It should come as a shock to .05% of you that some of our staffers have hidden talents of the maker persuasion. One of those is our managing community editor Alexis Monson, the woman who brings talented writers and creative contributors to us (and you!) on this very site. In her spare time, she and hubby Santiago Prieto are crafting devices for authentic living through their company Second Sun and trying to bring social networking back to pen and paper. You’ll be able to shop their piñatas, 3D printed bottle openers and letterpress creations at the Re:Make SF Artisan Market this Saturday, but we think you need to get to know them even if you won’t be in attendance this weekend. To satisfy our #makercrush, this husband-wife dream team invited us into their studio space. Check it out and fall in love too! Though you can’t have them. They’re ours. <3

After handling all the details of their very DIY wedding, SF-based Alexis and Santiago realized they’re soul mates professionally as well as personally. They started Second Sun as a way to work together as a couple and what followed makes us really believe in destiny. They started designing and creating high-end piñatas, 3D printed bottle openers and the sassiest line of letterpress cards that you ever did see, now called punkposts.

The founders of Second Sun described their creative instinct as being akin to a happy-go-lucky labrador (LOVE that): “we think of a new shiny project, and we want to do it,” Santiago told us. The duo was tackling all sorts of projects for awhile there — from paper crowns to jewelry. They kept getting inspired, which is a good problem to have, but are now stripping down to a streamlined product portfolio and getting people back to the art of sending handwritten letters again. They’re even offering to do the writing themselves. You type the message and tell them who to send it to and a letterpressed, handwritten message is delivered to the lucky recipient.

What’s life like in a maker household? Santiago and Alexis start their day off in the best way possible: dog running along the SF bay in the morning, followed by slow cooked oatmeal, hand ground coffee. Brainstorming and planning happen at breakfast and then it’s off to the races… or day jobs. Same thing. They reunite in the evenings and work on the breakfast ideas until bedtime. Sounds like a jam-packed day.

But weekends get even busier. To quote Santiago: “we go hard on the weekends.” Saturday and Sunday are the only days in which the Second Sun duo has chunks of time to finish up work. Still, a weekend IS a weekend. Time to get out of the city and ditch the concrete in favor of the beach. “Our dog Ziggy forces us to get some sand in our shoes and sun on our faces at least for a few hours.” And… in traditional SF fashion, brunch is a weekly must.

So with all work and *some* play, how do Santiago and Alexis do it all? They rely on some life hacks and apps. Santiago uses Procreate to sketch out ideas and designs, the duo uses Clear as an easy-to-use checklist and SumAll to monitor social presence, and of course, Instagram made their list of necessary apps.

You are beginning to see why we are crushing, right? Well there’s one last thing that has us absolutely, head-over-heels in love with Second Sun. Answer: their “creativity” playlist. Why? It’s all vinyl. Alexis and Santiago are committed to their record collection because they’re “yearning for authenticity, slowing down and enjoying things the old timey way.” That was the idea behind punkposts, too — giving people the ability to send and receive handwritten cards, which make for meaningful moments that just can’t be replicated with an email, text or Facebook message.

So yeah, that’s just a tiny glimpse into the life of Second Sun’s Alexis and Santiago, and their hyperactive sheltie Ziggy. They find time for the creative making in the midst of working big kid jobs and paying the bills. For you future makers out there, you can do it too. Just find something you want to explore and “sneak it into your day some way. Before you know it, it’s all you’re going to think of and all you’re going to want to do.” Good advice, guys.

Be sure to say hello to Second Sun at Re:Make this Saturday, and totally snag a DIY piñata kit and send a letter! If you can’t make it this weekend, find select products in the B+C Shop 24/7 here!

What maker’s studio should we tour next? Share below!

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