Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today's Sponsor: Huggie Saints!

Ah, the Communion of Saints.  Have you thought about it recently?  Remember, friends, we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves.  We are part of a Christian family that extends into Eternity!  Because we are children of God, each one of us is called to GREATNESS.

And yet, we must have "faith as a child."  We must be humble, simple, joyful little souls that are made great only when we reflect God.

As Michael and I excitedly prepare to teach our son Liam about God and His Communion of Saints, we're keeping our eyes peeled for beautiful, visual reminders of our faith.  We'll be looking for those teachable moments, even now, with Liam being only (nearly) 9 months old.

Why?  Because real faith is a gentle, beautiful, always-present sort of thing.  It's taught to us by example.  It's taught to us with great love.  And it's never too early to have a saint as a role model.  :)

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Today I'm so excited to share with you Huggie Saints, our next featured sponsor.  These adorable plush saint dolls are the perfect thing for little (or big!) arms to squeeze when we need the reassurance of our Heavenly friends interceding for us.  Standing 15 inches tall and 9 inches wide, each doll is hand-made and one-of-kind, with a bright yellow halo to remind us that we're ALL called to be saints!  What a perfect gift for a Baptism, birthday, First Communion, or feast day.

 Penny Galuszka is the loving creator behind Huggie Saints, and here's my interview with her:

1. First, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your family!  

I am married, have three children and ten grandchildren, from one to 13 years of age. We are very blessed to live in the mountains of Southern California. I have been sewing since a child, and have done various crafting projects most of my adult life. I have had another home business (doing butterfly releases) which has given me some experience for my newest adventure. I also gained business experience as a bakery manager. I'm a convert to the faith, and I love teaching CCD and RCIA! I found that treasure in the field!

2.  Next, tell us how your business came to be! Who inspired you? How did your talents develop? 

When I couldn't find any soft, cuddly saint dolls for my grandchildren at an affordable price, I decided to make my own. I wanted something similar to pillow pets that they could play, cuddle, and sleep with. It took numerous tries at a pattern before I had one I liked. They passed the ultimate test -- the grand-children loved them!!! Their friends started requesting dolls also, and Huggie Saints was born.

3.  What difficulties did you have to overcome in order to be at the point where you are today? In other words, what or who helped you to “keep on keeping on”?

My family all encouraged me to expand, so we made a bunch of dolls for the Church craft fair. They didn't sell like I thought they would, although everyone loved them. I had to come up with another way to promote and sell them. I was told the Internet was the way to go, but I'm not that savvy with it. With the family's support and creation of an amazing website (talented kids!) we had it up and running. We tried eBay, but with such a broad category as toys, they didn't even get noticed. I credit everything to Our Blessed Mother. No one else could have made it all happen. With encouragement from my husband, children and grandchildren, I just put it all in Her Hands and She has guided everything! She led me to Etsy, and since then, my sales just keep growing.

4.  Lastly, what is most rewarding about your business?

 I love the creative aspect of making the dolls, designing new ones for custom orders, and learning about saints I never knew. Each one is my favorite! To know parents are teaching their children about their heavenly friends and hear how thrilled the kids are to receive them warms my heart! Hopefully their enthusiasm for their saintly friends will continue to grow all their lives. It's not something I make a lot of money on, but it gives me an outlet for my creative juices, keeps me an active retiree, and is another way to spread my love of the faith and saints.

If you'd like to order a Huggie Saint, check out Penny's Esty shop here.  A brief history of the angel or saint is included with each order.  And special requests are welcomed.

Have you hugged a saint lately?