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Meet the Maker

Meet the Maker: Mary Marie Knits

Meet the MakerCara CoreyComment
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Richmond-based knitter Cara Corey has been selling her hand knit hats, scarves and rope baskets in the shop since we first opened. Now she regularly teaches workshops, including our popular hand crochet blanket class, rope basket making, and our new knit a chunky scarf workshop. O and you probably recognize her face because she even works at the store once a week!

Cara describes her line, Mary Marie Knits, as simple and modern, and she gravitates toward chunky yarns and large-scale knitting. "I try to pick styles that are timeless, so you can wear them year after year," she says. 

Get to know Cara with our Q&A below. 

 The seed stitch cowl comes in two lengths: single and double loop 

The seed stitch cowl comes in two lengths: single and double loop 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

I draw a lot of inspiration from Scandinavian design. It has always been easy to find chunky wool yarns in Europe. Only recently have they become popular and easy to find here. I will try knitting with anything, including rope and my own felted wool cord. 

I am also inspired by the handiwork of my grandmother, Mary Marie Mason. She passed her love of crafting on to my mom, sister, and I. So I intend to pass it on to my kids. 

 Crowns are available in child and adult sizes. 

Crowns are available in child and adult sizes. 

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

My husband and I frequent the old-school taco truck that's parked outside of the Hotsy Totsy Club in El Cerrito. I usually get tacos al pastor. 

What do you like most about the maker community?

Most of us did not come from a business background (I started out as a journalist.) So I think there is a spirit of community and helping each other succeed that doesn't exist in other fields. Every time I attend a maker event, I meet more amazing people, and I have been blown away by how kind, accepting and supportive they have been. 

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Where is your favorite place to travel?

That's a tough one. I don't travel as much now that I have little kids and I miss it! I have a sweet spot for Boulder, Colorado, where I used to live. A few years ago my best friend and I took a Mediterranean cruise. I would love to go back to just about any of the places we stopped in Greece, Italy, France and Spain. I would also LOVE to go to Australia someday. 

What do you want for your next birthday?

A shopping spree at gather! Seriously, I have about 50 items on my wish-list right now. 

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What does your work space look like? 

I have a little cottage behind my house that was just a dirty garage when we moved in. My husband and his dad decided to finish the walls and make it into a studio for me. It was a dramatic transformation and I feel so lucky to have a place for my many, many yarns. 

Meet the Maker: Desiree Salas

Meet the MakerDaisy McClellanComment
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Oakland-based designer Desiree Salas creates vintage-inspired, feminine women’s clothing for all seasons. "I love designing pretty dresses in colorful retro prints that are either floral or nature themed," she says. "My signature piece is a 1940's-inspired A-line wrap dress that’s been nicknamed 'The boyfriends' favorite'."

Her basics, which you may have seen on our racks, also include a dark denim '70's inspired wrap skirt (a nod to Marsha Brady) and a lightweight chambray denim utility dress. Desiree hand drafts and sizes all of her patterns. "After working years in corporate fashion, I've perfected my fit and feel, and that's a big selling point," she says. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is people watching! Bay Area women really have such a unique and individual style. I love how they mix prints, seasons and pieces from different eras. There are no rules here.

Also many of the local boutique owners have stylish customers that I've been known to stalk someone for blocks to take note of what they're wearing. 

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If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

I absolutely LOVE El Sabrosito in Oakland. It's home style Salvadoran food. The truck is only parked weekdays on Broadway and 3rd. They have the most delicious pupusas stuffed with veggies & cheese or chicharron & beans. Perfect topped with their coleslaw and a cold horchata. I love that it's run by two sisters, Claudia & Maria, that work side by side and are inspired by their parents' family recipes.

What do you like most about the maker community?

The maker community is so supportive! Trunk shows and maker fairs are a great way to meet other artists. Often, working on your craft can be isolating if you don't share studio space. Working intensively, hours can go by without talking with anyone. I feel that at maker events, it's a great what to connect, share your craft, insight and experiences.

I'm always inspired by how hard makers work and how passionate they are about sharing their product.

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Where is your favorite place to travel?

I love traveling to Mexico and recently went 2 years in a row. I love the artistry work that each town has to offer. In Guadalajara, I found the most beautiful hand-embroidered dress and tops and colorful woven shoes. In Sayulita, I was enthralled with the brightly colored tassels, pom poms and dream catchers everywhere. The tassels were used to decorate everything from purses to blouses to car visors!

What do you want for your next birthday?

A Sodastream!

What does your work space look like? .

