Undead Walking’s Featured The Walking Dead Fan: Starr LaPradd

Image by Starr LaPradd
Image by Starr LaPradd /

There are many passionate fans of The Walking Dead who use their passion to create or display their love for the franchise. Starr LaPradd is one of them.

Welcome to Undead Walking’s Featured Fan showcase! I’m Tara, and I’m here to speak to fans who create or collect content related to The Walking Dead. Whether you’re a cosplayer, a collector, an artist, a video maker, or anything else, my goal is to shine a spotlight on the varied talent and endless dedication this fandom has for this franchise in all of its forms.

Fandom can be inspiring to one’s creativity, and The Walking Dead is a powerhouse gateway for fans, both new and old, to try something new or pick a craft back up and create new, exciting things for other fans to witness and consume. Through our mutual love of the series and its characters, even little details in fan creations never go unnoticed or unappreciated, and it is those little details that reflect the talent and dedication the fans have for the franchise.

I recently spoke to Starr LaPradd, a soap and jewelry maker from North Carolina who makes all sorts of different bath and body and apparel based on The Walking Dead. If you’ve ever been the Woodbury Shoppe in Senoia, Georgia, you may have seen or even own one of her jewelry pieces, as she’s sold some of her items through them!

Learning about how soaps are made and the various different materials used for both them as well as crafting a new piece of jewelry was really fun! Every single one of her creations has its own special little details, even if they’re based on the same character, so using or wearing her works gives everyone their own, one-of-a-kind, unique way to show off their love of The Walking Dead. Here’s our conversion:

Let’s start things off Starr! First tell me a little bit about what you do.

Sure! I have always loved fashion and fragrance. In fact, I worked in the Cosmetology Field for 30 years! Unfortunately, I had to give up my career due to health issues. But, now I have found a way to take some of the things I love, the fashion/beauty industry and The Walking Dead, and marry them into a perfect business that I am able to work at my own pace and physical ability!

It’s turning into an exciting venture for me! I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way as well! I create handcrafted jewelry, many that are inspired by characters from The Walking Dead. Bath and body products are another specialty of mine, like body butters and soaps. I sell them in sets. For example, customers can buy a Richonne Soap & Bracelet Set.

Those are really neat things to bring a fandom twist to! How long have you been creating Walking Dead related jewelry and bath products for?

I actually started back in the spring of 2017. I had been making jewelry for many years and while we were on a trip to Atlanta for my husband’s business, my son Austin and I decided to take a Big Zombie Walking Tour in Senoia. We were avid The Walking Dead fans already and absolutely fell in love with the town and the people of Senoia.

That visit inspired me in a way I can’t explain. It revived me somehow and It just seemed natural to merge my jewelry designing in with The Walking Dead theme. The bath and body products were soon to follow. I’m a creator at heart, so it’s in my makeup to put a little bit of me into everything I design and create. Everyone that knows me knows I love The Walking Dead, so there ya go! It’s a mirror image of who I am and what I enjoy.

That’s such a great story. Visiting Senoia was such a special memory for me as well. Let’s talk about the jewelry! What sort of processes do you go through to create something new from an idea?

The first thing I do is get the concept in my head of the character I want to design around. What do people identify with that particular character? Then I choose colors and maybe even certain types of beading or materials that would fit that character as well.

I love doing Daryl Dixon designs using leather mediums and mostly dark deeper colors with maybe a pop of brightness here and there. And I love using metals of all shades. I always see Negan designs with a touch of red somewhere in them, no matter what the other tones are. Negan just speaks red to me.

It’s funny how I just have a certain way I picture each character in my mind’s eye as far as color and design, but even with that, I gladly do custom work, because I like my pieces to be as individual as possible. I try to make each piece a bit different, even if they’re similar in design. I don’t like cookie cutter.

I usually use a Rose for Carol. Because she started out so fragile, but she became tough because she had to. So, she just reminds me of a beautiful rose. Fragile and lovely, but don’t get too close or do her wrong by hurting someone she loves or she will make you bleed. Ya know? See? She’s a rose!


You mentioned certain beading and materials, what sorts of various materials, items and such do you tend to work with when you make a piece?

