As a maker myself, I appreciate other makers and want to celebrate them and what they do. Every so often, I will post about a maker I admire. A few simple interview questions to get to know them better and images of their work will make up this Maker column. I know you will love them just as much as I do.
Araya of Wind & Willow Home makes her home in the Twin Cities like me but when I first met her, we were both standing on the roof of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in New York City for Alt. Throughout the day I’d been hearing that there was another Minnesotan in the group but it wasn’t until the rooftop cocktail party when I got to shake her hand. She is darling and spunky and makes really cool stuff.
Who are you and what do you do?
Hello, I’m Araya (like A-Ray-A-Sunshine) Jensen and I am the Owner | Maker at Wind & Willow Home. I design and make housewares consisting most of wood and a custom mixed rubber material.
How did you get here?
My professional career started with a dream to create beautiful spaces so I headed to the city to pursue a degree in Interior Design. I began my career in various retail showrooms in areas such as lighting design, tile and stone, custom furniture, cabinetry and finally found my niche in the Kitchen and Bathroom Design/remodeling industry. After having a successful career over 12 years, I was laid off due to the housing market crash. Jobless, 7 months pregnant with my 2nd child and lots of confusion, it seems that fate had another plan for me. I started creating these simple yet modern housewares as gifts, put them on Etsy and that is where the story of Wind & Willow Home began. My first item went up on Etsy on March 1st 2012. The past year and a half has been full of hard work, learning by necessity and enjoying the ride.
Tell us about your day.
Well, as a wife and mother of 2 (6 year old and a 3 year old) and a business owner, there is not typical day. But in short, most days consist of getting the kids off to school, heading down to my studio, which is conveniently located in my basement, creating, making, thinking, getting messy and tending to my business, of course. Then, back up to take on my motherly duties until the kids go to bed. Once they are tucked in, back to business and maybe a quick visit with my husband.
What inspires you? How do you stay inspired?
My family inspires me to work hard and work smart. I tend to get my creative inspiration from nature, usually the small details in nature.
If you weren’t a maker, you would be a _________.
A Hip Hop Dancer (not that I can actually dance)! But it seems like it would be really amazing to move like that…maybe in another life.
I absolutely adore the mini bowls. The colors, the quality, I want them all! I’m hoping I can talk her into letting me lurk in her studio to watch her work someday. That will be a great day. :)
For more Araya, find her here:
This is not a sponsored post. I have hand-chosen the makers because I like their work. To keep the style and look of this blog, I did photograph their work myself. The pieces were then returned to their makers.