Hello and welcome to the Minnesotamade Holidays series where we’ll be spending the better part of a month getting acquainted with some local artisans. If you’re new here, be sure to glance over the introductory post to get up to speed on what’s happening and check out other interviews. If you’re a returning reader (thank you!), grab a comfortably warm cup of something and read on. And don’t forget to peruse the accompanying slideshow- its chock full of images of each participant’s work and an occasional glimpse of their studio.
Now let’s have a warm welcome for Naomi Marx of Pollen.
Please introduce yourself and your work.
My name is Naomi and I started my company Pollen this past summer. The idea of Pollen is to “pollinate” inspiration through creating unique designs. I began my vision through designing vibrant laptop cases named after inspiring women, such as the “Maya Case”- it being named after Maya Angelou. The idea of the bags was generated by carrying my laptop back and forth to cafes while I was writing my book, and my laptop started to get scratched and worn out a lot more quickly, there were products available to carry my laptop around but they were all boring and uninspiring. So I designed and created what I found inspiring and fun. And I found others were interested in my bags, so I started to make more and put them on Etsy.
Where can I purchase your work?
Pollen laptop cases can currently be purchased on Etsy:
Also at www.pollenmpls.com
The website is undergoing some changes but items are available for sale through the online shop.
Is this your full time job? If no, what else do you do?
No this is not my full time job. In addition to designing and producing laptop sleeves I freelance for various companies assisting them with website maintenance, writing projects, writing business plans, and photographing events. Also, I am currently working on publishing a book. And last but most importantly, I am a mentor, mother, and guide to my two beautiful children.
What is a typical day like for you as an artisan? Which parts of managing your enterprise give you the most energy and which parts do you least look forward to?
There is no “typical” day as an artisan. I have a typical process of production; which is searching for the perfect combination of fabrics, perfect in color combination and texture. Then sitting down for the construction of the work. After I finalize the bag, I sit down with a cup of tea and good music and hand stitch the labels and buttons. The final process is naming each bag after a famous woman then photographing each bag to list on Etsy and my website.
The most energizing aspect is the creative process, pulling together the fabrics, the construction of the bags, naming each bag and choosing the buttons and the thread color of the buttonholes. Fortunately there are no aspects I don’t look forward to, I have previous experience in finance so managing the financial side of the business is second nature yet a lot of parts are new to me so there is still a challenge which I find rewarding. And marketing the bags has the same creative potential as creating the bags. So I think I have reached a trifecta in my career through taking the leap out of finance and into something I have a passion for. It allows me so much more freedom. I look forward to everything, even going to the post office to mail each order.
What would you make Santa for Christmas?
Of course I would have to make him laptop sleeves.