Like I mentioned before, I love using leather. I use a lot of hemp and also wire. With leather and thicker hemp, I have to use large hole beads. Glass beads are one of my favorites. Those and metal beads. As far as for character detail, that’s where the charms come into play. Most of those are pewter, silvertone or bronze.

Of course, there are crossbows and motorcycles for Daryl, axes for Jerry, boots, and guns for Rick, katanas for Michonne, hats for Carl, etc. Some require a little more creativity. Maggie for instance. Her’s have changed over time. Her dad’s watch. A bible. A gun. This season, a baby footprint or bottle.

I’ve also got some awesome Windmill charms I’m incorporating into some of my pieces for this upcoming season! We all know that’s going to play a big part in the new dynamics of Alexandria. I also love to use wooden beads and natural earthy or royal tones are my personal favorites, but I am up for what the customer wants as well!


That’s amazing! So much thought put into every aspect of the show and characters to make these. When you say what the customer wants, does that mean you also do personalized orders for people? What have been some suggestions from customers that you’ve particularly liked when it comes to customization?

YES! I love to get custom orders! People have ordered specific colors of beading. Some have ordered certain charm combinations. Like who would think of putting a Lucille and Carl’s hat on the same bracelet, but, hey….if that’s what a customer wants, I’ll do it! I’ve had customers request that I make things that remind them of Senoia.

Recently I formulated a new soap scent that I call Senoia Sunrise. It’s just a refreshing energizing scent that is reminiscent of the feeling most fans get when we visit Senoia. We get excited and pumped up! We are downright giddy!

The Gazebo there in town is another thing that’s personal to a lot of us. Gazebo charms on jewelry is a meaningful piece for a lot of folks. I’m a member of a group called The Not Dead Family. We’re a pretty tight-knit bunch from all walks of life and all around the world, but when any of us go to Senoia, we meet in the Gazebo. That’s our “place”. So that’s an example of a personalized order I would do. It’s the little things like that that make a piece of jewelry or a gift of soap special.

That does sound really special, and it’s such a nice way to commemorate those already amazing times in Senoia! On the subjects of the soaps you make, take me through the process of that. How do you MAKE a soap, for starters? And what sort of things do you use/can be used to give them specific fragrances?

With my health issues, I cannot make cold press soaps which require coming into direct contact with lye, so I have found that I can be very imaginative and creative with melt and pour soaps.

I use bases that are wonderful in and of themselves, such as oatmeal, shea butter, even hemp. From there the fun part begins! I come up with all sorts of fragrance combinations using essential oils and fragrance oils. The essential oils also have many healing properties.

I’ve always been crazy over good-smelling personal care items, so making these types of products really excites me. I often add in things like natural teas, or fruits that I’ve dehydrated myself. Or flower petals. These additives give an even more special touch to my soaps and the scents are so natural and soothing.

Those sorts of additions act as exfoliating agents also, so obviously they aren’t in all my soaps. They make them so pretty too. I make body butters and whipped soaps with matching scents. And bar soaps that I name after characters from The Walking Dead!

I’ve been blessed enough recently to collaborate with Oscar Rodriguez III of Art by Oscar’s Red Hat! I’m really excited about that! Oscar has created a fabulous logo for my brand which perfectly depicts who I am and what I’m about and we’re discussing putting his character art on my character soaps! That way, when customers purchase my soaps, they will be getting a piece of Oscar’s artwork as well! It’s a fun collaboration for he and I and a win/win for the customer!

Those soaps sound almost delicious from that description! What sort of combinations have you created for certain characters? And do you have any interesting combination or personalization stories about soaps from customers as well?

Well, I can’t give away my secrets but, I can give you some of the basic ingredients.

My “I Am Negan” Soap is a customer favorite. I always bill it as sexy, but a bit mysterious just like the man himself. It’s fragrance is almost as intoxicating as Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s dimples! It smells of sandalwood and bourbon. I add a proprietary blend of some very fragrant essential oils as well. It’s a really nice soap for both men and women.

