Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Instant Heirloom: Marianne of MaeBee Jewelry

Name: Marianne Evenhuis
Hometown: I grew up in San Diego, CA and have lived in the SF Bay Area for 20 years
Website/shop: www.mpaperarts.etsy.com
Facebook: MaeBee Jewelry
Crazy, all these communication tools!!

Tell me a little bit about what you make:
I like to make just about anything, but for the past year or so I have been making jewelry. It is hip handmade jewelry (mostly bracelets) from unusual links, charms and beads in sterling, silverplate, gold vermeil or goldplate. Most are on earthy waxed linen or deerskin leather cords. These casual pieces have been described as a cool blend of bohemia and earthiness with a bit of shine. Just what I was going for!

How did you decide to start your line?
Like most things I start making, I see something I like, but think I can make it even better. I've done this with holiday cards and invitations...I never saw ones that inspired me much, so I started making my own. Pretty soon my friends started hiring me to make them and the next think I know I'm in business! I've done this with collage and painted furniture too. With the jewelry, I saw a bracelet I liked, went and bought supplies and went nuts! I just kept seeing things I wanted to use for materials...unsual links, stones, different leathers, colored linen...I went crazy with it. One week, I was taking a letterpress class in San Francisco and the teacher told me about Etsy (she's Greenchair Press) and I immediately opened a shop.

How does your creative process work?
I go to the bead shops and look at everything. I usually look for unusual metal pieces or anything that might be cool with leather or linen cord. I plop all of it on my work table and I just play with combos until one strikes me...this is the most fun part!

Why is making things rewarding to you?
Having a creative outlet is exciting and relaxing at the same time. There isn't any pressure, you just let your head and hands go at it. It is also incredibly rewarding when someone else wants it! That's what makes selling on Etsy so fun.

What's your current favorite color combination?
Since it's summer, I love the turquoise, navy and purple as a mix. I bought linens in these colors at the beginning of summer, they remind me of the ocean, sky, etc. So, I created a set of harmony bracelets with those. I love seeing them together.

What inspires you?
Nature. I am a nature girl at heart, so the less blingy the better for me. Things that are not too manufactured (go handmade!) and "rough around the edges".

Is this your full-time work?
Yes, but being a mom and wife come first.

What's the best part of your day?
Around 5 o'clock when my husband pours us both a glass of wine.

Do you have a favorite product in your shop right now?
I LOVE my new "Button Up Sterling & Leather" bracelet. It came together so nicely...better than I had imagined it, so that's always fun. I made one for myself which I rarely do.

What do you like to do when you're not working on your creations?
Ski with my family, hike with friends, get pulled down the street by my dog, watch my kids games, watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm", gab on Facebook, sing in my car, eat and drink with funny people...


  1. Awesome! Really love the leather and metal combo!

  2. Marianne is my exclusive bracelet designer. I have so many of her fabulous bracelets that I have to wear several at a time. They make me happy.

  3. Wonderful interview! How could you ever choose just one of her things! The shop is incredible! I love simplistic styles that POP - glad I found her shop too!