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November 08, 2021

The Holiday Maker's Market: Meet The Creators pt. 1

collage of female entrepreneurs

When you shop small, an actual person does a little happy dance.

Now more than ever, it's important to shop small by supporting independent creators where you can. So this season we're thrilled to continue The Maker's Market, a curated hub of our favorite hand-selected artisan goods. 

We’ve partnered with a handful of women-run small businesses to bring you a collection of handcrafted jewelry and home goods that will surely spark joy. The difference is in the details - each design showcases the craftsmanship and creativity these women bring to life through their one-of-a-kind designs. From handmade pillows to expressive jewelry , they're the perfect pieces to gift this holiday season or just to treat yourself with. 

Get to know two of our favorite makers below!

collage of female entrepreneurs

1. Hello Happy Handmade

Hannah Styza, the creator behind Hello Happy Handmade, knows that the best way to transform a space is with some cute throw pillows. Every piece she makes is carefully crafted and totally unique. Everything she makes will be sure to put a smile on your face and have your friends + family asking about your new throw pillows. Read on to get to know Hannah!

Hi Hannah! Can you tell us how you got started Hello Happy Handmade? 

I started Hello Happy Handmade in 2014 and I only offered crocheted scarves, hats, and knit baby blankets. My love for creating and the passion I had for crocheting was truly why I started my business. I studied textile design in college and I dreamed of working for myself so one thing led to another and I created an account on Etsy. Hello Happy Handmade has evolved so much in the past eight years. I have offered everything from knit goods, natural dyed accessories, baby leggings, sewn headbands (and more!) until one day I finally found what would transform Hello Happy Handmade into what it is today- the punch needle. 

Quite the transformation! Could you tell us what your process is like?

I have always loved home decor and I felt like pillows were something that can totally transform a space, and who doesn't love some good throw pillows? I spent hours handcrafting each pillow and the demand for them became overwhelming. I was gifted two tufting guns and a tufting frame from my now husband because he wanted to see me reach my fullest potential and there was no way I could do that spending 4 hours (plus!) making each pillow. The tufting gun cut my production time in half and increased the quality and durability of the pillows. Now, I have my workshop set up in the sunroom of my home, I sit in my jammies with my coffee and a good podcast and I have the joy of explaining to people how I make pillows for a living. 

What a special gift from your husband! What’s been your favorite piece you’ve created so far and why?

My favorite piece that I have created so far is "The Warmscape Pillow" which was one of the first custom pillows I had made for a customer. She reached out asking for a pillow that would match her room, which happened to have the famous painting by Gustav Klimt "The Kiss" acting as her headboard. Having loved that artist for years, I was immediately inspired and created a pillow with geometric shapes co mingling with organic linework. I used warm gold and amber tones inspired by the painting. The customer was thrilled and I had a pillow that would become one of my best selling designs. 

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

I constantly feel inspired by my sister, Sam. She also is an artist and runs an Etsy shop from her home in Wisconsin. She creates beautiful paintings and art prints. She is always the person I turn to for business advice, artistic inspiration and she helps me feel like I can conquer any obstacle. It's such a blessing having someone I'm so close with who can relate to the life of a working artist. I've been drawing inspiration from her for as long as I can remember. I feel like seeing her paint in our house growing up, going to her art shows throughout high school and college, and watching her create an artistic name for herself has helped shape who I am as a creative entrepreneur. You can find her on social @birdsnestlovefern

So sweet! What makes your pieces different from others?

I find that the beauty is in the details, and that is something I strive for in every pillow I make. It takes patience and a lot of practice, but the quality of my work is something I take great pride in. Every pillow goes through a thorough inspection, not one loop is uneven or out of place and they are built durable and made to last. I still make every pillow myself and I feel like my detail oriented craftsmanship shines in each piece. If there is ever an issue I am quick to address it and make sure the customer gets the best of the best. 

What’s your “L” ?

I am surrounded by things that bring me joy in my life. I can find it everywhere, but mostly in my home-closest to my heart. I find joy in the simple things, playing countless games with my son, snuggling with my pups, enjoying meals with my husband. Happiness and joy are easy to find in a house full of love. The dream of creating art for a living was inspired by the passion to do something that made me happy, and that is why I choose to say Hello to Happy every day. 

