought, ‘How can I use this to make nice things for Blythe?’. I found beautiful local pre-yarn wools that I yearned to felt and create something wet felted out of this gorgeous rainbow colored wool…. 2005 My journey began. Instead of seeing prints that I said ‘oh but thats too big…’ I challenged myself to fussy cut and place, to make it work. In that desire to create something…quite a bit of what has become my signature look was born. Bold and unexpected prints with flawless pattern placement, old fashioned looks with a modern twist, dramatic and exaggerated collars and sleeves to echo the dramatic big eyed contrasts of our delightful muse. Trial and error led me to the inception of the Kitty helmet, my crow like love of sparkly things led me to use the beads I had at hand (and gave me a great excuse to buy more and more) to decorate said helmets…and the rest is history. Over time I’ve been inspired by new shapes and deco styles. I think recently someone said it best, ‘Ruth, you are arranging flowers on your helmets..’ Indeed, perhaps I am. Floral designer by school and trade, using my hands to create dolly hats and couture seems to be second nature. EuroTrash grew out of a need to create with the materials at hand. I never in my wildest dreams could have guessed that it would grow beyond my control or expectations or take control of my life for over a decade.
From growing up on a rural dairy farm with the smell of manure on a sunny day…..to fashion runways in Helsinki…nothing could have prepared me for this wild ride that is life and what role EuroTrash has played all along the way. My customers have done more than merely buy things, they have supported, inspired, encouraged and lifted me all along the way. Without them….EuroTrash would not be where it is today. I am ever humbled. Inspired, Encouraged.
Here we are moving into 2017….you all are incredible.
Thank you Blythe!