A passion for puppetry has turned into so much more for Ruppits owner Rebecca Casavant.
Born and raised in Harrison Township she began making puppets for her church a little over seven years ago. She started a puppet ministry and already knew how to sew very well – she has a degree in Costume Design from Wayne State University, after all – and it has since evolved into a small business.
Quickly people began requesting character puppets of all kinds and likenesses, as gifts, for themselves – and thus began a steady stream of creating puppets. Her kids keep her up-to-speed on popular trends in web comics and anime, so that her design looks are always in style.
Rebecca began by selling Ruppits at craft shows and smaller comic con shows about two years ago and business has been growing at a brisk pace ever since.
She realized it could be more than a hobby and has embraced it, entrepreneurial challenges and all. As sole proprietor she is busy filling custom orders, building stock for shows and staying on top of trends.
“I have had a steady stream of custom orders lately, that has been wonderful and amazing,” said Casavant. “I love taking someone’s ideas and putting them into puppet form. Truly one of the best parts of my job.”
She’s had some truly exciting moments along the way including meeting Ryan Stegman (Superior Spiderman Marvel Comics).
Other neat people she’s met include Caroll Spinney (puppeteer for Oscar The Grouch and Big Bird on Sesame Street), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhra Star Trek), William Katt (Greatest American Hero) and Maria Sirtis (Deanna Troi Star Trek: The Next Generation) were definitely high points.
This summer she made a set of puppets for the rock band Theory of a Deadman; they were a gift to the band through a friend and fan of the band. The resemblance is uncanny.
If you’d like to meet Rebecca and her cast of hand-crafted Ruppits, there’s a chance for you this weekend.
She’ll be at FantasticCon 2015 The Ultimate Comic Book & Pop Culture Experience at Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt. Clemens this Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8.