It's really a funky shack behind my home. I have large windows that look out to my lemon, fig and orange trees. It feels like a cabin and a wonderful relaxing place to work. It's stocked full of my years of collecting machines, trims and bolts of fabrics.

Meet the Maker: Krista Tranquilla

Meet the MakerDaisy McClellanComment
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Inspired by the mountains where she grew up and the ones where she currently lives in Truckee, CA, jewelry maker Krista Tranquilla creates outdoor-themed necklaces, earrings, cuffs and more. From John Muir quotes to constellations to ocean and forest imagery, Krista's beautiful work evokes a sense of calm. 

Learn more about Krista and see examples of her jewelry below. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

My inspiration mainly comes from the idea of being outside. I am also inspired by brave and adventurous people.

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If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

For me, it is all about the sauces. So a food truck that would have a bowl of good food and killer sauces to choose from.

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What do you like most about the maker community?

I love how supportive everyone is and that the idea of collaboration is generally shared by all.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

I dream about international travel all the time, but we (my husband and 2 daughters) can be found backpacking in the Sierra or camping on the coast when it comes time to travel..

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What do you want for your next birthday?

A day of pampering.

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What does your work space look like? 

I just moved into a bigger space in my house. It has lots of light and it is very messy. I love it.

Meet the Maker: Elizabeth Street Cosmetics

Meet the MakerDaisy McClellanComment
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Elizabeth Street Cosmetics owner Kelly Crispen designs a collection of anti-oxidant-based and preservative-free lipsticks and lip glosses in several rich colors. 

Each lip color is named for a street in San Francisco, from Valencia to Hayes to Stockton and more. Her lipsticks are also paraben-free and infused with Vitamin E and vanilla. Learn more about this local designer below.

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

Inspiration comes from walking the streets of San Francisco and collecting Pantone color swatches.

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If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

Bowl’d Acai. The original gangster. Acai bowls are better than any dessert imaginable.

What do you like most about the maker community?

The positive energy and warmth that comes from them is incredible. I’ve made so many friends in this realm. We lift each other up and support each other with whatever is needed.

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Where is your favorite place to travel?

Kauai. Enough said. Dreaming of going back.

What do you want for your next birthday?

A bottle of Le Labo Vanille 44 or Gaiac 10 perfume.

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What does your work space look like? 

My work space (pictured above) is organized chaos. Desk full of flat lipstick boxes ready to assemble, spools of labels waiting to go on their components, online orders on their way to ship out.

Meet the Maker: Sarah Liller

Meet the MakerDaisy McClellanComment
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California native Sarah Liller started her line Sarah Liller San Francisco in 2012 after attending Parsons Design School in New York. Each piece is sewn in downtown San Francisco, and the fabric is milled in the USA. Sarah describes her line this way: Sarah Liller SF is meant to be the building blocks of every woman’s wardrobe. Made from the most buttery soft rayon/lycra jersey, the line is easy and flattering. Sarah Liller SF is meant for urbanites on the go, stylish moms, and low key fashionistas.

Sarah's pieces have been flying off the racks since we started carrying them a few months ago, so we are excited to get to know her a little better. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

I watched a lot of old movies growing up, and I was always inspired by the easy elegance of the heroines in them. I like designing clothing that embodies that sense of easy elegance. I think that if you feel good in what you're wearing, your confidence and strength show through, so that's a huge part of my design philosophy, combining elegance, comfort, and style so that the woman wearing my clothes can really shine.

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

I LOVE the Chai Cart...I'm obsessed with a good chai. The key is spicy and not too sweet!

What do you like most about the maker community?

Everyone is so eager to help each other in San Francisco. I also love how many female-owned businesses there are in the maker community at large. Women lifting other women up is my MO.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

I love traveling to places like New York and Paris for style inspiration and natural places like Costa Rica and Bali to ground myself. I'm a naturalist, I love seeing nature and wildlife in other countries, but I also like places where I can get a nice cocktail and wear a pair of heels!

What do you want for your next birthday?

I love traveling on my birthday, so I'd love to go on a trip somewhere exotic like Morocco. I also love anything spiritual, so a tarot card reading or some crystals would totally be my jam!

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What does your work space look like?

My work space is in a building that used to be the Best Foods mayonnaise factory in SF. I have a bunch of machines that I use for making samples and also a couch/hang out section for thinking and designing in. When I'm designing a new line, I always sketch it out and put it up on the wall. I'll catch a glimpse of it every once in a while and get an idea about how to make something better or how something should be put together.

What music or podcast do you love right now?

When I'm sewing or using my hands, I love listening to podcasts. My favorite is called You Must Remember This, which tells juicy stories about Hollywood stars of the 20th century.

