I'm Jessica aka Miniature Rhino. My young cousin once had an imaginary friend named Dr. Rhino. He was a dentist, obviously. She'd talk to him in the mirror by making a mustache with her long hair and lowering her voice. Since then, the rhino has become a symbol of creativity and imagination and inspired the name of my creative handmade business, which I launched 2009 in Brooklyn, NY.
Beyond creating patterns and kits, I have written two books Make and Mend (Ten Speed, 2018) and Stitched Gifts (Chronicle, 2012). I teach at traveling retreats, online, in-person and virtual workshops. A highlight of my career was being featured in Grace Bonney's best selling book, In the Company of Women. My easy to follow DIY projects have been featured in online and print publications, like Mollie Makes and Design*Sponge.
My mission is to share the value of hand work and textiles through accessible skill-focused classes, creative kits, instructional books and soft goods made with intention. Hand-stitching is creative, constructive, useful and playful. I value creative exploration with needle and thread and its varied decorative, functional and meditative qualities. Textiles play a vital role in our everyday lives for warmth, comfort, self-expression, and protection and yet they are undervalued. Throughout my work my goal is to shift our perspective of our textiles through hands-on personalization, like visible mending. Hand-stitching, whether decorative or functional, is an investment of time, energy and personalization that changes our experience of and value of the object. I help people tap into their own creativity, extend the life of their textiles, and feel empowered by the possibilities and work of their own hands.
I strive to minimize my environmental impact in both my personal and business life. Here are some ways I’m working towards a lower environmental footprint:
- Zero Waste: All fabric scraps, from the tiniest bits, like thread tails and fabric cuttings, are collected and used for original soft goods or down-cycled into shoddy.
- Sustainably Sourced Fabrics: Fabrics included in our soft goods, mending kits and some other limited edition items, like our Pattern Club, are made with upcycled and reclaimed fabrics saved from landfill. These fabrics are responsibility sourced with a textile recycler. Natural materials, like linen and cotton, are used for any virgin materials.
- Recycled packaging & shipping materials: Our shipping, paper packaging and paper instruction cards are 100% recycled and curbside recyclable. Even our shipping labels, and the release paper for our shipping labels are recyclable (which is not the case for most shipping labels!). You may find your order shipped in a reused package. Please keep it going!
- Ethical Materials: No feathers, fur, or leather. These are by-products of animal agriculture, which is a huge polluter and contributor to global warming. I concentrate on sourcing upcycled and natural materials.
- Low Plastic: Much of our packaging is plastic free, recyclable or home compostable. We use cellophane, derived from plant-based material (not a bio-plastic), recycled paper and glassine to sleeve our products. However, many of the individual items we carry and use in our kits are wrapped in plastic by the manufacturer. Our original stencils are plastic-free, durable and made from recycled materials. I’m constantly working to improve here (and across the board).