How it started...
My name is Amanda (but you can call me Mandi), and I am the Designer & Sewist behind all the items you'll see in this shop!
2010: My business was originally established when I first began my training program at Durham College for Graphic Design. I started freelancing from the start. I was able to grow my clientele over the next few years specifically in the Wedding & Event Stationery industry which I absolutely loved!
2016: I began designing for a niche audience - specifically, scripturally themed stationery for Christian meetings. I've always loved Stationery and prefer the physical act of writing as opposed to taking digital notes; this paired with my training as a Graphic Designer, it only seemed natural to create these very specific items for our special events while continuing to freelance.
2018: I started working as a Part Time Graphic Designer for a local company; the stability of the schedule and the wonderful work environment is just what I needed after freelancing for so long. I still kept my online stationery shop open, which all all allowed me to continue my full time volunteer work as well.
Then came along 2020.
How it's Going...
2020 – 2022: Since my part time "day job" had fully transitioned to working completely from home (and doing virtual volunteer work as well), I found myself at home every day - which to be honest, I don't mind! I'm But the sudden change of circumstances led my creative brain to need to find something new to work on. That's when the Handmade by Mandi division was born, without really realizing what it would grow into at the time!
I decided in April 2020 to buy myself a basic sewing machine. I watched hours upon hours of YouTube tutorials, called my Nonna ("grandma" in Italian) for tips & tricks, and finally started making myself and my family some cute handmade face masks!
I remember thinking: I wonder what would happen if I added one of my handmade masks to my Etsy shop... it doesn't hurt to try! So I did, and it blew up! Now here I am a couple years later with a fully customized website, retail stockists where customers shop my products in-store, multiple vendor markets under my belt, and dedicated workspaces in our home.
Present: I'm so grateful that I have been able to enjoy so many aspects of the art & design field during the past decade! To those of you who have been with me from the start, I will never be able to express how truly grateful I am for your support! And to all the new friends here, thanks for taking the time to learn about me.
I hope I can work on something special for you soon! Whether it's stationery, handmade accessories, or working together on custom graphics for your own business...
these are a few of my favourite things:
quality craftsmanship • attention to detail • locally sourced materials • eco-friendly packaging
Though I have been freelance designing since 2010, my first official JW Stationery items were introduced in the summer of 2016 with Spiritual Gems and CLM Notebooks.
Fast forward to autumn of 2021 when I re-released a new deluxe Spiritual Gems Journal and coordinating collection for my 5 year #jw stationery anniversary :)
*My love of the colour Chartreuse goes all the way back to the beginning! My brand colours haven't changed since 2010 and are always incorporated into my home decor and every day accessories.
Oh how things have come a long way since the picture on the right!
Before I owned a sewing machine, it took me 2 whole days to hand sew this face mask. I was so proud of myself haha!
Never give up on your goals - if you put your mind to something, you can do it! You just need to... practice, practice, practice.