The music I listen to while designing always shifts season to season. For fall 17, I was listening to a lot of 1970's yacht rock. For spring 18, I'm listening to a lot of 60's French pop.

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Meet the Maker: Alamere

Meet the MakerDaisy McClellanComment
 Andrew in Alamere's City Puff jacket.

Andrew in Alamere's City Puff jacket.

Alamere Designs co-owners Andrew Langsdorf and Joanne Huang both grew up spending a lot of time outdoors, from snowboarding in the winter to camping and beach trips in the summer. "When starting Alamere, we wanted to create clothing that was technically sound to take to all these places, but could also fit in around town without looking too sporty or flashy," Andrew says. "We use as many sustainable fabrics as possible, such as merino wool and recycled-content fleece, and manufacture everything in the Bay Area."

Learn more about these San Francisco designers and their assistant pup, Fuzz. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

Design inspiration can come from anywhere – nature, art, food - basically anything created simply and elegantly. Even a walk through many of the vintage stores in our neighborhood can spark ideas from clothing generations old; an interesting cuff, collar, or stitch line that we’ve never seen before can grow into an entirely new design for us.

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

 Joanne in front of their favorite food truck.

Joanne in front of their favorite food truck.

Easy consensus for us – brave the long line at Senor Sesig and get the California Sesig Burrito with pork, medium spicy. Maybe add fried egg if you’re feeling adventurous. Refer to photo for evidence :)

What do you like most about the maker community?

We love being a part of the local maker community and meeting other designers through organizations like SF Made, and through the awesome retailers we work with. It is always inspiring to see the wide range of skills, passions, and personalities of fellow local makers. We share local manufacturing battle scars, ideas, and help each other feel like we’re not the only ones trying to breathe life into our ‘crazy idea’.

 Women's softshell jacket.

Women's softshell jacket.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Currently, we can’t get enough of the California Sierras. There are so many incredible places to go - Yosemite, Tahoe, Emigrant Wilderness (highly recommend Gem Lake!) - all with enormous mountains, alpine lakes, and old redwoods.

What do you want for your next birthday?

Joanne: a Tahoe weekend in a ski cabin with good friends
Andrew: a trip somewhere warm with surfing and beach time

 Joanne and Andrew's dog Fuzz. 

Joanne and Andrew's dog Fuzz. 

What does your work space look like?

We work out of a studio in the Upper Haight with high ceilings and enough space for a cutting table, tons of fabric swatches, a small photo studio, and several racks of clothes filled with samples and completed production. Our team also includes a very expressive dog, Fuzz, who basically runs the show.

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Meet the Maker: Passion Lilie (and pre-order the new collection now!)

Meet the MakerDaisy McClellanComment

Katie Schmidt is the New Orleans-based designer behind Passion Lilie, a women's fair trade and eco-friendly clothing line featuring hand block printed or handwoven fabrics. She describes her styles as "streamlined silhouettes with a flair for the vintage and retro." 

Learn more about Katie's inspirations, worldwide travels and more. And pre-order her newest collection from us seen on our model in the pictures below!

 Frostine Dress available  here

Frostine Dress available here

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

I create all the patterns, samples and technical drawings by hand. My heart and soul go into every piece. My color inspiration for the prints comes from nature. I am very in tune with my surroundings and I believe that by wearing colorful, happy prints and patterns it will brighten your mood. I am fascinated by the ancient Indian artisanal techniques of dyeing and weaving. The print and color patterns allow for a plethora of design possibilities. I design for all ages and body types and every season my goal is to create a collection that will inspire confidence in the woman who wears it.

 Poppy Wrap Dress available  here

Poppy Wrap Dress available here

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

I am a sucker for Mexican food. Originally being from California, Mexican food is a key part of my diet. If the food truck does a good tamale, then that would be my first choice. But I can always do some delicious shrimp or chicken tacos.

What do you like most about the maker community?

I love the supportive camaraderie In New Orleans. We have a great maker community and we are like a big family. We support each other in new adventures and any time a tourist comes to town we are quick to recommend the art and treasures that our fellow makers create.

 Ikat Jacket available  here

Ikat Jacket available here

Where is your favorite place to travel?

That is a very difficult question for me to answer. I have been to 27 countries and I loved them all. For beautiful beaches - Brazil and Thailand are top on my list, but I do love my trips to India. Despite how busy and crazy India is, when I go there I find a sense of peace and I am humbled. I love all the art and culture in India - that country never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

What does your work space look like? 

