Happy Friday, readers! This week I'd like to introduce you to the creative lady behind Maisonwares. Cat owners in Providence will know Ryan as the woman who made all those catnip toys that you've been giving your cats. Read on to learn more about Ryan's handmade business.
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business.
Hello there! I'm Ryan Marie Samuel and I'm the lady behind Maisonwares. I make goods for people and pets that are colorful, unique, adorable, and unexpected. My main goal is simple: to make people smile. I have eclectic tastes and I bring that diversity to my selection of fabrics that I use to make aprons and fabric covered light switch plate covers.
Describe your studio for us.
My studio is one corner of my living room. I have a big desk space that is multipurpose, plenty of storage for all my supplies, and my computer. My cat is often laying nearby watching me as I sew/glue away.
What was the inspiration for your wildly popular catnip toys?
I have always had cats and nothing is more fun than seeing their eyes bulge as they leap with joy, attacking a catnip filled toy. Several years ago I decided to make a mustache filled catnip toy simply because it made me laugh. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that lots of other people also found it humorous. Since then I've started making other types of catnip toys like pizza slices and catnip french fries.
What do you like to do when you're in a creative rut?
Usually it just means I need to get outside, spend time with loved ones, or read a good book. While living life as usual I generally find my next bout of inspiration.
What's your most treasured handmade item?
I have a blanket from my childhood that my grandmother crocheted for me. It's mint and cream and pink colored which was the color scheme in my very first room as a babe. It will always remind me of the added simple joy hand-making something brings to others.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade is a unique experience for both artists and shoppers. It gives people the opportunity to share inspiration and be inspired. Every hand-maker I know loves what they do and loves sharing it with others. I am no different, and watching customers get excited about my products is pretty much the entire point of why I keep making things.
How did you become involved with Craftland?
I'm one of the organizers of the Boston Bazaar Bizarre. Through working with this group I learned about Craftland and applied to be part of their Christmas 2011 show, after which I was asked to continue selling in the shop. I've always enjoyed shopping at Craftland, and am excited to now offer my wares through this brightly colored, well displayed retail space.
Little known, fun fact about you?
When I was little I used to make maple syrup with my Dad from the trees on our property in Franklin, NH.