25 Aug Meet: Daisy Mae Designs
The Daisy Mae story begins in the backseat of Kristy’s parent’s car. Her siblings were at least a generation older, so she was like an only child. Growing up they took lots of trips, and before the electronic phenomenon began, a big atlas kept her company. For hours.
“I can remember spending a solid day driving through the desert, but I loved being able to watch where we were going, and what we were passing.”
Traveling is Kristy’s passion. Well, one of them anyways. She started out making jewelry for her friends as Christmas gifts, and later played around with adding paper to her pieces. Her first map piece happened to be of Thailand. She received a high volume of requests after that, and it just kinda took off from there.
Daisy Mae Designs is handmade vintage map goods. Examples of the goods include: bracelets, cuff links, bottle openers, wine stoppers, necklaces—even cupboard knobs! Seriously, all different kinds of things, with the heart of your favorite place, destination, or even word. “Everyone is from somewhere, and has a special place.” And its true, because 50% of the stuff Kristy creates is custom ordered.
She does wholesale orders in over 2o states, and all of Kristy’s maps are from 1960 or older. “The older maps are way more intricate, because they were actually drawn by artists.”
One of Kristy’s special places is Chicago. That’s where she grew up, met her husband, and got married. Her and Matt (her husband) met at a lumbar yard. Matt was a remodeler. He too has a creative eye. Matt is a wood worker, and they love to collaborate on certain projects. So when you visit them at a craft show or market (like the Worthington Market or the Powell Street Market), you’ll see them camped out together. And yes, Matt is a big help with Daisy Mae Designs.
They moved to Columbus back in 2008. And in 2009 she was featured on Good Morning America. That’s when her “definition” pieces became really popular. Their son was 9 months at the time, and she can remember around Christmas cutting tons and tons of definitions.
“We love Columbus. We actually had the chance to move back to Chicago, but didn’t. We live in Lewis Center and it’s so accessible to everything, but really, the handmade community in Columbus is so established and welcoming. It’s how I met people. Columbus embraces handmade.”
I’m sure you’re wondering at this point, why the name Daisy Mae Designs? The shop was named after their endearing beagle, “Ms. Daisy Mae,” who I found out sadly passed away this past May. We’re so sorry for your loss.
Up until last month, Kristy had been working full time at a consulting firm, as a “user experienced consultant.” And only after putting her son to bed, would she work late into the night making inventory for Daisy Mae and saving the deliveries for the weekends. One word. Dedication.
She traveled a lot for her day time job. And yes, she loved it. She’s been to 10 different countries, and in one trip she even went all around the world—literally! Of course she collected maps during that time. But, she actually has her background in Journalism and Sociology. “I loved working as a copy editor in the newsroom, but the long hours were rough.” The longer we spoke, the more inspired I became.
But after 16 years at the consulting firm she said goodbye, because she was ready to start a different chapter in her life. She had struggled balancing her traveling job, sustaining Daisy Mae Designs, and spending time with her family. She wanted to pursue her dream of expanding Daisy Mae, and now, thats exactly what she is doing. Living out her dream.
These days her mornings are spent shipping out orders, doing inventory, tagging and pricing pieces, and making deliveries to shops. Then, she spends a chunk of time responding to emails, posting on her social media sites, and responding to comments. In the afternoon, she’s making batches of products. Hundreds at a time. Then, onto the next batch of things. “I find it easier to do things in batches.”
Can I say, dreams do come true–or would you totally hate me for using the biggest cliche’ ever?