interview with NEIL GREY

Mickey Inspired Apron 
It’s about that time again; the holiday season is upon us. Granted, today is Black Friday, but what if you are not so sure what to get for your bestie, sister or even S.O.? Maybe something a little different will make them smile and the season brighter!

Enter Neil Grey, owner, designer and creator of the Etsy shop, DarkBalloons, home of beautiful hand-crafted items ranging from cosmetic bags to gorgeous aprons. Whether you or the one you’re shopping for is a fan of video games or classic Disney movies, there is most definitely something on her website that is sure to please. High-quality fabrics, unique patterns and vibrant designs set her creations apart.

I was lucky to be able to ask the great mind behind the aprons a few questions. Learn a little bit more about Neil Grey, her aprons and her inspirations, and maybe even her food favorites in our interview.

Why aprons?
I wanted to figure out a way to incorporate cosplay into everyday life. I realized aprons were the answer! Everyone cooks or bakes, and if you're like me, it's such a crappy feeling getting your clothes dirty while you make any kind of food. So not only can you wear my aprons to not get dirty, but to feel like your favorite character!

What inspires your aprons?
Vintage and video games (and animation)! Everyone who knows me knows I'm a huge vintage / antique junkie. So I wanted to put a retro twist to a lot of my aprons but still stay true to the character I'm creating.

Do you take special requests?
Absolutely! During hectic times I tend to not accept custom orders, but when I have time I love to work with customers on what they want.
 Metroid Apron
How are your aprons different from others out there?
The quality and likeness to their characters. I make it a point to never take someone else's idea (it hurts a lot when someone takes your idea). I do heavy research on whatever new character I'm creating to see if someone has done it. And if it has been done, how can I make it really different from the others? For example, I've had many people ask me about making sailor scout aprons, but it's been done so much that there's no point in me adding something like that to my shop. Hence the Luna and Artemis aprons I've created, the kitties from Sailor Moon. I worked with my brother to create their faces and bring them to life in apron form. Those two aprons are very special to me. 

So you make aprons, but do you bake or cook?
Occasionally. I don't cook or bake as much as I'd like. To be honest, I'm really terrified of accidentally poisoning someone, ha! When I do cook, it's normally just for the boyfriend.
 SALE - Pink Power Ranger Apron
If so, what are your favorite things to make?
I'm a huge fan of sandwiches, yet I'm horrible at making them except for these southwestern chicken paninis! They're SO yummy. I also love to make carbonara! I'm a horrible, horrible baker. I don't mess with the science of baking!

Where can we get them?
darkballoons.etsy.com :-) The cut-off date for holiday orders is December 5th!

*Note: All images courtesy of Neil Grey
Princess Tiana Apron Princess Daisy Apron

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