Meet Moe! The Genius Behind TikTok’s Favorite Bird Pun Sweatshirts
This is an interview done with Moe Godat of Moe Sews Embroidery, read her story below! If you, or anyone you know, would like to be highlighted in The Zillennial Zine, shoot us an email at email@example.com or DM us on Instagram!
Q: Tell us your story! Where did you begin and how did you reach the caliber you’re currently at?
A: I’ve always been really creative, but I never imagined myself becoming an artist. Growing up, I loved to draw, paint and make tiny homes and dioramas; in high school and college, I focused mostly on English and creative writing as my main art forms. I went to an art show when I was 18 or 19, and that’s where I met a local embroidery artist who was selling some of her pieces. She was just so interesting, and I immediately thought, “I could do that.” Right away, I went and bought all the supplies you’d need to start embroidering and took it up as a hobby throughout the rest of college and well into my career as a magazine editor.
However, it became clear when I was 22 that I was suffering from severe alcoholism. After several hospital visits, lots of tears and some threatening persuasion, I decided to enroll in an outpatient recovery program and get sober. When you go from drinking 24/7 to being stone-cold sober all the time, you have a lot of free time on your hands. So, I decided to throw myself into embroidery again.
I began by posting my work on my Instagram story, and so many people loved it and wanted to watch videos of it in action. That’s when I moved over to TikTok! I’ve gone from small, hand-embroidered projects to a full-blown business utilizing print on demand services on several platforms. As of early October 2022, the MoeSews community is over 135 thousand followers strong!
Q: What makes you love what you do? How long have you been sewing and embroidering? Would you call it your passion?
A: As I said, I’ve always been super creative, but I was never the best at all of the other mediums I tried. I had to work really hard to get better at painting, drawing, etc. For some reason, embroidery was just one of those things that I picked up on and understood quickly; it came naturally to me where other art forms required a lot of time, focus and practice. Another reason I love embroidery so much is that it’s become a lost art in many ways; it used to be a skill that every woman was expected to learn and use, but it’s fallen by the wayside in the 21st century. I think I love it so much for that as well, because it is something I can do really well that not many others have taken the time to learn.
Embroidery is, without a doubt, one of my greatest passions in life. It brings me joy, comfort and a sense of accomplishment, and it’s certainly what I’m known best for! But I just consider myself an overly-passionate person in general. I’m constantly looking for the next thing to learn and master (or at least try to). The love I have for embroidery and art is always expanding, and I don’t see that ending anytime soon.
Q: What are some accomplishments or milestones you’ve reached lately?
A: I went viral on TikTok for the first time in September of 2021, but I experienced quite a lull in views for the next year or so. In September and October of 2022, I’ve gone viral 3 more times, which has given my business a real boost. My biggest accomplishment now is just how successful my recent machine embroidered designs have been, which is beginning to turn my little side hustle to a bona fide stream of income. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Q: Tell us about your bird designs!
A: Ahhh the bird designs! Puns and bad jokes are the backbone of my personality and sense of humor, so when I came up with the “Tits” idea, I thought, “There are soooo many other bird puns out there.” Of course, blue-footed booby birds (Animal Planet, anyone?) came to mind next, and I knew that I had to make one of those as well. When it took off, I felt so strangely validated. I knew there were people out there who’d think my jokes were funny!
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is starting a small business?
A: My best advice for someone trying to start a small business is simply to fake it until you make it. I didn’t have plans to start a business until the opportunity fell into my lap, and since then I’ve just been learning as I go! You’re going to make a thousand mistakes before something goes right, but when it does go right, all of those mistakes will be worth it. Also: stop being afraid to talk on camera! No one else is going to think your voice is dumb, and if a video flops then at least not many people will know about it. Just keep showing off your personality and your craft until something sticks. There are so so many people in the world, and social media is the best (and cheapest) way to reach your new crowd.
Q: What do you want our readers to know about you and your business?
A: No matter what I put out on social media or make for my shop, I am still a person struggling with my own problems and just trying my best. With Moe Sews Embroidery, I’m constantly trying to spread joy while also not taking myself or harsh things said on the internet too seriously. Neither should you!
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Every Sunday morning (CST) I do a 45-minute TikTok LIVE, usually working on my Rivendell hand-embroidery piece. It’s a great opportunity to connect with fans and art friends! If you have any questions or just want to chat, keep your eyes open for my Sunday morning Sewing Circle.
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