Makers for Makers: Handmade Sam*Made

I met Samantha how I seem to meet most other makers—on Instagram. Her simplistic, artistic, and cohesive approach to her work instantly captivated me. The delicate geometric structures are unique and just down right stunning. It's hard to take your eyes off of them. While she is a fellow creator making by hand, our styles vastly differ. It was refreshing to see someone take the maker path in such a clean and empowering way. Getting to know Samantha and learning about her background has been nothing but inspiring. She is definitely a go-getter with her curious mind and gifted hands. 

Handmade Sam*Made was created out of passion and that's just what carries her story all the way through. So without further ado, I invite you to learn more about Samantha and her path to discovering her very own creative path in life. Her journey is a beautiful reminder that we have control over how we spend our lives.

Tell us about Handmade Sam*Made.

Handmade Sam*Made is a modern design studio with a clean and minimalist feel. Inspired by the Scandinavian aesthetic and traditions, I currently have a line of handmade brass geometric mobiles and wall sconces called Himmeli. They are a modern interpretation of Finnish Himmeli, and are sleek and modern with a midcentury feel.

What made you realize you needed to make this dream a reality?

Even as a super young child, I was determined to learn as much as possible. Whether it was a craft, skill, or just absorbing knowledge – I was determined.

By the age of eleven, I knew how to crochet, change the oil on a car, wood-burn and etch, solder, screen print, cook, and more. I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner when I was nine. I got my first job at 14 at McDonald’s. At 16, my friends and I started our own business. We learned how to sew and how to make clothes and fulfilled costume orders.

I finished high school, went to undergrad where I graduated with degree with a quadruple minor. I was on track to go to Law School. Instead, I went to China and taught English for a year. And that is the moment where my train got derailed. I couldn’t resume my “path.” I knew I had to do more.

And that is the moment that I decided to start my own business. I have always been drawn to a Scandinavian aesthetic, even when I was incredibly young. As soon as discovered these traditional mobiles I was absolutely awestruck. The intricate layers of geometric shapes, the symbolism and meaning behind each piece, the ability to be so complex and layered – yet so minimal.

And so I worked to interpret them, to update them for our modern world, and to create original designs that I fell in love with.

What are the core beliefs & mission that drive your company?

My mission is to make things that help curate a beautiful life. To make art that is affordable and accessible to everyone, and to help pique curiosity and joy with every person that comes in contact with my pieces. And to continue to expand my line of house wares with original designs and creations.

What was your biggest obstacle when starting out?

Believing in myself enough to start. 

Do you have any Makers you admire that have inspired you?

I don’t have any mentors, but I do have quite a few makers that constantly inspire me. Whether it is through their creativity, their talent, or their kindness.

Bianca @_wildhumm (mixed media)
Nalani @knottybloom (macramé)
Kira @antlersandhoney (water colors + tattoos)
Grace @larkandarrow (macramé)
Sarah @sarahkbenning (embroidery)
Cynthia @livebybeing (skincare)
Luke @hopeinthewoods (woodcarving)
Kristine @kristinebrookshire (mixed media) 

And I can go on, and on, and on. Instagram has created an incredible community for makers and creatives, and I am so thrilled to simply be a part of it all.

What does your typical day as a Maker look like?

My work days vary wildly between 8 and 20 hours a day. 

I am a bit of a night owl, so my days start around 9AM with a giant cup of coffee. I start by tackling e-mails incrementally with block scheduling. I schedule 25 minutes for e-mails (reading/responding/clearing out my inbox), 5 minutes to plan the rest of my day, 25 more minutes for e-mails and 5 minutes to catch up on social media. 

I was once told that creatives have to have a routine to keep them focused and to decrease decision fatigue. I then also recently read that creatives shouldn’t have a schedule to make it so that their day will ebb and flow naturally. To accommodate that, my mornings are routine, and the rest of the day is determined by what needs to be done. 

Since I work from a home office/studio the line between work/life is extremely blurred. There is always something on the to-do list, and my personal drive makes it so that it’s hard to shut off my brain. 

What do you love most about being a Maker?

Being able to create something that sparks joy, curiosity and happiness in others. To be an artist and to be able to share my vision. And finally to be a part of this growing community of supportive makers.

What advice do you have for Makers just starting out?

Come up with a creative new idea, and just, do it. There is no perfect time to start. Just start. It will be messy. You’re going to stumble, we all stumble. If you want to succeed, you just have to remember to get back up and to keep trying. You have to have the courage to fail, in order to have the courage to fly.

Handmade Sam*Made

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**All images courtesy of Handmade Sam*Made*