Mom-Made Sustainable Wares: An Interview With Designs Maya Made

Jeanne Sager
1

Meet Maya Donenfeld of Designs Maya Made, a crafty mom from upstate New York who makes and sells vintage headbands, clips, and more.

We've got a serious Etsy habit going on here at The Stir, but while we're drooling, moms like Maya are finding time to make some seriously cute crafts. We track down one mom every week to give you a look at what it means to buy Mom-Made.

Tell us the story behind Designs Maya Made.

I've always made things ... from art to gifts to just the stuff we needed but couldn't afford. The kind feedback I received on my newly launched blog gave me the courage to open up an Etsy shop over a year ago.

About the same time, I discovered an untapped resource in salvaged coffee sacks and decided to rescue them. Although I feature all different kinds of handmade/eco goods in my shop, recycled coffee sack items are the backbone of what I sell. I was so surprised by the huge demand for my coffee sack buckets, and I just couldn't keep up. So, I created patterns of my most popular designs and now sell them, along with the occasional brigade of my own buckets.

It's such a win-win because I love to teach people how to make things, and I could've never made as many buckets as were requested!

How many children do you have?

I have a son (11) and a daughter (5).

How much time do you spend crafting every week?

It varies week to week, but I definitely spend at least 40 hours a week crafting a blog, sewing for the shop, and sharing tutorials.

How do you make the time to craft while being a parent?

It depends on what I'm making. Most things happen when the children are asleep, but I have my workspace adjacent to my daughter's art space. We enjoy parallel creating. My son usually pokes around to see what I'm doing, but then returns to his own projects or a stack of books.

Do you have your own craft room or do you share space with your kids?

As I mentioned, my craft room is next to my daughter's art table/corner. Our entire downstairs is an open-floor plan, so there are no doors. Nonetheless, it's all my own! After years of working on the dining room table (which I still find myself returning to), I appreciate my room to no end.

What are your favorite craft blogs and/or shops?

I'm very intrigued by other mothers who are balancing their need to create with parenting and am drawn to blogs that share this. I never cease to be amused and inspired by Amy of Angry Chicken. For children's crafts, there's nothing better than The Crafty Crow. For fascinating and beautiful finds, I've recently fallen in love with the blog Kickcan and Conkers. Amanda of Soulemama always has something beautiful to read about.

SHOWN ABOVE:

Nesting Burlap Buckets Sewing Tutorial; $9

Weekend Carryall; $48

Read More