Meet Alysha, owner of Maple + Love and maker of malas, macrame and everything nice!
Before we dive into the Q&A with this talented lady, I want to give you a bit of the backstory.
Ever since I first saw a macrame wall hanging on Instagram, I’ve been so inspired and totally intrigued by these unique creations (and their creators, obviously!).
(the one pictured above was made by Alysha 😍)
I am amazed by how many different anchors, cords, knots, patterns and techniques can be used to make a macrame masterpiece. When it comes to design, it seems as though the possibilities are endless, which is why each handmade piece is so cool and truly one-of-a-kind.
I’ve looked up macrame illustrations online for step-by-step guides (see below), but honestly, they just look like mazes with a bunch of dead ends. Am I right or am I right?
I’ve also watched DIY macrame videos on YouTube (this Chelsea girl is a hoot). But the one thing I've learned while doing this “product research” is that even the most basic creation would take me about 7 years to finish... Seriously though. The whole process just blows my mind, and I’m so proud of anyone who dedicates their time, energy and concentration to creating one of these pieces 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
So, with that being said, I knew I needed to add some macrame to Inspired Living Boutique. Alysha reached out over Instagram, and after exchanging messages and visiting her Etsy shop, I was all about supporting this new business owner and stocking her beautiful creations. Check out the pieces I've chosen for the shop + keep reading to find out more about Alysha and her business!
MEET THE MAKER Q&A
Name: Alysha Robins
Location: Welland, Ontario (Niagara Region)
Name of business (and where did the name come from?!): Maple + Love
Maple was a name that I had hoped to use as a child’s name, and the word love is second nature to me. I don’t ‘like’ anything in life, I always LOVE it.
Number of years in business: 1
Description of business: Mala’s and macrame and everything nice!
Macrame, macrame plant hangers, macrame accessories (earrings, clutches and more!), hand knotted mala’s, mala and essential oil diffuser bracelets, and dainty gemstone jewelry.
Is it a full-time job or side hustle? ¾ time, is that a thing! Getting close to full time!
What does a typical day look like to you? Do you have a routine? I wake up and often go and start working in my studio (at home) before I have even gone in the kitchen for a tea and breakfast! I work for most of my waking hours on my work days, to be able to really enjoy down time. As most creatives know, you go wherever your mind carries you that day. I may have planned on doing book keeping and office work that day, but my hands and mind say otherwise.
How do you juggle entrepreneurship + life? Any advice for finding balance? I work around the clock 3 – 4 days a week from when I get up until I go to bed, and then I have the rest of my time enjoy life and do whatever I would like!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Cooking, yoga, wine touring, entertaining, music events, family.
What does self-care look like to you? I don’t know, I think someone should tell me how to do that.
What motivates you to get out of bed each morning? I love making, it doesn’t need much motivation at all. I wake up thinking about what I want to work on that day!
Who do you lean on for support? Husband and father. I got very lucky with men who support my creativity, and are always willing to help out!
Are there any resources you wish you had discovered in the earlier stages of your business that you didn’t know about but wish you did? I am probably needing these tips myself!
Do you have any tips for building your brand? Learn to use social media platforms and hashtags to your advantage. Take social media classes - I still need to take and learn a lot more! Be cohesive in your online look and style, and be present A LOT, like all the time!
What has been your biggest challenge so far? Getting exposure.
Greatest accomplishment? Being successful in life without living in the confines of what’s normally expected of life and a 9-5 job. I always knew as a child (of a successful entrepreneur) that I didn’t want to work for somebody else, and that I wanted a lot of flexibility and free time to enjoy life and family. Being self employed and owning real estate has been able to provide that for my husband and I.
Best lesson learned? I am learning to let go, and that everything doesn’t need to be my vision of perfect – that’s impossible. I am also learning to say no to people, that I have to myself first sometimes, and that I can’t be everything for everyone.
What does “success” mean to you? Doing something you love, where you wake up every day and look forward to what you have to do, instead of looking at it as work.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? With an ever growing and thriving brand and business. Can I have a winter home down south too please? Wink wink
Are there any other female entrepreneurs you admire and look to for advice + inspiration? If so, please name them! The Ladies of The June Motel – April Brown and Sarah Sklash. I love their courage to drop successful careers for a passion project! As soon as it opened I thought to myself, ‘wow, I love that, that is totally something I would love to do!’ I also totally love their style and aesthetic, and obviously all the pink!
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pasta
Favourite word/phrase you find yourself saying on repeat: LOVE
Last book you read (would you read it again??): Richard Branson – The Virgin Way, I would recommend any of his books, they are so interesting, exhilarating, and resourceful.
TV show you’re currently binge-watching: I have never binge watched! – the news?
One thing you could NEVER live without: a cat
Go-to emoji at the moment: 😘 💕
Name one thing on your bucket list: I want to dive with sharks and ski on the sand in Israel. Maybe base jump from the tallest building in Dubai. I have discovered that I like scary things lol.
Favourite song you could play over + over + over again: Hot 8 Brass Band – Sexual Healing
One thing that makes you smile: animals
Favourite season: Spring – it is so beautiful and hopeful, feels like so many new beginnings.
If you could have coffee with anyone, who would it be and why? Iris Apfel, she’s my spirit animal. I would love to look in her closet too!
How would you describe yourself in three words? Pink, Happy, Creative
What’s your favourite quote? Love is love
Coffee or wine? Wine – sparkling or rose would be best!
Night in or night out? Night out always – I love a reason to get dressed up!
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise, but even better is the twilight between dawn and sunrise.
Music or podcasts? Music – I have never listened to a podcast!
Steak or salad? Steak
CONNECT WITH ALYSHA
Social Media: Instagram.com/MaplexoLove
Christmas in the Beach at The Sanctuary – Centre for the Arts / Brimstone Brewery - Ridgeway, ON - December 1st from 11am – 4pm
The Handmade House Christmas Market at Shawn & Ed (SHED) Brewing Company in Dundas, ON - December 2nd from 12pm-6pm