crafty synergy feature | maya made

The simplicity of Maya's work is what first caught my eye. The materials and her graphic designs are a perfect match. The organic feel is an added bonus and I confess, I just love burlap. I also happen to be very partial to the country name on the bucket of the first photo.

Artist: Maya Donenfeld
Business: Designs Maya Made
Web site:,
Blog: maya*made
Location: Upstate NY

What do you create?
I design items for home and family that celebrate simplicity and sustainability. You'll often find me working with burlap from salvaged coffee sacks. I live just down the road from the roasters for Gimme!, one of New York's most popular coffee companies. Using materials that would otherwise go to waste is a common thread in much of my work. I often find fresh ideas in my recycling bins! In addition, I design patterns and write craft tutorials. I love empowering people to make things on their own. I have a strong belief in the power of DIY and feel compelled to spread the word.

When and why did you start your business?
I had been a stay at home mom (of two) for a decade and was wondering which path I would choose as my children grew older. I had a wonderful opportunity in February of 2008. I was hired as the interior design consultant for a renovation for Mama Goose, a local children's re-sale shop. For inspiration for current design trends, I was pointed in the direction of design blogs. A whole new world opened up and I fell in... down the rabbit hole I went. I soon realized that writing my own blog was a perfect way to chronicle the progress of the renovation. maya*made quickly took on a life of its own as I shared stories about my rural lifestyle and how-to's for making something out of nothing. My readers' enthusiastic responses to my projects encouraged me to open an Etsy shop and determined its focus. Designs Maya Made has been open for a little over a year. I feel so fortunate to have found a business that combines ,not only my background in early childhood education, natural foods, and the arts, but that I can do it from home, as well. maya*made is the first time that all of those pieces of me fit together perfectly!

Which of your tools is your favorite?
I love my sewing machine for everything from coffee sacks to paper, but right now I'm having a love affair with all of my printing tools. Carving my own designs has been one of the highlights of the last year. I find the process of carving to be so meditative and relaxing. I so enjoy the creative challenge of integrating my printed images with the things I make.

What part of the creative process do you enjoy the most?
It's hard to choose just one element, because I'm passionate about each step of the process: from the dreaming and brainstorming... to the sourcing of materials... to the making... to the styling for the photo shoots. What I hadn't anticipated, was the exhilaration of being part of an enthusiastic and supportive global community. Sharing the process, and all of its components on my blog, has connected me with makers all over the world in ways that I never could have imagined.

Thank you so much Maya!

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