When I am in the thick of designing and patterning- I have notes pinned all over the walls with measurements and ideas and pile of construction paper (for patterning) on the floor next to me.

 Chevron Sweatshirt available  here

Chevron Sweatshirt available here

What do you want for your next birthday?

To be in the company of friends and family…. And maybe on a beach or enjoying some good food.

Meet the Maker: Theia Grazi

Meet the MakerCara CoreyComment

Next up in our Meet the Makers series are Amy Wong and Anya Evfimiou, co-owners of Theia Grazi Clothing Co., LLC. They make casual knitwear for women - stylish and comfortable dresses and separates - from their studio in Redwood City, CA.

Get to know these two talented designers from their answers below. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you? 

We draw a lot of our inspiration from the beauty of nature. We also love the Japanese culture and the Kimono (how simple the design is). Our last few collections have been inspired by those as well as flowers/patterns of Japan.

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get? 

Amy's favorite food trucks are the dessert ones; Cupcakes and creampuffs. Or anything chocolate for Amy. Anya doesn't normally eat from food trucks, but if she did, she would look for a food truck that sells vegan food.

What do you like most about the maker community? 

The maker community here in the bay is full of talented, down-to-earth people who are helpful and resourceful. We love that we have many friends in the maker community and that we all help each other out.

Where is your favorite place to travel? 

Amy's favorite place to travel is Hawaii. She loves the beach and loves how the island of Kauai is peaceful and calming. Anya just loves to travel and she likes to explore new countries, cultures and people.

What does your work space look like? 

We have a small studio in Redwood City where we do all of our designing and sample making. It's a warehouse-type place and we love it. 

What do you want for your next birthday? 

Amy would love to travel to Italy with her husband for her next birthday. Anya would love a trip to India.

Photos by Ana Villafane and YM Photography

 

Meet the Maker: SinceSass

Meet the MakerCara CoreyComment

SinceSass owner Stephanie Bolton brings a cheeky sense of humor to her line of glittery zipper pouches and wine bags. She learned to sew when she was 11 years old and now makes each bag by hand using high quality and repurposed materials. "I believe every item I make should last a long time and make you smile every time you look at it," she says. 

Check out her products and learn more about Stephanie below.

 Stephanie's taco and burrito pouches being assembled. 

Stephanie's taco and burrito pouches being assembled. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

Mod vintage blogs and design, Instagram (love seeing what other local artists are up to), and taking long walks in the city

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

Anything Mexican is my go-to. My love for tacos and burritos inspired pouches of both!

What do you like most about the maker community?

Being part of the SF Etsy Leader Team, I get to see how creating events, classes, and other ways to provide opportunities to fellow local makers can change someone's business dramatically. It is a very inspiring and uplifting group of artists that want to see success from everyone. There is so much talent and smart business pioneers in our area!

Where is your favorite place to travel?

I don't think I have a favorite place, but I do like to travel. I love exploring, so finding a new place to visit (and get lost in) would be my favorite part.

What do you want for your next birthday?

Sleep and wine.

What does your work space look like? 

The center of my work space (pictured above) is a peg board, which is an art feature on all on it's own. When I'm at my tidiest, it's Pinterest worthy. I'm usually organized, which is important living in a small SF apartment. I need my supplies at my fingertips and try to not let all the sewing take over my small space.

Meet the Maker: Harumi K

Meet the MakerCara CoreyComment

You might recognize Sherry's tops, dresses and kimonos both from her line, Harumi K Womenswear, and our collaboration with her, gather x Harumi K. She says she designs clothes that transition easily from work to play with textural details and modern lines. 

Keep reading to learn more about Sherry and her work space in Oakland.

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you? 

I find inspiration in architecture, art, food, nature - sometimes in the least expected places, I will see shapes or a composition that speaks to me.

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

I've been wanting to try the Senor Sisig food truck - there's always such a long line! I would get the TOSILOG BURRITO: Filipino Sweet Pork, adobo garlic rice, fresh tomatoes and a fried egg. 

What do you like most about the maker community? 

I love the supportive maker community in the Bay Area. It is not easy to run a small business, especially in the early stages! I've met so many talented local designers and makers - and it's so great to be able to share resources, tips, and collaborate with them.

What is your favorite place to travel? 

Japan. I'm fortunate to have family there, so I have been going there almost every year. The food is amazing, and the fabric shopping in Tokyo's Nippori District is so dangerous. I always bring a huge empty duffel bag with me to fill with fabric.

What does your work space look like?

I primarily work in my dining room - my husband built a raised platform that goes over our dining table, so it acts as my cutting table/standing desk. You will often find my cat Spartacus, trying to help! 

