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DIY Gift Ideas: Create Your Own Crossbody Sling

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

star wars MAIKA crossbody bag

We have loved seeing you guys adding special touches to our bags. Not only is it a great way to create your own bag, but it takes unique gifting up a notch.

star wars customized crossbody bag

Embroidered patches are all the rage now, and is an easy way to create your own MAIKA Crossbody Sling. This Star Wars inspired bag by Jill Smith is a winner in our books.

embroidered bag

If you are up for some crafting projects, you could embroider a pattern or illustration on your bag. We're bookmarking this DIY Constellation Embroidery Bag tutorial for the upcoming holiday season!

Show us the MAIKA bag you create on your own, and you could be featured! Just tag #maikagoods on your social feed.

 

Happy Making!

 Top 2 photos courtesy of Jill Smith; bottom photo by Lauren Fairweather

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Making Memories with DIY Kits

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

"The best things in life are the people you love, the places you go, and the memories you make."

Color your own tote kit

We recently hosted a DIY party for the neighborhood kids where we laid out a bunch of our Color-A-Tote kits and let them create to their hearts' contents. 

custom DIY tote

It was such a blast to see them in action. Je t'aime! 

Reusable Mason Jar of Awesome

Afterwards, we re-used the mason jar that packaged the DIY tote kit as our Jar of Awesomeness. This was a project Maika and I started a while back. Whenever the mood strikes, we would write down moments that we were grateful for. It's always fun to open the jar when it's full and relive those memories.

Stencil a tote with MAIKA DIY kit

When the long summer days get too hot to go outside, we like to set out a bunch of blank totes and pouches for the kids, and re-use the stencils from our Stencil-a-pouch kit to make some art. Never fails to entertain them!

 

Stencil a pouch with MAIKA DIY kit

But just because the kits come with stencils doesn't mean we have to follow the rules. After all, we're all about making each day delightful. Get happy with your art!

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Free Download: Let's Adventure Together!

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

"Let's Adventure Together!"

 

adventure together art print

Summer has got us yearning for outdoor adventures. Download this free Art print, hand-lettered by yours truly as a reminder to enjoy!

Happy Adventuring!

Viola

P.S. For personal use only please. Please do not use for commercial purposes or distribute without permission.

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From the Studio Series: Color Rules

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

“I never met a color I didn’t like.” ~ Dale Chihuly

pantone color swatches

Today's post is the third of our "From the Studio" series, where we share how we create MAIKA products: from inspiration to finished product. Interested in learning more? Check out our previous posts here and here.

I love color. LOVE. I've often been asked how I select the colors for our products. The truth is, there is no exact science to the process. In the exploratory process, I don't edit myself. I sketch, apply colors that speak to me, and just let the paint flow. While I am constantly aware of color trends, I tend not to restrict myself to what the industry deems as the color of the year, or month.

pantone TCX swatches

As we begin to refine the patterns that will likely make the cut however, we do ask these questions to guide our final color decisions:

  • What type of product is the color used on? Is it a carryall tote where we need to consider the user's outfit? Or is it a pouch where we can afford to be more experimental since it's more likely to be placed inside a bigger bag?
  • Who is the user? Our dopp kits are gender-neutral but we certainly kept in mind that we have more men using those compared to the pouches.
  • When is this product being launched? During the Spring/Summer season or Fall/ Winter?

Pantone TCX swatch book for fabrics

At this point, we also look at how our selections look together as a collection. Do the colors work together, but also stand out well enough as standalone products? Do they speak to the MAIKA brand? If the answer is yes, then we start matching the colors to Pantone TCX swatches which we use as a standard for color-matching during production.

For those of you who are not familiar with Pantone swatch books, there are tons of options out there. Each book is used for specific color-matching purposes, based on the material the final product is being printed on. In short, there are swatch books made for color-matching on different types of paper, fabric... you name it. The book we use is Pantone TCX (aka Textile, Cotton edition, Extended Range) , made specifically for cotton color-matching.  

strike offs fabric

Based on the colors we have specified, the factory then sends us "strike-offs", which are samples that we review and approve before production happens. At this stage, we look at these strike-offs not only to make sure the colors are accurate, but also check for quality of printing.

Sometimes (ok, often) it takes more than one try to get things just the way I like it. But when we get to this stage of the creation process, it's so uplifting to see our designs finally coming to life. 

Till the next post... live colorfully!

 

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From the Studio Series: materials matter

Posted by Viola Sutanto on

maika swatches

Today's post is the second of our "From the Studio" series, where we share how we create MAIKA products: from inspiration to finished product. Check out our first post here.

Right from the inception of our brand, we truly valued the quality of the materials we wanted to use for our products. All our products are made from sturdy recycled cotton canvas and printed with eco-friendly inks. What does this really mean?

 

Recycled Cotton Canvas
Recycling cotton refers to the process where used cotton waste is re-spun into "new" yarns. First, the cotton is sorted by type and color, then processed through stripping machines that breaks down the fabric into smaller pieces before they are pulled apart into fiber. The mix is then carded to clean and mix the fibers before they are spun into new yarns.

We chose recycled over traditional cotton because as a crop, cotton is extremely resource-intensive so using recycled cotton helps to reduce the use of natural resources and reduces agriculture pollution.

PU leather strap

Vegan Leather
When we were looking at trimming options, we learned that not all vegan leather is created equal. Our straps and details are made from PU leather, not to be confused with PVC leather. PVC leather is made from a blend of plastic materials and treated with chemicals to form essentially a plastic imitation of leather. Conversely, PU leather is made from leftover parts of the hide, and bonded with a layer of polyurethane. 

We love hearing how pleasantly surprised our customers often are when they discover how supple and soft our straps are, as opposed to the sticky, plasticky feel of PVC leather. The best part? PU leather is stain-resistant, fade-proof and easy to clean by wiping with a damp cloth.

Eco-friendly pigment inks
All our products are hand-printed with eco-friendly pigment inks. These inks are water-based and do not contain chemicals (such as toxic phthalates and PVC) that are harmful to your body and the environment. 

MAIKA kraft hangtags

Packaging
Down to our hangtags, we are conscious of the materials we use. Our tags are made from post-consumer recycled kraft paper, which is recyclable and biodegradable, and printed with water-based inks.

Till the next post...

 

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