The Wickedly Talented Ladies of Macabre Merch: Six Questions for the Beauty and Brains Behind the Killer Shop, Susete Saraiva
It honestly doesn’t get much cooler than today’s featured shop, run by the absolutely lovely and wickedly talented Susete Saraiva. Susete is an accomplished artist and craftswoman who specializes in incredibly detailed and lifelike horror miniatures — ranging from replicas of famous horror movie landmarks to diorama props and mini sculpts. You can even choose from a very affordable selection of art prints, enamel pins, stickers and buttons. If you’re a serious collector or someone looking for a killer centerpiece for your horror display — or if you’re just in need of some great props to show off your favorite horror figures — this is THE shop for you. The quality is better than you’ll find in big toy shops or from leading toy manufacturers, and you can feel good buying from a hardworking creative who pours her heart and soul into every creation and every one-of-a-kind work of art.
1. What was the inspiration for starting your own business and how did you get started?
When I first joined Instagram, I ran into a community of toy collectors who did toy photography as a hobby, and being a long time toy collector, I too joined in on the fun. This eventually led me to start making little props and dioramas for my figures to make the “scenes” much more appealing. A few months into making miniatures, I had a ton of requests to create these minis for other people to buy. Fast forward a year later, and I now make miniatures full time.
2. When and how did you fall in love with horror?
I was 5 years old when I watched my first horror movie, ‘The Exorcist’. I still remember feeling absolutely terrified, but my fascination overpowered the fear I felt at the time, and I’ve been hooked on that feeling since.
3. Where does inspiration for your products come from? What is your creative process like?
Mostly from some of my favourite horror movies. Being a collector, I make dioramas that I would buy if I were to come across them. The first miniature house I ever made was the Maitlands scale model from Beetlejuice. Being my all-time favourite movie, I have ALWAYS wanted that house as part of my collection. One day I finally set my fears aside and made it.
Since then I’ve fallen in love with the building process of these tiny “horror houses” and have made quite a few others, such as the Evil Dead cabin, the Myers house and currently working on the Amittyville house, which will be the most detailed yet.
Before I start on a new project I spend hours researching every angle, color and detail that I can find. Usually I’ll pop in the movie and continuously pause and snap photos of a certain scene I’d like to recreate. When it comes to making these replicas I believe that spending those first hours researching crucial to making your finished product as close to the movie as possible.
4. What’s the best part about running your own business, and what’s the hardest part?
The best part is hands down being able to do what you love every single day. I wouldn’t change it for anything. The hardest, well, when you’re a one woman show, it’s difficult to keep up with everything that comes after creating your pieces. On average, I work 16 hrs a day. Finding time to juggle photos, shop listings, social media presence, emails, etc can become quite daunting.
5. Tell me why you think it’s important for people to support small business? Is it especially important for people to support female-owned business (if so, why)?
Supporting small businesses also means you’re supporting a family. You’re supporting an artist who works on creating art pieces that aren’t driven by popular demand. You’re supporting art that doesn’t come from a cheap warehouse. I value each and everyone of my customers, I always add a little note to my packages or something extra to make the experience that much more special. We become a little family. I’ve become friends with so many of my customers, and you just don’t get that if you choose to shop from a Walmart.
6. How can people follow/interact with you on social and purchase your products? And is there anything else you’d like to add or promote?
Best place to interact with me would definitely be on Instagram, I’m on there as @monstresss. You’ll always find new work in progress photos and will be the first to know when something new is added in my shop. You can also visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/susetesaraiva.