Sonja Bellem of Stony Brook is a former marketing and public relations professional who was looking for a more flexible job once she and her husband had their two children. So, in 2011, she created a job for herself.
Bellem is the owner and craftsperson behind Fascination Baby, a home-based business in which she makes and sells hats and accessories for children appropriate for birth through age 16. She sells them in local shops including Boutique on Main in East Setauket, The Writing Place in Stony Brook and Violets Blue in the Smith Haven Mall.
Bellem creates the hats with lace from her grandmother or from vintage shops, along with accessories such as crystals, ribbons, vintage buttons, and flowers. She said the flowers themselves are handcrafted by other local crafty moms. She often uses natural ingredients such as tea and coffee to hand-dye the hats as she makes them, and she said no two hats are exactly the same.
"It is so much fun and actually at the end of the day when the kids are in bed I can sit there and completely get lost in what I’m doing and hours can go by," she said. "It’s actually something that I have that’s mine. Moms need to have something that’s their own."
Visit Bellem on Etsy at Fascinationbaby.etsy.com.
About this series: Three Village is home to a vibrant arts scene, one we'll explore by featuring local artists and craftspeople on Three Village Patch.