At CustomMade, we are fortunate to work with extraordinarily talented Makers, and trust them to create some of our most special gifts and projects. Check out a few of our staff’s favorite pieces and learn the stories behind them:
CustomMade staff: Emily C. Maker: Sophy Tuttle Project: Black and white pet portrait
What inspired you to have this portrait created? My cat, Sully, passed away in September from a congenital heart defect. My boyfriend had a special bond with Sully, and I knew that for Christmas, I wanted to get him a portrait to remember him by.
What made you decide to work with Sophie? I really liked Sophy’s portrait of a dog with a big nose, and knew she would be able to perfectly capture Sully’s features, including his distinct diamond-shaped marking on his nose. It turns out that Sophy owns cats too, and she was very empathetic to Sully’s story. She was great at guiding me through the creative process, and the end-result is better than I could have imagined it.
CustomMade staff: Matt Z. Maker: Jim Grahl Project: 10th anniversary ring
How did you come up with the idea for your project? My wife Michelle and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this past August. I wanted to get her a unique, family heirloom-type piece that incorporated both diamonds (for the 10th anniversary), and a symbol of our three children. That was the kernel of the idea I shared with Jim, along with pictures of some of Michelle’s favorite jewelry and our kids. He then helped me develop the idea into an actual piece.
What was your experience like? I knew Jim had done phenomenal fine-jewelry work for many of our clients. I loved working with him from start to finish. He listened to my ideas, helped me translate them into a specific image, and kept me updated the whole time. He struck the perfect balance between absorbing my vision, and providing guidance and advice. I’d work with him again without hesitation.
CustomMade staff: Scott S. Maker: Karri Burgess Project: Fused glass spoon rest featuring the Colorado state flag
What is the story behind your project? Is it a gift? My brother cooks frequently and currently lives in Boulder, CO. He moved to Colorado a few years ago and has quickly taken to the Boulder community. I was searching around the site when I landed on Karri’s portfolio. I saw an example of a spoon rest with the Colorado flag that she had already created and knew it would be the perfect Christmas gift for my brother.
How did you choose to work with Karri? Karri had previously created the exact item I was looking to purchase. In addition, she also promised she could create a spoon rest and have it delivered within 10 days. Karri was great to work with and continually sent me updates and photos throughout the entire creation process.
CustomMade staff: Colleen M. Maker: David Bowman Project: License Plate Map of Massachusetts
What made you decide to have this piece made? I was browsing CustomMade for gift ideas when I came across David’s license plate maps. I really loved the map he created of the entire US using license plates from each state – but it was fairly large, and I knew I wouldn’t have any room to hang something of that size in my apartment. I really liked the concept though, so I asked if he could create a smaller map just of Massachusetts using the state license plate. I thought it would be a cool gift for my boyfriend, Matt, for his “man cave” and would be a conversation piece for people who came over. Matt is a huge Red Sox fan, and has lived in Boston for nearly 10 years, so in addition to the outline of the map, I worked with David to place a star over the location of Boston, and added a lyric from the song Dirty Water, “Boston you’re my home”.
What was it like working with David? David was great to work with. This was actually his first project through CustomMade, but he was extremely responsive, usually getting back to me within a matter of minutes, and kept me posted on the progress of the project. He also sent me a photo so I could see the final result before it shipped.
CustomMade staff: Seth R. Maker: Nicholas Henton Project: Black walnut and rock maple cutting board
What is the story behind your project? I needed an edge grain board with a juice groove to cut meat on. It was a gift for my wife.
What did you enjoy about the creation process? I really liked all of my options to customize the board and the great communication I had with Nicholas.
CustomMade staff: Zack W. Maker: Jessica Caruso-Reynolds Project: “Don’t panic” leather tablet case
What is the inspiration behind your tablet case? I’m a huge Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan, so when I purchased a tablet last year, I knew I wanted a case that paid homage to Douglas Adam’s book while protecting my device.
Why did you choose to work with Jessica? She had some great leather carving work on her portfolio, and it turned out her shop was just down the street from our office. I couldn’t be happier with the case I received, Jessica made it nearly bulletproof, and blended my ideas with some great ones of her own. Her work is phenomenal and I would recommend her to anyone looking for quality leather goods.
Tell us about a CustomMade project you want to create in the comments section below. Then, visit www.custommade.com to get started!