Photo by  Kristy Dickerson

Hi! I'm Jenn. Not Maggie. We'll get to that in a minute. I'm the one who was in the front of the class with the notebook covered in quotes and the messy ponytail (read: kind of a nerd). I love 90s alternative music, the color blue, and grilled pizza. My family would say I'm a softie with a heavy dose of sarcasm. My favorite (& least favorite) trip was with a study abroad program I took in college to Spain and Italy. If we ever go out for drinks, I can tell you ALL about it.

Now that we have the introductions out of the way, thanks for checking out Maggie Claire Designs. I started hand-stamping metal right after the holidays in 2015. My life had changed pretty dramatically that year - at least in terms of work. After 7 years of working for a large corporation, I quit my job in July 2015 to start a business. A business that never made a dime (Face palm). I took that initial leap to start my own business because I craved more time with my family and I wanted freedom from the long commute and endless hours.

I started out hand-stamping word-of-the-year bracelets. I decided to expand to offering leather items shortly after that. My dad owned a small business in the 1970s making hand-tooled leather goods, such as belts, wallets and purses. I still have many of the old patterns that he used for these items. When I decided to start offering leather items, he "loaned" me the leather stamping kit and tools and showed me how to use everything. 

As for the name of the business? My grandma had passed away in 2015 after a battle with Alzheimer's. Her name was Maggie and my red hair matched hers when she was younger. She was always the life of the party, loved a good card game, and was a big fan of road trips and Willie Nelson. I named the business after her and my paternal great-grandmother, Claire, who was a native Canadian who rode horses bareback in her youth. She also used to be my dad's accomplice when he would skip high school to go to the beach.

I love the process of taking an idea or a custom request from some initial sketches all the way to the finished piece. It has been an interesting ride to say the least and I have certainly learned a lot along the way.

My favorite thing about this business? I love being a small part of so many celebrations and special occasions.