My sewing machines, fabrics, and inventory are stored in a spare bedroom - and the cats are NOT allowed in that room!

What do you want for your next birthday? 

A trip to Spain!

Meet the Maker: New Skool

Meet the MakerCara CoreyComment

New Skool owner Nate Tan has been an artist and designer in San Francisco for more than 25 years. After working as a graphic designer, he started New Skool in his garage in 2004. While he makes screenprinted tees and jackets for adults, his specialty is baby gear with iconic images of San Francisco.

"Our latest most exciting step is we are manufacturing our own onesies and tees," Nate says. "Locally designed, cut and sewn and screen printed here in San Francisco."

Nate also maintains his graphic design business, Nate1Design, paints large-scale graffiti murals and teaches History of Graffiti Workshops at 1AMGallery in San Francisco. Learn more about him and his artwork below.

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

My wife inspires me. She is an amazing designer (and photographer) here in SF. My kids, of course. They are artists in their own right. I am inspired by our wonderful city, music and other creative people around me as well.

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

I'd create a food truck for my Mom and eat there! Haha. My Mom is a Burmese and Indian food master chef! 

What do you like most about the maker community?

I appreciate that San Francisco is a city that can support artists and designers' creative endeavors. Owning your own creative business is not easy, but with hard work and persistence SF is a great place to do it.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Mexico, but I don't really like to travel.

What do you want for your next birthday?

Happy, healthy family.

What does your work space look like?

I rent a small studio/office from Offix Edge in the Sunset District, which is really close to my home. As a dad and a business owner, this is really convenient for me. My kids often stop by the office and help me do small tasks. There is a small community of regular office mates here. We have a jeweler, a blogger, random meetings in the conference room.

I've been here almost 3 years and it has been a great upgrade for my businesses. Besides housing my New Skool inventory, an added perk is that I have 4 large walls in the office where I can display my work. It's really great to have a place to meet clients. I paint from home and walk the paintings over in the morning. If you ever want the grand tour you should stop by!

Meet the Maker: Jenny Lemons

Meet the MakerCara CoreyComment

We are so lucky to have the multi-talented Jennie Lennick of Jenny Lemons as one of our stockists. Not only does she make adorable block printed tops and textiles, she also teaches many of our workshops on other topics, including embroidery and macrame. 

Get to know Jennie with our Q&A below. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

I am very inspired by the natural beauty of Northern California. I am originally from Minnesota and when I first moved to California for grad school I was struck by the greenery, enormous trees, and fresh delicious produce. I love printing images of natural elements on my clothing- which is made from natural and organic materials. 

If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

I am a gluten-free person, so my dream food truck would be filled with gluten-free pizza slices! You CANNOT find a good gluten-free pizza slice anywhere. 

What do you like most about the maker community?

The maker community in the Bay Area is filled with so many nice people who are willing to help each other out with emotional support, talking shop, and promoting each other. There is a feeling of being “in it” together that I really appreciate. 

Where is your favorite place to travel?

I love traveling to warm and tropical places where I can eat good food and truly relax! I love Mexico and Central America. I also really like visiting my friends and family back in the Midwest.

What does your work space look like? 

My studio is very cute! I spend a lot of time organizing it and making it into the perfect place for me to be. 

What do you want for your next birthday?

I love taking workshops. I would love gift certificates to places like Workshop or Handcraft Studio School, or Gather! I desperately want to take the perfume-making class at Workshop. I would also like to take leather working classes or jewelry classes. 
 

Meet the Maker: Margarette Laizure

Meet the MakerCara CoreyComment
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We are excited to kick off our Meet the Makers series by introducing you to Oakland-based clothing designer,  Margarette Laizure. Margarette creates unique women's tops, dresses, skirts and jackets that work for many different occasions, body shapes and styles. "I like to make the clothes I myself would love to have," she says. 

Learn more about this versatile designer below. 

Where do you draw inspiration? Or who inspires you?

Themed events and costume parties. Sustainability and a “no-waste” approach to design often inspires me. People who think outside the box inspire me because they have new ideas.

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If you could eat at any food truck, what would it be? And what would you get?

Indian! Samosa cholle and chai.

What do you like most about the maker community?

I like being part of the maker community and how we all support each other. It feels cooperative, but also competitive (in a good way) to push the design aspect and quality of product.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

Anywhere where there are mountains, lakes and good food!

What do you want for your next birthday?

My next birthday is coming up...I'd love to go to a winery with my husband and one or two other couples. Somewhere like Domaine Chandon!