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What the quarantined life — a new norm — has done for many.

With schools shuttered since late March and people working from home, it’s been a time to pick up a new hobby or bring back an old, see places never discovered, bake, scrapbook, work out in the yard — you name it.

Starting your own business through Instagram is not a bad idea either, just ask Ellensburg High School junior Dylan Philip who was straightforward to what sparked the idea.

“I was bored,” she chuckled. “I got over doing quarantine and I needed something to do. And I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to whip out all my stuff that I have and I’ll just make some clothes,’ and I did, and people kept replying to them, and then I was like, ‘I’m going to try shoes because I love painting.’”

Philip offers a smorgasbord of different recycled clothing pieces, customized shoes, hand painted to the customer’s liking, and fabricates blankets from scratch. She’s also tinkered with painting skateboards.

Her Instagram account, “made.by.dyl,” is how she communicates with clients and shares images of her completed work, which has over 550 followers.

“I would just recycle clothes,” Philip said. “I would take old sweats and make shorts and shirts out of them. And then I would knit and crochet stuff. And then I started making masks, which took up so much time. I have made probably at least 500 of those.

“… I’ve been making baby blankets and larger blankets, and that’s where I’m at right now.”

Philip enjoys heading to a local thrift shop, finding used items and restoring it into an item for others to purchase. She’s always had an affinity for upholstery, and when it comes to making blankets, it’s a different feel.

“I love doing shoes but the blankets are just calming,” Philip said. They’re mindless. It’s nice to do a couple pairs of shoes and then pump out a blanket real quick.”

Philip’s prices vary for custom shoes, depending on how intricate the design is. Clients will either send their sneakers to her or she’ll purchase a brand new pair for them and then add the customization. As for her homemade blankets, the small ones are $35 and the large ones $85.

“Do they have the shoes or do I need to get them? Philip said. “And then they send me a picture of what they’re thinking and if I have the stuff to do it and think I can do it then I’ll say yeah and I’ll probably meet up with them and get the shoes.”

And no design request will Philip back down from.

“I’m kind of up for the challenge whenever someone’s like, ‘Do you think that this is too hard?’ And I always want to do it,” she said. “It doesn’t really matter what it is because I want to try something new every time.”

Philip, one of the Bulldogs leading scorers for girls basketball the last two seasons and destined to play college ball, knew with the coronavirus pandemic canceling school and summer tournaments she’d have plenty of free time, so finding a job was in the horizon. But what a nice substitute instead, making a profit with a hobby she already enjoys doing. On her own time, too.

“I’m kind of nervous for school to start because I’m not gonna have as much time, so we’ll see where that goes,” Philip said. “But I definitely want to keep doing shoes and stuff and blankets because I really enjoy it.”

Luke Olson: lolson@kvnews.com; on Twitter: @lukeolsonb

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