Brooke Fuller is an “adventure maker” — she makes capes and other dress-up clothes for kids. When they put on the costume, she sees them take on a new identity as a superhero.
“Something that, I feel, is promoted with what I make and do is pretend play and imagination.” In an age of tablets, “play is a very important thing,” Brooke explains.
Meet Brooke: Adventure Maker
Brooke Fuller: I have a lot of fond memories of playing in my neighborhood, dragging suitcases around filled with dress-up clothes. Seriously — dragging suitcases with dress-up clothes down the street to my neighbor’s house and we would open them up and play with [them] in the front yard.
I specialize in adventure-making. People are a little bit like, “Oh, what does that mean? Do you lead people on expeditions or something like that?” We make superhero capes mostly for children, also for adults and babies and sometimes dogs, and then we make all the accessories to go with the capes. There are so many special moments that the capes are a part of, from birthdays to milestones to supporting the sick kids and the battles and the struggles that they’re facing.
When I told my mom that I wanted to do this business, she was like, “That’s great, but do you know how to sew well enough to do that?” I kind of took that as a challenge. Like, “I’m not a trained seamstress, you are correct, but I will figure this out.” And so that’s what I did.
When I started out, we just shipped throughout the United States, and then people started requesting from other countries. Some places that I had never heard of — like a little island or something that I had to look up, that I had to Google because I had never heard of this place. I had literally never heard of it. And I was nervous: “Can I ship from the post office something to the palace? Because the address is the palace, you know?” And I didn’t have any complaints, so obviously I feel it made it.
Something really special, I feel, that is promoted with what I make and do is pretend play and imagination. You can solve problems in play, you can encounter different situations and scenarios in play. Play is a very important thing.
A lot of times, I’ll bring a mirror. I’ll bring a full-length mirror so that when they get the cape on, then I always bring them over to the mirror and they get to look at themselves and it’s just, it’s really funny and it’s cool at the same time to see them look at themselves. They look over their shoulder and they see themselves in the mirror, and they just kind of take on this different personality or they grin really big. Sometimes they’re shy, but most of the time they kind of get this new level of confidence.
I’m just here running this online store, and people reach out and they want to tell the backstory of what’s going to happen with the cape. It seems like I get more and more requests for capes for kids who are fighting battles of some kind. A lot of times it’ll be either a parent is reaching out, a friend of the family, somebody who wants to just gift, wants to love on this child, and they want to get them something special for that. And so they want to get a superhero cape for them. Those orders I feel like are especially meaningful for me. I always pray that things turn out well for them.
Just knowing that this very simple thing is going to reach them at some point, and they’re going to have a really good day with it is really special.
It’s just satin and felt, but then having it be a part of such an impactful part of somebody’s life is something that I would have not expected necessarily but has been, I think, one of the most rewarding things.
Speaker 2: Do you want to wear a mask?