Meet the Maker: Papercraft Designer Maggie Holmes
With an amazing range of new American Crafts papercraft products landing in store for our Papercraft Live event, we simply had to catch up with top papercraft designer, Maggie Holmes! With collections full of colour and texture, we wanted to know more about the woman behind it and how she got into her craft…
How did you first get into craft?
I have always loved working with my hands and being creative. As a little girl I asked my mom to teach me how to sew and then I started making hair accessories, clothing for my dolls and anything else I could dream up to make!
Describe your creative style
My creative style has always been sort of eclectic. I love vintage elements, but I also love mixing in things that are very current and on trend. I also love color, especially pink, yellow and blues!
What was the very first thing you designed?
I recently found a box of my old journals and when I started looking through them, I realized I was scrapbooking before I even knew what that was! As a very young girl I would save photos and memorabilia and tape them into my journals as a way of adding visual memories to my journal entries. It was amazing to see that I have had a passion for this type of creativity and memory keeping pretty much my whole life!
The new Flourish range is beautiful! Where do you start when coming up new ideas for collections? Is there a particular process that you follow?
Thank you so much!! It is actually more of an ongoing process for me that truly never really starts or stops. I find inspiration all around and different things are always jumping out at me, especially when I am not necessarily looking. I have a passion for interior design and I also love fashion, so I often find inspiration in those worlds. It’s a pretty organic process for me as things that I love get filed away in my visual memory all the time, and it’s fun to see what comes out when it’s all mashed up and then translated into something completely new and fresh!
What inspired the new Magnet Studio range?
I wanted to create a system for displaying your favorite quotes or messages in a unique way that also allows for some creativity and design elements to be mixed in. The Magnet Studio boards provide a perfect backdrop for that when you combine the magnetic letters with the vinyl cling words and designs! I love that you can customize it to your own style, color scheme, theme etc. It then evolved beyond that into the chore chart and calendar systems and also the magnetic clips which you can use to display photos, notes and other cute things on your board!
Which piece of work are you most proud of and why?
That’s a hard one! I don’t know that I can pick one thing. I love pushing myself with each new collection and with each new thing I create. Any time I create a layout or mini album that my kids love to look at, I feel pretty happy and it’s fulfilling to know that they enjoy the things I am making for them!
Have you had any crafting disasters along the way?
Yes of course! That’s part of the beauty of the journey! I have made some “happy” mistakes, which I call happy because they turned into something entirely different but completely beautiful in the end. I’ve also tried things that were amazing in my head but just didn’t translate once I made them, so they ended up in the trash!
For those just starting out on their papercraft journey, what craft essentials would you recommend?
The basics are a must – scissors, adhesives, good pens for journaling and a paper trimmer. Beyond that, a good place to start is to find a collection of products you love and get some papers, stickers, an alphabet for titles and of course an ephemera pack, which is my favorite! If you start with a handful of things from one collection, everything will work together and it makes picking your products less intimidating for sure!
Which 3 items from your craft stash could you not live without?
Patterned Paper especially florals, Ribbon, and Ephemera.
Are there any crafting trends that are going to be big in 2018/19?
Honestly I think that anything goes these days and I feel like people are more willing to try different crafts and techniques because supplies are more accessible than ever before and we see fun new things all the time through social media. For example, when I see people creating amazing things with yarn or paint, it makes me want to try it myself!
I also think that as we realize we all need breaks from technology and the digital world, people will be drawn back to creativity and making things with their hands. It’s fulfilling and inspiring in an amazing and powerful way and I think people will be craving that more and more!
Which crafters or designers inspire you?
There are seriously too many to list! I love instagram for that reason — because I can search the #maggieholmes and see what everyone is creating with my products and I’m always so inspired by the amazing things people come up with!! I’m also super inspired by my design team girls of course! They are super talented and I feel lucky to work with them!
What are your passions outside of crafting?
My family is my biggest passion so that’s number one for sure! After that, I love anything that allows me to be creative – photography, decorating, sewing, making cakes and planning fun parties for my kids.
What inspired you to turn your love of crafting into a business?
I was always passionate about photography and memory keeping and then when I got married and we started our family it became even more of a focus. From there it naturally progressed into a business when different scrapbooking companies and magazines started asking me to do work for them. I did that for a long time but always dreamed of creating my own products. Later when Crate Paper / American Crafts asked me to come on board with them to create a signature line, the timing was right and I knew it was the perfect fit for me! It’s been a joy and a blessing ever since!
Do you have any hints or tips for people thinking about starting their own business?
Be yourself! There’s enough success to go around and I find that when you are true to yourself, people really love to cheer you on and support you. It can be easy to get discouraged and think that the world doesn’t need another photographer, another artist, another blogger, etc. But in all reality there’s a whole LOT of people out there that would love to see what you have to offer. When you give it your own personality and offer something unique and YOU, people will care and they will show up to support!
What’s next for 2018/19?
More products of course and doing more of what I love! As my girls get older and show more interest in scrapbooking and crafting, it renews my excitement and passion for the industry! I see a glimpse of this world through their eyes and I know it will be fun to create with them as the years go on.
Top Tips from Maggie
- You can use your scrapbooking supplies for all sorts of paper crafts – party decor, gift wrapping, luggage tags, home decor, etc! Don’t be afraid to stretch your supplies and think outside the box!
- Mini albums are such a great solution for when you have a lot of photos from one event, like a birthday party, a family photo shoot or a holiday. It’s a great way to get all of those photos into a cute little book that can be enjoyed by everyone!
- Try new things!! The only way to stretch and grow creatively is to try new things! It’s fun to experiment and play around with different techniques like painting, incorporating fabric into your crafts, etc. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to being creative and finding your style!