Maker Spotlight: Willetta Gray Design

redherringjeff   August 21, 2016   Comments Off on Maker Spotlight: Willetta Gray Design

willetta_gray_design_1Art on the Rivers is coming to Frontier Park in historic Saint Charles on August 27. While we’re really excited to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Greenway Network and Race for the Rivers, it’s out makers, artists, and crafters that make the whole thing possible for us. Shows like this give us the opportunity to talk to the public about our individual makers stories, and also to show that there are artists living and working in the community and making a living from making things by hand. We’re thrilled to be working with each of these exciting artists, and look forward to introducing them all to you!

Today, we caught up with Mandy of Willetta Gray Design to chat about her work, being a maker, inspiration, and goals. Join us as we meet our makers!

Tell us about your first “Maker Moment”

I’ve always loved to make things ever since I was a little kid. I majored in art in college and work professionally as a graphic designer. Crafting has always been a part of my life, and I picked up sewing several years ago after reviving the sewing machine that was collecting dust in my parents’ closet.

Where does your making happen?

In my home studio


Tell us a little about what you make and why.

My great-grandmother Willetta was a quilter and I was always in awe of the beautiful designs that she put so much time and care into creating for her family members. There is something about holding a one-of-a-kind creation that I love and that I hope I can share with others. My work is focused on handbags and accessories, but I try to use small batches of fabrics so each item I create is truly unique and different.


Why handmade?

When someone purchases handmade, they are purchasing a little piece of the artist’s story. So much time and effort goes into creating something handmade- I love being able to see the artist’s spirit or personality based on the choices they made in creating their product.

What do you enjoy most about selling your handmade goods?

I love the thought of sharing something that I enjoyed creating with others.

You can see more of Mandy’s amazing work in her etsy shop at¬† or stop by and talk her in person at Art on the Rivers on August 27!