Monday, March 19, 2018

Interview: Marabelle Handmade

Happy Monday!

Today I'm bringing you my next interviewee!

I hope that you all are enjoying these interviews as much as I am.
It's so much fun to meet other small business owners in the Baltimore area, and I'm learning so much from each person that I interview!

I think it's important, especially today, to highlight other small business owners (& women) who have a strong side hustle, full time hustle and just all around- hustle!

To me, it's inspiring. It helps keep me going. 
And a common theme- they are all such GOOD people. 

Enter today's interviewee- Marabelle Handmade, owned by Mary Wahl. 

Photo of Mary taken at Batch Bake Shop

I found Mary the way that I find so many talented creatives- Instagram.
No shock there if you know me (or have seen my instagram activity)!

We decided to meet up at local bakery Batch Bake Shop , it would take an entire blog post to talk about the goodies there- but let me just say the macarons, are amazing. I also had an everything bagel, made from scratch, that was equally delicious. 

A quick photo tour inside of Batch Bake Shop

Handmade bagels

Adorable sitting space

A few fun facts about Mary!
+ She is from upstate New York originally, but moved to MD 
to go to Goucher College.
+ She met her hubby at Goucher!
+ She has a sweet Husky named Mishka, who is 2 years old (obviously I love that she
is a dog person!)
+ She comes from a family of entrepreneurs, which comes in handy when 
she has questions about business decisions!

Mary, her husband and adorable husky pup!


Q: How long have you been crafting/quilting?
A: I started when I was very young. My mom taught sewing out of our home, and I was "encouraged" to take the classes. As a child it was hard to have the patience and there were ups and downs, although I did enjoy it. Then later I found that it was a creative side that I really loved and needed in my life. Once I graduated and had more free time, I really started to dive into it.

Her newest pattern "diamond cascade", available for purchase as a PDF

-I learned during the interview that not only does Mary quilt, but she also makes her own patterns (first one photo'd above) & she teaches classes locally here in Baltimore-

Q: How long do you spend quilting/teaching/making patterns a week?
A: I work part time 20 hours a week making quilts and patterns, 2-4 nights a week teaching and it's about 50/50 between doing custom work and teaching as far as splitting my time.

An adorable t-shirt quilt example that she has done for a client

I then asked her how long it takes to make a custom quilt. She was hesitant and rightly so. It's not such a cut and dry answer. In fact, there are so many variables that go into making a quilt! She guesses a pretty plain basic standard throw size quilt would take approximately 10-12 hours total. Of course as they get bigger, they take even more time. Wow!

A simple patchwork baby quilt but with hand sewn binding
This takes longer but the end result is beautiful

Q. Where do you teach classes?
A. So far, local modern fabric shop Domesticity and the BMI have hosted me. This spring I'll also be teaching at the Maryland Flaghouse Museum and Openworks.

Teaching a class at the BMI

Q. What is something that you've learned from owning a small business?
A. How to do taxes! *laughs* But also to really trust my gut and instincts and just go for it! You also have to be very disciplined to work from home part time. It's good to keep a routine. It's also so different creating vs. doing work (at her other job) on the computer. It's very therapeutic.

Modern fabric shop Domesticity

Mary also said something that I found so fascinating and empowering, especially as a woman.

"Making your own clothes and other things can be a radical statement. 

For example, I was recently at a political event in a room full of men and women in suits, and I was wearing a dress I had made myself. I felt a sense of pride and perhaps a sneaky sense of rebellion just knowing that fact. Often, you can't really tell if I've made a specific clothing item or bought it from the store, but my own knowledge of it feels powerful."

Applique quilt made with pattern by Elizabeth Hartman

Q. How can people get in touch?
A. You can contact me via my website or on instagram! The website has a custom order form that you can fill out to tell me a little more about what you may be looking for with your quilt. For classes, I post about it on instagram, but you can also find out via Domesticity's page as well.

A quick look inside Domesticity

I have to say I love the modern quilting twists that Mary does, and they just look so cozy as well. 
Thank you Mary for interviewing with me, it was so much fun!

Have a great Monday. 

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