Who knew thrifted bed linens with designs featuring beloved childhood characters like Mickey Mouse, Scooby-Doo, and the Sesame Street gang could be turned into clothing that people of all ages would love to wear? Well, Royal Oak-based artist and designer Sarah Gansenhuber saw the vision — and folks are obsessed.
The former art teacher turned her longtime hobby of creating garments and reselling vintage goods into a full-time job with her online shop, Franklin Jay. Since 2018, Gansenhuber — aka the self-proclaimed “Bed Sheet Queen” — has sold her quirky designs on Depop. A patchwork jacket featuring Barbie and Happy Bunny, Goosebumps shorts, and a puffy-sleeved dress showcasing the Simpson family are just some of the handmade items Gansenhuber has offered. And if clothes plastered in kids’ cartoons aren’t your cup of tea, Gansenhuber sells plenty of vintage items in other fun prints and bold colors.
“I think there’s such a power in nostalgia,” she says of her upcycled bedsheet creations. “People are so connected to imagery and things from their childhoods. Like, the No. 1 comment I get is ‘Oh my gosh! I had those sheets when I was a kid,’ or ‘I haven’t seen those since I was a kid.’”
Truly, people can’t get enough of Franklin Jay. Gansenhuber says her customers hail from across the country, buying items for every occasion, from Disney vacations to their own weddings. When she did weekly drops, she says, her items sold out within minutes. Gansenhuber recently launched her website — shopfranklinjay.com — where folks can shop her monthly releases of handmade dresses and other designs. She’ll continue using Depop strictly for her vintage resales.
“I’ve been so elated and humbled by just how much people seem to like my dresses,” she says. “It’s just been awesome.”