Since November of 2020, Tammy Ruggeri of Somerset has been keeping the spirit of passed loved ones alive through her heartfelt sewing creations. She created her own brand and her hobby has now expanded to her very own storefront. Puddle Jumper Quilts will open its doors for the first time on Saturday, May 7, in Dighton.

The Beginning of Puddle Jumper Quilts

I had the pleasure of sharing Ruggeri’s story when her journey started. After her father passed from lung cancer, she decided to use her self-taught talent to give back to others who have also lost someone.

She would make pillows out of the loved one’s clothing, but after a woman requested a teddy bear to be made out of her late child’s pajamas, her business evolved.

Since that first teddy bear in 2020, Ruggeri has made close to 400 bears.

A Dream Becoming Reality

“I always wanted a storefront, but because I didn’t have any knowledge on the steps needed, it always felt out of reach,” Ruggeri said.

But something inside of her knew this is what she was meant to do. She made a few phone calls and made it happen.

“Before I knew it, I was an LLC,” she said.

She was picky about the location, but after enjoying lunch with friends in Dighton, she found the perfect spot in the most unlikely place.

“It used to be a tattoo shop. It actually still has the tattoo sign out front,” Ruggeri said with a laugh. “Hopefully that will be gone by this weekend, but I bought fake emoji tattoos to hand out just in case.”

Ruggeri is thrilled to give her passion project a brick-and-mortar building and continue to bring memories back to life.

“It still gets me (emotional) and I think it always will,” said Ruggeri. “It means the world to people and it’s heartwarming to know I’ve made a difference.”

Ruggeri’s Plans for the Storefront

While the sentimental bears are her specialty, Ruggeri will continue to make specialty quilts, pillows and other creations, as well as teach classes on Wednesday nights and offer social gatherings on Saturdays to anyone who wants to work on their own projects.

“I am excited for the people,” said Ruggeri.

Two years ago, Ruggeri picked up a needle for the first time, and through her journey, she has created a business that offers people something extremely unique.

It brings loved ones back to life.

"All I ask for is to make enough to keep it open and to enjoy people," she said. "I don’t want to be a millionaire. This is simply a hobby that got too big for the house."

The Grand Opening of Puddle Jumper Quilts is Saturday, May 7, at 1901 County St, Dighton, MA 02715.

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