Homegrown Business: Adriana and Cecille of Creepy Critters

Creepy Critters is a charming small-scale business in Montreal, owned and operated by two enterprising young women. One of them is a skilled artisan who specializes in crafting customized phone cases, personalized scrunchies, and exquisite candles, earning a reputation as a masterful and inventive creator. Meanwhile, her partner is a collaborative artist, dedicated to producing personalized artwork including art prints and stickers for their valued customers. We had a chance to discuss the business with them to find out more about what they do.

Creepy Critters

What is your business called and what does it do?

Our business is called Creepy Critters. We’ve gone through a wide range of different names however, what stayed repetitively was the concept of alienation. We based Creepy Critters on our individualistic appearance and identity. We cater to an audience who feel like outcasts in today’s society. That’s why our logos are our personas as aliens! We create our custom crafts based on our favourite movies, TV shows, cartoons and anime. All the things that we grew up on and have given us comfort over the years. We add a feature where you can commission your own personal favourites. We’re always trying to add new items but so far we have decorative phone cases, scrunchies, candles, stickers and art prints!

What made you want to do this work?

Adriana: Out of nowhere, when we got hit with Covid, EVERYTHING changed. I took the time to self-reflect on what I wanted and needed. When I realized that it wasn’t going to go away overnight, I decided to take on new hobbies to prevent my brain from turning into mush! I really wanted to take the time to learn new skills and go back to school, which luckily I ended up finally doing. So I learnt how to do several things like sew, make candles, make stickers etc. You should have SEEN the first time I made a decoden phone case. I remember I had silicone all over my clothes and hands. I panicked and cried to Cecille saying, “ OMG this was too hard I can’t do this!” As she was rubbing butter on my hands in the sink to try to remove the silicone haha. It was disastrous but I´ve come so far and I´m so happy I never gave up. I was a professional body piercer for 12 years and I was absolutely miserable. I held on for so long because I let comfort get the best of me. This was an opportunity for me to change. I realized, “ Hey, I can challenge myself for the better! It’ll be cool if people can enjoy my work as much as I do!” That’s when I decided to open up an Etsy and Instagram account.

Cecille: What made me want to do this work as an artist is the following; I always wanted to try exploring my potential, I started with painting on shoes and decided to join in on my older sister’s small business. As we expanded our skills it developed more into arts and crafts. When creating any form of art I always try to envision the purpose of my intentions. Why am I creating this? Creepy Critters specifically, was a way to pitch in my art to connect with those who feel different. It has given me a platform to create products where people can embrace what they love by stylizing themselves through accessories or decor for their rooms. I hope that my art can give comfort to those who want to embrace their self-expression.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

We were both diagnosed with autism in our adulthood. Things became more clear and we finally found our place in this world! Unfortunately, many autistic individuals, including ourselves, face barriers to traditional employment due to social, sensory sensitivities, communication challenges and other factors. It is a recurring problem that needs to be advocated and we are here to bring awareness! This business was a way to accommodate ourselves and publish our small projects to our community/our audience in general. We wish to promote the wellness and importance of being yourself despite the struggles and obstacles given in society. We would love to help lighten people’s days by promoting products that present what you love and who you are. It’s a nice reminder of the things that bring you joy in life!

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We welcome anyone who resonates with our products and what we represent. Our clientele are fierce individuals who come from everywhere. We love to refer to them as “creeps” as they break away from the norm. As an autistic, masking is an unfortunate skill acquired to hide away from the things we love as it can be seen as “weird”. There’s a respectable art form in also not bounding oneself to societal norms and being able to not lose yourself to the pressure of conformity. Being able to wear or purchase anything that brings you joy is a pleasure that shouldn’t be taken away by anyone and by yourself.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Our business is open throughout different social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and Etsy. We are in the process of opening up a website but in the meantime, all orders are done through direct message on Instagram. We sell custom phone cases, scrunchies, candles, stickers and art prints already made with our design. Also, our clients can simply DM if they want something personalized!

Creepy Critters

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Question: “What sets your arts and crafts business apart from others, and what makes your creations unique?”

Answer: Our dedication to creativity and customization means we can work closely with you to create personalized pieces that will make you super happy to carry around!

What is the best part about what you do?

As 2 autistic sisters, we have always struggled with societal norms. Creating Creepy Critters has allowed us to be ourselves and encourage everyone around us to be unique and not worry about judgment! Our well-being has improved, we are less drained, burnt out, we have more energy to take care of ourselves and socialize! The freedom of being able to be ourselves has given us a way to connect with people who aren’t scared to be different and it’s been absolutely awesome!

What is the worst part?

Outside of the bubble we’ve created from our small business, we had to restrict important parts of who we are to accommodate what is considered, “appropriate in a professional setting”. In other words, we had to pretend to be something we weren’t just to blend in and be taken seriously. Despite our small business giving that safety, we, unfortunately, are unable to do this every day as a full-time job as it is not enough to support our lifestyles. We’re slowly but surely growing!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

“ You can’t lose your job, if you start your own business.”

“ I don’t always craft on the weekends but when I do I hyperfocus, nothing else gets done and you’re on your own for dinner.”

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Facebook | Etsy | Linktree | Email

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

There are a bunch of local businesses we would love to pay forward but after much thought, we had to go with Sweetgrass Inspirations owned by Billie Jo Ratt. She’s a one-of-a-kind artist that’s from the Algonquians of Barriere Lake (Mitchiknapikok Inik) and is well known for her beadwork. She’s a supportive individual and puts great care into her artwork. Take the time to look at her work here!

 

About Emilea Semancik 81 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: