Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alliday Artist: Meet be Mary by Hand!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I have been married to my husband for 5 and ½ years and have a daughter, Hazel and son, Drake.  I am a stay-at-home mom, my family and I are raising support to be missionaries to Berlin, Germany to work with a church plant called RESETBerlin.  I was inspired to start creating by my Grandma Mary (for whom I named my shop).  She was an excellent painter, she sewed, crocheted, and her house was filled with so many of her creations.   After she passed away the most precious and desired objects to be divvied up between her four daughters were the things she had made.  I want to have that kind of legacy for my family.  I want to fill my home with handmade things and offer others the same opportunity.  Any object that can be reasonably handmade, for my family, needs to be.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products.
I desire to create anything for the home: tea towels, napkins, wash cloths, pillows, curtains, etc.  I also have a passion for custom, unique dolls.  I am so proud of my dolls, which I sell as play sets.  Each doll  has a persona (i.e. princess, hippie, pirate), two accessories/toys, and they all come together in a tote bag.  I think children should be introduced to and grow to love handmade and unique toys.  I also desire to be able to repurpose materials that have lost their luster or are waiting to be thrown away and turn them into something else.  I like to use old sweaters, or sheets, or rescue anything usable from a future in a landfill.  I hate to waste things and I love to give dead things new life.  I simply love to create useful and unique homemade objects and I want my handmade items to be an available and a viable option instead of mass produced, cookie cutter housewares.
Where do you find inspiration?
I love the vintage styles of the 40's, 50's, and 60's.  Something about a simpler, slower lifestyle is very appealing to me.  My Grandma Mary always had excellent taste, I love to imagine what she would have owned or made or loved, and then start sewing.  I also find inspiration from actually sewing clothes from vintage patterns.  It seems like the more vintage objects I have around me, the more I desire to create. 

The Alliday show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday!  That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
I am not sure if it counts, but I think I would choose my birthday.  There is something special about being celebrated by those you love.  It's not necessarily receiving a present, but just the general goodwill you receive from people, even complete strangers when you tell them it is your birthday. You can even get free cake or pie at restaurants! 

If you create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
I love the entire Fall/Winter holiday season, and I think instead of trying to spread another holiday into a different part of the year I would just add to the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year cluster.  I'd do it in the middle of October, a couple weeks before Halloween, to celebrate the beginning of Fall.  It would be a Monday (like Labor and Memorial Days) where most businesses close and people would attend Fall Festivals all together.  Families would take special long-weekend trips to Grandma's house to bob for apples, carve pumpkins, and be active outside.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I don't know if I have a specific favorite holiday tradition yet, but now that I am a mother I really do enjoy trying to build a set of holiday (specifically Christmas) traditions for my children that are unique to our nuclear family.  I want them to have things to look forward too aside from gifts and consumerism.  
How would you describe your work in three words?
Simple. Purposeful. Personal.

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