I have a Richonne Soap that is goat’s milk based. It’s got turmeric in it and has a fresh and clean, yet earthy smell. I say since Rick & Michonne have been everywhere together, Richonne smells like everything from green earth to ocean sands.

My Daryl Ride Soap is a big hit! It’s molded in the shape of a motorcycle of course! The smell…oh my! People just love it! It’s woodsy, a bit citrusy, mossy & goat’s milk based. It just brings to mind a ride through nature. On the back of Daryl Dixon’s bike, of course!

I use beer in a lot of my soaps. Chocolate and wine in some. Buttermilk, green tea! So many natural ingredients. Senoia Sunrise is becoming a new customer favorite as well.


Those scents all sound absolutely amazing. So when it comes to both types of your creations, do you have any personal favorites that you’ve made?

I absolutely love my Richonne Soap and my leather style bracelets. I’d say those have to be my personal favorites. But, I, of course, love them all and switch out which ones I use every now & then. I always have 4 or 5 bracelets on my arms, an ankle bracelet on, at least one necklace and a pair of earrings! Lol! Plus, my soap pallet (which I also custom make) is always full of multiple soaps! Ya might say I am slightly addicted!

That’s a great and fashionable way to show off your stuff while looking amazing yourself! What’s in the works or plans for you right now? Do you have any new jewelry pieces or soaps that you’re planning on making soon?

Yes, my goal is to have a soap and at least one jewelry piece for all the main characters and fan favorites and to have every character soap packaged with Oscar’s Red Hat artwork of that character. That’s all in process, so it won’t be long. I’ve already got some jewelry pieces in The Woodbury Shoppe in Senoia. My Etsy and Facebook shops are expanding all the time, so I’m excited about where things are going. And, of course custom orders are always welcome as well. I think some Fear The Walking Dead items are on the agenda for me as well, as I’m also a fan there.

Ooh, Fear The Walking Dead getting some love! I’m glad to see that. Are there any upcoming character soaps or pieces you’re particularly excited about putting together for the first time, and why?

Well, ya know a John Dorie and a Naomi are in order for certain! Of course I’ve gotta get Morgan in there. I mean, he’s part of our original family, right? Strand! I LOVE Strand! And, honestly I’m not against celebrating the ones we’ve lost by designing things to honor them too. Definitely Nick and Madison. Even Travis. I’m rolling some ideas around in my mind. Not ready to let my secrets out yet, though.

I can’t wait to see all of those! Aside from the Woodbury Shoppe and your pages, do you or do you plan to vendor at conventions?

I’ve been a vendor at many events over the past year and a half, though not conventions per se, except one local one we have here in my area known as Lexing-Con. It’s a pretty cool event and has a great turnout! We were very well-received there. I plan to go back again and hope to get into many more conventions in the future.

I know there is a real market for what I do. Just getting the word out to the right people is sometimes challenging, but I’m well on the way to making that happen. I’ve made so many great connections just getting out and letting folks know I am here and available.

Once people try my soaps and see my jewelry, they’re hooked and they’re return customers and also friends from that point forward. That right there is the best part…making new friends with similar interests who love The Walking Dead franchise as much as I do.

How about the cast of TWD? Have any of them ever tried your soaps or own any pieces of your jewelry?

Well, that’s a very cool question! I actually gifted Peter Zimmerman with a bracelet I designed especially for him. He is such a positive inspiration on social media and that makes him a fan favorite. He takes the time to actually notice fans and we appreciate that. I gave him that bracelet at the Senoia Dead Bash in May and he seemed to like it. He had me put it on his arm and I know he wore it all day because it’s in all the pics I see of him that were taken that day. He’s a really awesome young man.

I also gave a bracelet to Norman Reedus last year at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta that I designed especially for his girlfriend Diane Kruger. He seemed to be touched and maybe even a little surprised that I had made a gift for her.

I asked him to hold out his hand during a photo op and I placed the bracelet in it and told him to put it in his pocket. I accompanied it with a note, told him it was for Diane and that I truly wished them all God’s best.

