Ashley Bonneau of Thread & Rose hand sews heirloom dolls and plush animals treasured by today’s modern kiddo. “Vintage and whimsical designs are my inspiration. I really love creating toys that could have been from previous eras,” she explained. “I also enjoy working with different textiles and materials, like vintage trims and fabrics. I always try to incorporate them into my designs.”


Thread & Rose’s fanciful creations are designed with the intention of passing them on to future generations. “I try to make each animal unique so that each is one of a kind. Whether by changing the bow or altering the face a bit, each one is special in its own way,” said Bonneau. “I also try to use high-end materials while still offering a diversity of price points so more people can enjoy.” Past shop collections have included woodland skunks (my personal favorite), raccoons, bears and floral bunny rabbits, among others. “The Woodland Sprites and bonnet animal loveys are some of my favorites. They appeal to my whimsical side and embody what I think childhood should be, full of imagination with a little bit of magic thrown in. I think they are pretty unique to our shop,” Bonneau shared. “That said, the long pile fur makes them a challenge, which is also the reason that skunks are so limited!” Thread & Rose uses quality and long-lasting fabrics to construct the shop’s keepsakes. “I prefer working with mohair, as it is such a traditional material for toys and amazing quality.”


Actually a former scientist and now full-time innkeeper, Bonneau taught herself to sew by watching tutorials on YouTube. “I officially started Thread & Rose in 2017 on Etsy. I was making crochet bonnets and bows, but quickly switched to handmade toys when I purchased a sewing machine and used the highly respected University of YouTube to learn to sew,” she recalled. “However, Thread & Rose unofficially started in 2015 when my daughter was about to celebrate her first Halloween. I taught myself to crochet (again, thank you, YouTube!) because I wanted to make her a cabbage patch wig for Halloween and I procrastinated getting one from Etsy.” The word “Thread” in the shop name refers to the materials Bonneau uses to create heirloom items for her daughter Geneviève, and “Rose” is Geneviève’s middle name (“because she is the one who inspired me to learn how to create.”).


Through her appreciation of vintage designs, Bonneau has found a new passion with Thread & Rose. “I love that what I am making is going to make somebody happy. Whether that is a child or adult, there is nothing better than bringing smiles to people,” she said. “I also love to imagine the adventures they are going to go on. My daughter romps about with her plushes and they have gone from unexpected swims in the ocean to hosting grand tea parties in the same day.”


The shop has some keepsake plush animals ready to ship now while Bonneau is working on new releases. “I am switching it up and making some fun new and unexpected animals!” Check out all the timeless designs on the Thread & Rose website and join the shop’s VIP Facebook group for upcoming drop details and discount codes.