The Happy Groundhog Studio

By Jeffrey Darah

I have some extremely cute hand-made stuffed animals to share with you today. These little critters are the fine handiwork of Melissa Bracken, the founder of The Happy Groundhog Studio. The Happy Groundhog Studio is a woman-owned eco-friendly art company that makes adorable stuffies out of recycled fabrics. Located out of Cincinnati, these critters are all hand-made from upcycled sweaters, thrifted fabrics, and other eco-friendly felts. “When I was young my grandmother, who we called Granny B, made sock monkeys, stuffed bunnies, and all sorts of wonderful gifts for me, my sisters and cousins. She was so creative and unique. The sock monkey she made me became my favorite stuffed animal and I still have it to this day. I actually passed it down to my children.” Melissa’s grandmother recognized an artistic talent and also taught her how to sew. Melissa soon took her talents to the Art Academy Of Cincinnati and earned a BFA in sculpture. The Happy Groundhog StudioAfter graduation she took a side step into the corporate retail world and eventually became a mama and aunt. During this time she was looking to create art while the little were around and could also enjoy. Wanting to give unique handmade gifts to the special kids in her life, she called upon the skills that her grandmother taught to up-cycle sweaters into stuffed plush critters. With her crazy love of animals and Granny B’s spirit in her heart came the line of plush creatures and The Happy Groundhog Studio was born. Melissa takes orders on her website, and is very active on social media. @thehappygroundhogstudio on Instagram, Facebook, Etsy and more