He looked at it and grabbed my hand and looked a bit emotional. He gave me a big hug and put it in his pocket. You can see the tip of it sticking out a bit in the photo from the photo op. Now, whether he gave it to her or she ever wore it, I don’t know. But, I knew he had bought her a motorcycle and she was learning to ride it, so I put a motorcycle charm on it and a crossbow and I think a wing. After all, she IS his biggest fan girl!!!

Photograph by Starr LaPradd
Photograph by Starr LaPradd /

It must feel great to know and see anyone in the cast wearing something you put together with so much love and with them in mind. It’s a really special sort of gift to give when you have that kind of talent! What does your craft mean to you, particularly where The Walking Dead is concerned, as well as the friends and memories you’ve made thanks to it?

It means everything to me to make people happy! I love to see the smiles on their faces when they see something I’ve made and it resonates with them immediately because we have a kindred spirit. That’s a great feeling!

There are no strangers in the TWDFamily. We can meet each other for the first time and strike up a conversation like we’ve been friends forever. That’s one thing about my jewelry. When I’m out and about at the grocery store, anywhere, people notice it and immediately we are bonded over our love of The Walking Dead all because they noticed my jewelry. It’s the coolest thing!

It’s almost a way we can identify each other, ya know? Someone notices my “Keep calm and Kill Zombies” ankle bracelet and my crossbow/motorcycle Daryl Dixon earrings & necklace & they just know they can talk to me about The Walking Dead. I LOVE it!

TWDFamily is amazing. The way we can all meet for the first time and bond so quickly has been one of the greatest things about being a part of this franchise! Do you have any upcoming events or conventions that you’re going to be attending or vendoring at?

None on the schedule right now. I’m currently in the process of revamping everything about my business and really concentrating on getting my online presence stronger. I’m praying that by next year at this time I will have done several of the smaller conventions and may be ready for even Walker Stalker Atlanta! Hey…a girl can dream, right!? Those are my goals!

It’s always good to aim big! I hope next year at Atlanta I’ll see you there! Especially since with your future plans for new items, you’re well on your way to having a huge inventory of amazing things!

So as a Walking Dead fan, what are some of your favorite things about it? Characters, episodes, arcs, seasons, quotes etc.

Ya know, I can’t really pick favorite episodes because I absolutely love them all. I can watch them all over & over and never tire of them.

As far as characters, I’ve gotta say I’m pretty invested in each of them, but I do have my favorites. I love Carol because of how she’s evolved over the years. Same with Daryl. They’ve both changed so much since the beginning. It was amazing watching Carl grow up and so hard to lose him.

King Ezekiel totally rocks! Love his attitude! And his sidekick, Jerry is so cool. Of course Rick… I just can’t single them out! I’m attached to every single one of them! Even Negan! I want him to convert to a nice guy and stay around forever. Yes…I said it. I like Negan. Don’t hate me… I feel like this new season is going to be really exciting with the introduction of the western type theme. I’ve enjoyed the dynamics between Negan and Rick’s group, but ready for a new arc, so season 9 has me pumped!

Hey, I love Negan myself! I’m also really excited to see what season 9 brings to us. And also all of the new things it brings to all of the content creators out there such as yourself!
One final question; as someone who makes jewelry and soaps, do you have any favorite piece of apparel merchandise released by AMC/Skybound from TWD in particular?

As a matter of fact, I do. My husband is such a sweetheart. We’ve been married for 34 years as of August 4th, but he allows me to have what I call a TV husband, too. I start every single day enjoying multiple cups of coffee With my TV husband’s signature fangirl mug.

Photograph by Starr LaPradd
Photograph by Starr LaPradd /

A wonderful way to start the morning! Hopefully, in the near future, Starr will be out at about at a convention near you to share these wonderful creations! In the meantime, and lucky for you, there are lots of ways to get into contact with Starr to buy one of her items! Follow SugarSoulCreations on Facebook, Etsy, and Instagram! You can follow Starr herself on Twitter and Instagram, too.

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Are you a cosplayer? An artist or another content creator of some sort? A collector of merchandise? Would you like to be one of our Featured Fans? Send an e-mail to sonnentreppe@gmail.com with your name, location, and what sort of fun thing you do (cosplay, art, photos, videos, etc), and maybe I’ll contact you sometime soon for an interview!