Meet the Maker: Araya Jensen of Wind & Willow Home
Guys, we’ve finally found someone who loves color as much as we do (and we really love color). Meet Araya Jensen, the founder of Wind & Willow Home. We are head over heels for this Minneapolis-based designer’s collection of modern gifts and housewares. I mean, can we talk about her line of color-dipped home goods for a second? We’ll take one of everything ;)
Fellow color lovers, we’ve got some good news. Araya will be joining us at Re:Make Austin on May 3rd and 4th! Stop procrastinating and be sure to register for FREE here! You won’t want to miss it. Okay, ready to hear more from Araya? Here’s her story.
First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a wife to my best friend, mother of two beautiful babes and a creator. My love for all things nature-inspired started early on as I grew up in Minnesota along the North Shore of Lake Superior. I now live near Minneapolis, MN where I design and create my line of housewares.
Why did you decide to start Wind & Willow Home?
I can’t say that I completely decided to start W&WH. After having a successful career as a Kitchen and Bath Designer for over twelve years, I was laid off due to the housing market crash. I started creating my simple yet modern housewares as gifts, started getting requests for them and that is how Wind & Willow Home began.
In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.
It just feels comfortable.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get a lot of my color inspiration from nature. My family and I love exploring national parks and I recently purchased a macro lens for my camera, which is incredible for exploring the tiny details in nature.
What does the making/creative process look like for you?
Most of my ideas come to me either in the shower or right before I’m about to fall asleep. I usually try to write them down in some form or another (bath crayons are a staple in my house). If the idea is good enough, I start to test it out. Sometimes it fails and sometimes I love how it turns out and I continue testing. Lots of trying and failing and trying again.
We love your dipped housewares! Tell us a little more about that line.
Thanks! I begin with beautifully turned bowls and carved spoons and slowly hand dip each in a soft rubber that I custom mix. The beauty is in the uniqueness of the natural wood grain and the reaction between that wood and the rubber creating bubble patterns as it reacts to the process, ensuring each item is completely unique. I make each colorway or grouping in small seasonal batches ensuring you get a truly special product. Each color or combination is created by first curating a coordinating collection, then mixing each color until I am completely satisfied with the results.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Don’t think too much. If it feels right, just go for it.
What other creative hobbies do you have?
We hear you’re launching an Indiegogo campaign. Tell us more about that.
Yes, I am so excited that it has come to fruition. My project is multi-faceted and geared toward raising the necessary funds for the start up material and other costs to bring to life a line of soft goods that I have been working on for some time. This exciting new line will include tea towels, pillows and table linens to complement the organic modern style of my wooden housewares. In addition to adding new products, I also want to take this opportunity to add a giving aspect to Wind and Willow Home. The Bowl Full project aims to feed those in need, near and far.
What’s up next for you?
Well, this ride that is Wind & Willow Home has been so amazing so far. I am going to keep my head down, work hard and continue to enjoy the ride. Hopefully, it will take me in many different creative directions.
Have you fallen in love with Araya yet? Then don’t forget that she’ll be joining us at Re:Make Austin on May 3rd and 4th. Stop by Palmer Events Center from 11am-6pm to check out her colorful home goods!