Makers ~ Mary Hunt ~ Warren

Artist’s name: Mary Hunt
Shop name: Hey, it's Mary Bags! (sold in RI at Made in Warren and Grapes & Grains)
Blog: I should probably do that...
Twitter: @heyitsmarybags
Instagram: @heyitsmarybags

1. Tell us about your work
I design and manufacture handcrafted wine, book and market totes, mostly featuring nautical themes and up-cycled sailboat rigging. I'm a sailor, and draw much of my inspiration from nature and minimalism.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Ha - yes: While working on an ambulance several years back, I knew it would be a long day/night, and I would need a snack. I bought a bag of donuts to have on hand for the shift, and while waiting for the next call to come in, ate them all. My partner on the truck noted that he "knew a fella called Joey Baggadonuts," and would now call me "Mary Baggadonuts." I laughed it off, but unbeknownst to me, the name took hold, and next thing you know, there were strangers in the emergency room saying, "Hey - it's Mary Baggadonuts!" As time passed, it was endearingly shortened by my coworkers to "MaryBags." Seemed a fitting shop name, since that's what I make, albeit years later. Tote serendipity.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I made one wine tote as a gift, and BAM!

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Mostly nature, especially the ocean, but also from my customers. I like to know what people want to see, and do my best to create it for them. I also team up with independent artists who design some of the fabrics I use - it's co-inspiration, as I'm inspired by their work and they can see how their designs are utilized on tangible pieces.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
Recently, it's the 'Wine Tote Travel Log' that goes with each of my wine totes. A few folks were asking, "What happens to it after I use it? Do I keep it, or give it away?" - the travel log lets people write down who had it and when, so the tote carries a little fun history wherever it ends up.

6. What’s your best seller?
Book club totes at events, wine totes in retail settings.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
Since 1986!

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I {heart} that wherever I go, I see a friend or gain a new one. Also, tax-free arts!

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Made in Warren Artist Cooperative store, 476 Main Street in Warren!

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Value yourself and what you create. There's a big world out there, waiting for you to make your mark on it, so get out there and share some love and creativity!


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