Monday, May 3, 2010

Behind the Design - Maramiki

Happy Monday everyone!  How was your weekend?  We spent most of ours working on house projects which was exhausting and rewarding because some progress is starting to be seen, not much, but some!

This week's Behind the Design features the incredibly talented textile designer, Mara of Maramiki.

Where does your inspiration come from?
From all over really, but mostly nature.  I love outdoor spaces with small, thoughtful areas carved out.  I like to observe things up-close and personal, so a quiet spot where I can study interesting plants and flowers is very inspiring.  I'm also amazed by people who make their dreams happen with far more obstacles and limitations than I have - seeing passion, will, sacrifice, and vision in action are unbelievably inspiring to me, and humbling.

Do you have a spot that you like to go that helps you feel creative?
For me it's more of a frame of mind, and making time to create.  Like most people, I'm constantly taking in an assimilating ideas, so having time to myself to be still and work through them is a delight.  As long as I have my sketchbook and pens, I'm good...I could be at home, waiting in line, the DMV, wherever, as long as I can take a breath and focus.

Where do you do most of your work?
I have a studio at home where I do my drawing/designing, printing, sewing, shipping, the whole bit.  It's a great spot.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
My husband came up with it; it's my first name (Mara) along with the name of my first design (miki).  It feels personal but doesn't take itself too seriously...which is a good thing.

Your favorite thing to make?
Quilts, duvet covers, and bedding of any kind.  I'm such a homey person, even more so now with a family, that creating warmth and serenity for intimate spaces makes me very happy.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
I like best whatever I've done most recently; it keeps things moving and fresh.  Right now, it's my 'daisy' design printed in black ink, on flax linen.  I love it.

You couldn't run your business without ___________?
Belief in myself.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
Don't wait for everything to be in place before getting started - find something that speaks to your heart, and commit to making it work.  Striking out on your own, especially if you're putting something creative and personal out there, is full of obstacles and uncertainty.  Expect to have to work hard, figure things out on the fly, and keep your goals in mind.  Then...jump in!

Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
I don't read anything daily, but I love Dwell magazine for its clean, modern aesthetic, and Sunset magazine, for its amazing gardens and West Coast flavor.  I'm also constantly referring to Twyla Tharp's, 'The Creative Habit' for lessons in disciplining a creative mind.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
One of my daughters, ages 4 and 5 1/2.  How do they see the world?  What is it like to be 3 1/2 feet tall, scared of foxes, and completely taken by any small item strewn along the sidewalk?  They are so heartbrakingly earnest, which is both curious and refreshing.  I'd love to go through the day with that filter.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
Everything in my life kind of overlaps.  My work is such an extension of me, that it's integrated into the rest of my life and vice versa.  Travel, hiking, and trail running, designing, and decorating objects and spaces, plumping up my family with baked goods...see?  Overlap.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
India.  For the color, food, spirituality, history, connection to the earth, people, yoga.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
A guidebook for herbal remedies, a sketchbook or journal to document my year, a huge puffy duvet, sunscreen, and a bunch of my husband's t-shirts.

Thank you Mara for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Mara, Maramiki.

Mara can be found at:
Etsy Shop


Mara Snipes said...

Thanks for the feature, and the very thought-provoking questions. The 5-things-on-a-desert-island question got passed around our friends and family, where it was revealed (confirmed, actually) that I'm hopelessly impractical, and in love with comfort...

Anyway, thanks again for having me!

shellie said...

Great interview...I love her prints...her shop has been a fav of mine for a wile now!