We’re all about celebrating makers here at Brit + Co, and Viola Sutanto of MAIKA has been a fan favorite for some time. Specializing in soft travel and home goods, MAIKA makes functional goods that are simple solutions for every day. Each products boasts colorful textiles, strong construction and aesthetic utility. MAIKA sees beauty in simplicity, revels in unexpected details and believes in making each day a little more joyful and playful. Her mission makes MAIKA the perfect name for Viola’s business — the company is named after Viola’s little daughter, and means “dancing flower” in Japanese. Scroll on to learn a little more about why she is today’s #MakerCrushMonday. Because you know what? MAIKA’s gonna make ;)
What inspires you? Why do you love to design, create and make?
At the heart of every adventure I embark upon, I have always felt that an open mind and a sense of play and curiosity is crucial to self-growth. MAIKA represents that leap of faith — to always push the creative envelope; to represent thoughtful, evocative design that touches the heart and motivates a call to action.
Tell us more about yourself.
I consider myself truly blessed to do what I love everyday. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs in my family, I always knew I wanted to own my own creative business. However, like many things in life, it took a few detours before MAIKA was born. A business degree from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, followed by a stint in banking and a serendipitous series of events, resulted in acceptance at the design program at the California College of the Arts. Upon graduation, I continued to hone my craft in the fashion industry, and later at some of the premier boutique design firms in the Bay Area.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Keep an open, playful mind. Don’t be too concerned with the end result during the process. Then edit, edit, edit.
Tell us how technology has changed and supported what you do.
As a designer, I’m always open to feedback and the sharing of ideas, and technology has helped to greatly facilitate that exchange. Communities are formed, ideas are communicated more freely and processes are more streamlined.
What’s on your studio playlist?
How do you get into the creative flow? How does it feel?
Being a small business and having to constantly wear many hats, it’s hard for me to set aside time to “create,” much less get into the flow. That said, the creative process, for me, often begins with playing, and being open to exploring different mediums and processes. You never know when making Play-Doh tacos with your daughter might inspire a color palette! The feeling is joyful and carefree.
What do you love about teaching people to make? And inspiring people who don’t think they are traditionally creative?
I love being a part of their delight when they realize that they ARE creative, and that they ARE makers.
Are you a maker? Share your creations under the hashtag #iamcreative on social media, and we’ll be sure to check them out. Happy making!