I’ve been a long time fan of Supermaggie, so when Maggie of Supermaggie agreed to be interviewed for this week’s Indie Artist Fixx, I was pleased as punch. Maggie Kleinpeter is the artistic force behind Supermaggie and she creates wearable wool art and screen-printed apparel. Maggie’s felted scarves and original illustration hand-printed t-shirts are legendary and easily recognizable. Maggie is also a one talented painter and her paintings can be seen here. Maggie really is super artist. 😉
Supermaggie has been around since the early days of Internet indie shopping (hard to believe that’s only been like 5 years ago) and is a both a trendsetter and pioneer in the indie design world. I for one can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Here’s my interview with Maggie.
1. What’s the name of your business and what do create and sell?
The name of my business is Supermaggie. I make hand felted scarves and I design and screen print t-shirts and other apparel, my business partner and husband Michael designs and runs the website, takes good care of our customers and helps me out with some of the screen printing.
2. How and why did you get your start?
I finished art school and was working as a production manager at a tiny (there were three of us) handmade greeting card company in the winter of 2001 when I started experimenting with felting. The results were pretty cool so I started selling them at a few little indie markets around New York and people really liked them. Michael (he was my boyfriend at the time and was working in the dot com advertising world) built Supermaggie so we could sell online. We took a few ads in some of the indie magazines and got a little bit of press and things just took off. It was great!
3. Is there anything you can share with other indie business owners who are just taking the plunge with their own business?
You have to work really hard, always be honest with yourself and your customers, don’t be afraid to ask questions and have fun!
4. What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
I get to be creative everyday and work with my hands everyday. The worst is when I have to do a ton of production work and not much creative stuff.
5. Tell us one funny/goofy/silly thing about yourself.
I like to watch old X-file reruns while I screen print t-shirts.
6. Do you have any future plans for your business that you would like to share?
We plan to take over the world with t-shirts and scarves!
7. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at? List as many as you want.
Bust, Venus, Readymade, Modish, Mightygoods. I actually don’t shop very much at all but when I do it’s at Cleggs Nursery and the fabric store.
8. Were you an artsy craftsy kid? If so, what kinds of things did you do?
Yes, I was and artsy craftsy kid. I doodled incessantly in my school notebooks rather then take notes. I told my second grade teacher that I didn’t need to go to school because I was going to be an artist (that didn’t get me out of school). I made clothes for my dolls, little bitty pillows for my dollhouse, I loved any project that involved glue, paint markers or scissors. My very first crafty business attempt was making friendship bracelets to order for other kids in my class.
9. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Ben and Jerry’s coffee heath bar crunch – it’s the best ice cream ever!
10. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
To me indie means doing it your own way while keeping in mind the larger indie community and being supportive of it. I think it means creating your own style and not allowing yourself to be held to anyone else’s standard of beauty or normal.
11. What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by color, my dog, my garden, my dreams, clouds, trees, road trips, beach trips, clipart, pencil drawings, peeling paint, the white stripes, aerial landscape photos, old run down fabric stores with boxes and bolts of crazy fabric in the basement.
12. What you are doing new that you want everyone to know about?
I am doing one of a kind scarves this fall and will be trying to switch to organic wool by the end of the year. We are also going to try to do a line of organic t’s with eco friendly inks.