Monday, March 17, 2014

In The Studio With... Studio Of Mae

Love Mae is an Australian company that designs and brings to life gorgeous children’s products and homewares. 
Thrive: What got you started on this creative path and how long have you been at it?

Studio Of Mae: Its hard to believe, but Love Mae will be 6 this year. Just like a baby its a warping of time that is both slow and fast. I didn't start this journey alone, so I can thank two others for being involved at the beginning of Love Mae. It was the three of us that gave the shape and look that you see today. Although they are not with me anymore, I still feel like we created such a strong feel and now I just guide her on her path. I love the everyday of Love Mae all of its creative and business side.  
T: What is your favorite thing about being a business owner?
S: I love that I can work my own hours, I've always leaned toward working for myself. My children are still young so I can work around their schedules which is handy. But as the cliche goes I work twice as hard for myself as I would have to for anyone else. I try not to work out my hourly rate, but then again I don't think it would make much difference towards my attitude. 
T: Explain your creative process.
S: Often I'll have my most creative ideas while I'm travelling or clear headed. If I have a deadline for a new design or product, I'll try and schedule in some time alone too... without distractions. I think its important to meditate to let all those intuitions bubble up from the unconscious. Sometimes ideas come from our lovely customers who reach out and tell us what they would love.
T: Favorite thing about your studio space?
S: The Love Mae studio is in a tiny little town called Stokers Siding in Northern NSW, Australia.  We work in big old weatherboard building that was originally the general store.  Since then it has been a pottery studio and gallery.  Just outside our door are fruit trees and chickens, vegetables growing a little creek.  it's paradise. I can walk to work and my girls are both at school walking distance from the studio. I really do think I'm living the dream. 
T: What keeps you motivated?
S: Building a business and watching it grow definitely keeps me motivated. I also love creating beautiful things and the world that I find myself in. But don't get me wrong, on those bad days I just walk away and hope that tomorrow I feel better about it. Secretly one of my biggest motivations is the travel. I get to go to some amazing parts of the world and as much as I'd love my family to travel with me I enjoy it as my moments for the time being. One day we'll be able to afford for all of us to go on the trips that I do for work. 
T: What music do you play in your studio get you in the creative mood?
S: Music is playing constantly in the studio.  There's not one genre that I stick to - it's a fairly eclectic mix.  Everything from Lou Reed to Tool to Zee Avi. I must admit I grew up listening to quite heavy music, but I love most genres. You need it to cover all the moods of life. 
T: When the sky is falling and work is overwhelming what do you do to relive stress?
S: I live only a short drive from incredible beaches.  I love to take long walks, collect shells and driftwood.  And I swim too.  And then I drive back to the studio and put my head down! I try to meditate as much as I can... still working on it being a daily practice. Maybe when my girls are a little bit older they might understand more and allow me the time. 
T: Whats the best advice that you have been given?
S: The best business advice I've been given is to understand every aspect of the business. I jump in and out of every role from time to time to keep my finger on the pulse. Its very important to know your business. 

T: What is your favorite place in the world?
S: I've travelled so much in this short lifetime of mine so I've got many favourite places. Nothing beats a beautiful beach on a perfectly hot day and northern NSW has some of the best I've seen in the world. Despite the crowds I must admit Byron Bay has the pick of the beaches for me. 
T: Thank-you so much for sharing all that with us! Here at Thrive we LOVE Studio of Mae products so much! They are uniquely crafted and beautifully designed, so job well done! 
Stop by the store today and we will be happy to show you there wonderful items. We currently cary their wrapping paper and a variety of their fabric wall decals. Thanks for reading and hope to see you soon!

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