+ Follow Hello Happy Handmade here

2. Saturdazies

Meet Alyssa, the creator behind Saturdazies, a Y2K inspired beaded jewelry collection. A trend that's not going away anytime soon. Her business turned out to be somewhat of a happy accident but we will touch on that down below. Read on to get to know Alyssa and more about Saturdazies!

Hi Alyssa! How did you get started with Saturdazies? 

I've always had bead kits laying around the house but it wasn't until 2021 that I decided to make it a business! A quick backstory: in December 2020 I broke my ankle skateboarding (my specific-to-ankle-breaks Dr said it was "the worst break she'd seen in a long time"). This led me to have multiple surgeries & be couch ridden for approximately 5 months. It was miserable, so in an effort to stay creative & curious, I endlessly played with beading. 

OMG, We are glad you are okay! What is your process like? 

A little of this.. a sprinkle of that.. trying this.. scraping that.. sometimes I envision something so clearly & it turns out exactly as I hoped, other times I have an idea & within half a strand of beads I'll think "this isn't it" & start all over. My favorite part of the process is collaborating with friends & customers for custom pieces -- it opens my mind to an idea that maybe I wouldn't have landed on myself & then that usually inspires me to take a different path!

Where do you find inspiration for your designs? 

In everyday life, it can be the color combo of a friend's outfit that sparks an idea, a specific bead I find while I'm out sourcing supplies that sends me down a spiral of nonstop creation, something I think of in the shower.. etc. It's my favorite when a package of *new to me* beads arrives at my house, I typically drop everything I was previously doing & immediately whip up new pieces.. just like an excited-to-play-with-their-new-toys kid on Christmas morning... I cannot be stopped!

What’s been your favorite piece you’ve created so far and why? 

The 50/50 is hands down my favorite piece, it is one half freshwater pearls + one half polymer clay, glass + acrylic bead charms. It's such a fun piece & it all started as a way for me to leave no bead behind (because 0% waste is the goal right!) It's also *kind of* a 3 in one when you look at it... when worn straight on you see the clear 50/50 on each side, however, if you pull the freshwater pearls to the front you have a more classic pearl look + when you pull the charms to the front you have all the fun.. so you get to pick your mood, a lil of both, classic or fun :)

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

All my friends do -- I am so lucky to have surrounded myself with so many ambitious makers! I have to shout out my bestie, Danielle though (she was my first DJ partner ever, we used to create a different dance wonderland each & every month- it was a great outlet for us!) She is truly the most magical and wild and creative and fun and joyful and kind human I've ever met. When I told her about my plan for Saturdazies, which at the time was nameless, I said I want the name to feel like "you want to live for the weekend where you feel fun & free" ...from there our conversation led us to the name Saturdazies *which I love SO MUCH*

What makes Saturdazies pieces different from others?

Not to have a totally business answer here but... price point! I had seen some of these super fun Y2K inspired jewelry pieces & thought OMG I NEED - then I'd click in to buy & see a necklace priced at $135(or higher!)... at the time I was jobless & with a broken ankle so couldn't really justify spending that on a necklace nobody besides my couch would see me wear so... I made it myself and promised to keep my prices as fair as possible! Plus.. I live for those who send me a DM wanting something so special and one of a kind, you can't find that everywhere ;)

What’s your “L” ?

Totally feel like I'm cheating here because my "L" is 2 words & neither start with a L (>_<) ...for me my greatest joy in life is ~staying wild~ because life is too short & for me, I crave inspiration. Personally, I find inspiration comes from living life to the fullest, loving your friends (& telling them so!), traveling the world, being thankful and also curious, & taking chances. Sure you might end up with a broken ankle on your couch in the middle of a pandemic winter but... would Saturdazies have been born if I didn't stay wild? Prolly not... Do I still skateboard... of course :) 

+ Follow Alyssa here

+ Follow Saturdazies here


+ Shop The Maker's Market here

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