Leana is the talented maker behind Maya Lane a crochet and accessories business beautifully handmade in Canberra. We love popping on her instagram to view her bright creations! She juggles motherhood with a super sweet creative practice that keeps on blossoming. Here she is talking about how she discovered crochet, who her go to crafters are for inspiration and what the best thing to do in her city is! Read away!!
What is your name?
I’m Leana and I’m the maker of all your Maya Lane pretties.
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
I’m a wife and a mamma of 2 littlies. So family life and keeping 2 toddlers entertained all day is a pretty creative job in itself. Which means, most of my crochet gets done in between kids naps or well into the wee hours of the morning (my only uninterrupted time).
Can you tell us about your wares?
I handmake crochet earrings and accessories. I love that I can use an old creative art to make something modern, fun, bright and unique. I absolutely love colour! And I love a good statement earring. So I’m always trying to create an earring that’s a real eye catcher, conversation starter and that will most definitely brighten up your day and those around.
Why do you do what you do?
I’ve always loved to create. And I’ve always believed there’s nothing more special and personal than handmade. So if I wasn’t trying to recreate a vintage dress by sewing myself one, I would’ve been making a quilt for a friend’s baby on its way.
But life can tend to get in the way of our creativity and there isn’t always a lot of time left to have the motivation to unleash the creative side. So Maya Lane gives me a purpose to create regularly, so I absolutely love having this as my creative outlet.
How did you get into it?
I only started crocheting a few years ago when I was big bellied (preggaz with my little boy). I’ve always wanted to learn but I failed at so many tried attempts over the years and just couldn’t get my hands around the concept. But now that I had a few weeks of feet up time before baby came and some serious motivation to have some of my very own handmade items for my little one, I hopped onto You Tube and started with a super simple baby blanket with the fattest yarn and the biggest crochet hook I could find, and I was instantly addicted. But I do love a challenge, so I moved onto smaller hooks and amigurumi. I made the cutest little creatures, from whales to seahorses to pandas, giraffes and elephants and turned them into baby mobiles for my babies. Since I’m slightly (ok massively) earring obsessed, more recently I started making earrings for myself and some friends and since they all loved them so much, I thought maybe others might too! So I ventured down a path of Instagram that I’ve never known before and here we are today! It’s turned into something bigger than I ever imagined and I’m just so over the moon with it all.
Who are some other artists, crafters, creatives that you love? And why?
@thelittlehoarder Her creativity, love for colour and love for uniqueness all shines through in her incredible creations. I proudly own a huge collection of her earrings and I’m ever grateful to her for her inspiration and support in helping me set up Maya Lane on this exciting little venture.
@frecklesandfloss. She is a crochet genius and perfectionist and she’s my go to for the most amazingly perfect baby gifts. I absolutely love her work and she’s always been a big inspiration for me with crochet.
What excites you?
New creative ideas. My mind is constantly buzzing with them and my hands can’t catch up! There’s just never enough time to action them all, but when they do become a tangible reality in my hands, well that’s pretty exciting.
I also have to mention, the fact that others actually love what I create, that just constantly blows me away.
We think of a rummage stall as a mini shopfront, how do you make your rummage stall your own?
I’ve always wanted a good excuse to own the most retro vintage suitcases and thanks to Suitcase Rummage I now have the most amazing collection which I set up open with my earrings displayed inside. If my earrings don’t make my love for colour clear in themselves, I set my whole stall up on the most amazing coloured rug that I managed to lug all the way home from Peru. So I hope my love for vintage and colour shines through in my stall.
Can you offer any tips on setting up a rummage stall?
I know I don’t like feeling pressured to buy by stall holders and I’m more likely to browse and interact with them if I don’t feel that pressure. So I think being friendly and showing that you’re genuinely happy to be there to share your handmade pretties regardless of whether people buy them or not is really important. People will be able to sense that vibe. Plus, meet the other stall holders! They’re just like you, super chuffed to show off their wares.
What is the next step for you? What does the future hold?
Well I never thought I’d come this far so I’m super excited to keep creating what I love in between life and hope that others keep enjoying watching what I come up with. If my little creations can brighten up someone’s day, then my mission is accomplished.
What’s your favourite place or thing to do in your city?
A perfect day in Canberra for me would be a bike ride around the lake or a hike and a swim around Pine Island (in summer that is) including at some point a stop by one of my favourite hidden cafes, Fox and Bow, the coffee is divine and the graffiti laneway makes me feel like I’m back in the streets of Melbourne.
Where can we find and follow you? (i.e. website, Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, markets etc.)
Well I cannot wait to rummage again but until then you can find me here:
What do you like about attending Suitcase Rummage?
It is just the most fun!!! I didn’t even care about making sales, the fact that anyone was even taking a second look at my stall just blew me away. The vibe is just so relaxed. I loved chatting to people that came by and meeting other stall holders, and of course finding some sweet gems all for me. Such a great day!