Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Feature- Maple And Oak Designs

Describe yourself in 3 sentences.
We are an international couple, Guillaume is French Canadian and Leonie is German. We love travelling. We love creating.How did you name your business?

Leonie & Guillaume: It is always fun to think about names for something. So when we had the idea to open an Etsy shop for the first time, we started thinking about and playing around with names. One thing that we agreed on really fast was that we wanted to somehow include both of our nationalities in the name. We both love nature and walks in the forest or at the beach. That’s why we chose the German oak tree and the Canadian maple tree to be part of our name and came up with MapleAndOak Designs. So far we love the name. We just got our logo official logo designed by a graphic designer friend. So exciting!
How long have you been doing your art/craft for?
Leonie: I always loved drawing, painting, sewing and building things with my own hands. Even though I worked in lots of other jobs along the way and I’m still doing other things, I could and will never let go of arts completely. Well, I started sewing the scarves, especially the hooded scarves about a year ago and it’s even more fun since we opened the Etsy shop!

Nautical Blue Stripe Hair Wrap Cowl

Guillaume: I could do any work that doesn’t involve manual work. I just need to use my hands while working. At the beginning I just made the magnets, so that Leonie would be able to list a few more items in our shop, but now I really enjoy making them.

What inspires and influences your work?
Leonie: I can be inspired by lots of things. Good music. Nature. Yummy food. And of course other art like paintings or literature. But what inspires me most are people. People are so diverse, beautiful and everyone is unique. I can find Inspiration everywhere I go. My imagination is so hyperactive; I need a book to write down my ideas. There they’ll wait until I’ve got some time to elaborate on them.
Guillaume: And of course travelling. While travelling I get so many ideas which I take home with me just to turn them into something new.

Infinity Scarves

Where can you artwork/pieces be found?

First of all on Etsy:

And of course on our facebook page, that we constantly update with previews of new items, promotions and other interesting information:
You can find us on twitter as well:

What do you do when your not creating?

At the moment we’re relocating back to Canada. We have been living in Germany, where Leonie is from for a year now and really enjoyed living in Hamburg, one of Germany’s biggest cities. Missing the wilderness and inspiring vastness of Canada, we decided to go back to Calgary, where we already lived before. Guillaume will leave in a few days, while Leonie still has to work as a teacher until the end of the school year and has some time left to say good bye to friends and family.

What is your favorite piece(s) that you have created?
Why did you create this piece(s)? (We answered both questions at the same time)

Leonie: My favourite item is the hood scarf collection or call it scoodie collection, if you want to. It was the item that gave me the idea for the shop. Also I love that it’s reversible. It can be designed with a beautiful mix of colours and fabrics, simply stylish. Also it is really comfortable and practical. It can be worn in so many different ways, hood up, hood down, just around the shoulders. It was perfect in winter to bundle up, but I just found out that it is also wonderful for warm days, when it gets chilly in the evening and you don’t want to carry a jacket.
Guillaume: My favourite item is the infinity scarf for men. It is simple and down to earth but still trendy. I really like that Leonie started making accessories for men, can’t wait for more of those creations.

Hood Scarf Stripes Blue Red Reversible

What do you feel is special about your art/craft?

Leonie  & Guillaume: Our shop is colourful, genuinely happy and unique. We try to stay coherent with our products; the main focus is on the scarves but we try to lighten it up with the magnets and the fabric hearts.
Our designs are young and fresh. We like to work with colourful, funky fabrics contrasted by plain-coloured ones. This is not only a nice contrast but it also symbolizes human emotions. One day you might feel like wearing something happy and bright, the next day you feel rather like putting yourself into plain and elegant clothes. Basically, we seek to cover every aspect of feelings in our designs by using a variety of styles.
We like as well to design products that are useful in more than one way. You can wear all of our accessories in a variety of styles, especially our two-in-one cowl/headband is not only a cowl but can also be worn as a headband. We like to add those tricky, peculiar ideas to our creations.
We work a lot with recycled materials and fabric leftovers, so our shop is as eco-friendly as possible. We also enjoy to be part of the upcycle movement and breathe new life into old things. It is so much fun to see how something ragged and worn out can become something completely different and start a second life.
Oooh, that was a long answer, but we think that’s the only way of describing what makes us different...

Fabric Hearts

Are there other forms of art and crafts you would like to learn? And why?

Leonie: I would love to learn how to felt! I’ve seen some amazing scarves ( I guess I’m kinda obessed with scarves) on Etsy and just wanna learn how to make them myself. Felted items can be delicate yet strong and warming at the same time. I just love it!

Guillaume: I would like to do something with granite, as it is my day job to work with granite in interior design. But I would also like to learn more about wood. I recently said that, if I ever get a smart phone, I want a wooden cover for it. It would be awesome if I’d be able to do it myself.

Map Magnets

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