Artists ~ Mary Gauvin

Artist’s name: Mary Gauvin
Shop name: Mary Originals

1. Tell us about your work
I am a crochet artist. I studied art back in school and use a lot of what I learned in my work. I picked up a how-to crochet kit back when I was expecting my first child and it blossomed from there. I like to create my own designs. I have many notebooks and binders filled with my work sketches and patterns that I have created over the years. I love to create pieces that are one of a kind as much as possible in a world filled with people who are skilled and talented crocheters.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
When I was pregnant with my third child I found my way onto a parenting board where I participated in a Due Date Club. When other moms on the board saw my children in the hats I was making they began to ask if they could purchase them from me. These women began posting the photos of their babies in what they called their "Mary Original" hats, and so they inspired the beginning of my business as well as the name.

3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
My kids are a huge inspiration for much of my work. Many of my designs come from simply watching them make their paths through childhood. I see the things that they love and gravitate towards and I use that to come up with designs.
I also get a lot of custom requests, these special orders often turn into best selling designs. The best inspiration for me to make what people will like comes directly from making things for people based off of what they like.

4. What’s your favorite item to create?
Hats, by far. I make other accessories and articles of clothing, but I love the hats. The base is a superbly quick make and then the possibilities from there are endless.

5. What’s your best seller?
I have a Yoda hat that has been a best selling hat for a good handful of years now. It has sold so well that we even named our cat Yoda. I dress up as Yoda every Halloween myself because of the popularity of that hat and how good that design has been to me. It is a quick make and a much loved hat!

6. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
I moved to Rhode Island as a child and have stayed since. I love this state, it has been my home for most of my life and now I get to watch my kids make it home as well. It is pure joy to me watching them grow up in the same small town that I grew up in.

7. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love the small town atmosphere of our state. I love how everyone is so friendly here in Rhode Island, like we are all neighbors. Every trip out into the state means I will find smiles along the way. The people here are amazing. The quiet life is fantastic.

8. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
I find that using what I do to give to others is the most important and gratifying part of being a small business owner. I send batches of hats to hospitals and cancer care centers as well as to individual families where there is a child fighting things that children should not have to fight or someone losing their hair to Chemotherapy. I send hats to the schools here in town and to homeless shelters. I send them wherever I know they will help. I just feel, this is what I have abundance of in my life and so this is what I can use to shape the world around me. Having the ability to earn an income with my work is amazing to me, but even more amazing is being able to bring comfort and joy to others, to allow my children to see the active life of giving and charity and kindness. I find it is a tremendous gift to me to be able to use what I do in this way.


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