Studio Tour :: Merry Mery
Location :: Santiago, Chile
Owner :: Maria Bradley
Where is your studio located?
My studio is located in the flat where I live with my husband, in beautiful Santiago, Chile. We moved here from Spain almost two years ago, and our neighborhood is both a quiet residential place during the weekends, and a busy business place during the work days. I'm so lucky to work in this studio with so much light, huge windows and a balcony with plants and flowers that brings a little glimpse of nature into my space even living in the middle of a big city.
How did you get started in your craft + what inspires you?
Well, I've really been working with my hands since I can remember. The first thing I've sewn was a pouch made with plaid wool from an old skirt when I was 10 or so, and I´ve never stopped sewing since then. Being a teenager I started sewing my clothes, and making gifts to family and friends for special ocations. But my crafts becomed a real business when I got married and moved to Seville. I began working with furniture restoration and recycling, until we moved to Madrid. We had no space to furniture there, and I decided I needed an online job just in case we moved again to another city. So, making bags again and opening my Etsy shop was a natural way to go on doing what I love the most: sewing and working with my hands.
And about what inspires me, well, I'm really inspired with so many things and inspiration may come at any time. I can be thinking on something else, and suddenly find a new bag or a way to improve the making process. I know I should have a little notebook always always with me, but life is life and sometimes I have it and sometimes I don´t :) New ideas come so often during a road trip, with my mind in the landscape. I don't know why, maybe because I´m not doing anything else than just looking to the beauty of nature.
What are the top 3 tools most important in your craft ?
It´s hard to choose just three tools, but I think they would be my industrial sewing machine, the rivet setters and the rotary cutter (with the cutting board).
What's a typical day like in the studio?
A day in the studio usually beggins checking mails and a bit of online work while I have a quick brekfast. Coffee is a must during the mornings, and there is always a pitcher of water on the table. I never watch the TV, and the studio is really a silent place except for the sewing machine that is quite noisy. Sometimes I listen podcasts, online radio from Spain that makes me laugh so much, or maybe some music (I really "need" to sing while music is playing). But that´s not so often as I´m really concentrated in my work and that can make me forget that music is a nice thing! Also, I try to work outside (in the balcony) when the weather and the tasks allow it.
What are the greatest rewards of creating something handmade?
Well, for me, creating something with my hands and liking the result is so really satisfying. I can see it as something "normal" because I can do it naturally, but I know these abilities are something to be thankful for. A happy customer is the best reward, for not talking of returning customers. My customers, together with my friends and family, remind me that creating good products with your own hands is not normal and is really a gift. That is so satisfying, and I'm so thankful for this.