Yall! We are extending our week of creativity into two weeks as is wont to happen once you get in the mood… May I kindly introduce you to Megan Gonzalez – the loveliest lady in the paper game! She’s the magician behind MAE MAE PAPERIE - a stationary and paper goods company with a focus on weddings and celebrations! I met Mae Mae when I was a bossy bridezilla designing my save-the-dates (Lord help her) … not only was she so bright and delightful as a human but she made my paper wishes come true…gold embossing, hot pink letterpressed antler-heart aaaand kraft paper, can I get an AMEN?! Mae Mae recently relocated to Minneapolis and with a shiny new studio to boot.
Spend 1/2 of a second on her site and you will know that her taste and talent abound!
I love Mae Mae’s answers to our NOVO9 (and my bonus question that I had to ask her)
Where do you go or what do you do often for inspiration?
My largest inspiration for my work is stories—the mood they put you in, the different personalities of characters, and the real and fake places you get to travel to when you hear, read, or participate in stories. I think the best way to stay inspired is to constantly give yourself opportunities to be surrounded by things that excite you, collect images, patterns, paper, stories as you go. If you only seek out inspiration related to a particular project then you will find that you are only being inspired by similar projects – how boring!
What is your idea of true happiness?
True happiness to me is being peaceful and content. That doesn’t mean that everything around you is perfect and as you imagined it, but instead you have decided to take on an attitude of joy and contentment to find good in your situation. For me I find it hard to be satisfied with where my business is at – I always want more, I want to move onto the next thing, I want time to create all my ideas! I am really working right now on finding peace in every moment and not getting too worked up about where I wish I was.
Who is your modern-day hero?
Since we got married I changed my husband’s name in my phone to “My Hero Jason Gonzalez” and I have had some funny moments with people (and what I mean by “people” is the Genius Bar Geniuses…) where they say, “oh it looks like your hero is calling you.” It’s true though! He really is my hero. I admire all of the achievements he has accomplished in his career, his calm approach to tough situations, the way he truly cares about people and the way he asks questions and gets people to open up to him. I rely on him wholly for little and big things alike and he has calmed my crazy self down immensely since we met.
What is your theme song?
What is something you want to try that you’ve never done before?
I am dying to get into the home decorating world. Textiles. Wallpaper. Rugs. Furniture. Can you imagine. Another thing, I am trying to be content while I work on the right steps to start!
What is something you recommend people try at least once?
Cook a whole thanksgiving dinner (by yourself).
What is your motto or mantra?
People before paper. Prayer before productivity. Peace to prosper.
Who inspires you? Why?
Mothers inspire me. They do it all. First I am inspired by my own mama. She is incredible. AT EVERYTHING. I aspire to be a friend like the way she is, nurture people the way she does and be proactive and detail oriented like she is. I am also inspired by Rachel Zoe. She is on fire. I am so inspired by all of the different branches and approaches she has to get pieces of her out there into the market for all sorts of people. I loved watching her latest season to watch the way she integrated her work into her family life. I am always taking notes from working creative business owners all over who have children.
Your idea of heaven on earth is….
Hose showers in Arizona.
The love of your life is…
What advice would you give about combining creativity and business?
If you don’t feel well equipped to handle the business side don’t let that scare you. Bring someone else on that is more knowledgeable and excited about that aspect. If you can’t bring someone else on just KEEP IT SIMPLE so you can handle it until you can bring on a helper/partner etc! A tough lesson that I learned was that while people are coming to you for your skills and your products, what REALLY matters is the way you treat them – excellent customer service, being responsive, taking blame when things go wrong, and being humble. When I started my business (5 years ago) I was so concerned about making the most beautiful paper. While that is important and a strong selling point, that created an environment where everything was about ME. What can I make. How can my work shine. Totally wrong attitude. Now it’s all about how can I make the client happy, how can I best serve them, how can I provode a great experience beyond a great product. Guess what? That is such a more rewarding process and takes the pressure off.