Meet the Vendor: Maple + Mauve
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sera and I am the owner of Maple + Mauve, a minimalist jewelry line. I design and create every piece in the line – no item hasn’t been touched by me. All items are either concrete, wood or ceramic. You can find me here.
What was your first memory of making something?
Making potato stamps when I was a Girl Scout Brownie.
What is your favorite new product for 2014?
Probably my multifaceted ceramic earrings. I started with a small (nay, tiny) version of the studs and now make an almost comically large version, which makes me giddy with delight because I love them so much. They are angular and bold while staying true to the minimal qualities of the line as a whole. I will be giving away a pair of said earrings at the Winter Show to one lucky winner!
How did you get started in your business?
I received my BFA in Interior Design from Iowa State University in 2009 and that education has tremendously impacted my work. The line is very architecturally influenced, having started it while working as a designer at a small architecture firm in Seattle. It was an opportunity to have a creative outlet outside of work, where I didn’t have to compromise my designs because of budgets or aesthetic differences. I also just missed using my hands to create a product from start to finish. The process was fast and as the creator, I didn’t have to wait for client approval before making a tangible design. I liked how quickly I could see my designs come to life.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
How to be kind to myself and learn from my mistakes. When I decided to focus on Maple + Mauve full time, there was so much I didn’t know. (I probably still don’t know enough!) There can be a lot of pressure to keep up with everything (social media and marketing, website updates, balancing books, photographing and styling shoots, progression for expansion in general…) on top of just designing and creating products I love and want to show the world. The process of starting your own business is a very humbling one. I think people who go this route are often perfectionists – they want to control all angles of their business because, it is indeed, their baby. It can be hard to let other people step in. Once I realized I couldn’t do it all and actually came to terms with that, I was able to learn more about my weaknesses and then open myself up to the type of constructive criticism I needed in order to improve.